Florida Tragedy

On behalf of all of our schools, I want to express our sincere condolences to the friends and families impacted by the tragic school shooting in Florida. The impact on the greater school community of the south Florida High School is devastating. It is reassuring to hear the high level of services being offered by the school district and local agencies to support the families and students.

At home, here in Eureka City Schools, we do many things to prepare for a day we all hope never comes. Tonight, our Board of Trustees will be approving the safety plans for all of our schools, which is an annual event for us. Part of these plans are regularly scheduled lockdown and emergency response drills in our schools. Today, Eureka High School was scheduled to participate in a lockdown drill, but we have postponed the drill to a later date out of respect for those impacted by this tragedy.

In addition to the many things we do, I encourage you to take the time to talk with your loved ones to strategize how you would handle an emergency in our schools or community. We all play a role in school and community safety. Talk about important topics such as when and where to run and when and where to shelter in place. Consider where you will reunify with your family after a tragedy or natural disaster. Be thoughtful about how you will communicate if cell phones are not working and finally, confirm all of your emergency contacts are up to date at your place of employment and schools your children attend.

As we move forward, we will continue to collaborate with local officials and emergency responders to be better prepared for the unknown. One of the many benefits of living on the North Coast is the small community we live in, which allows local officials to work closely with each other on a regular basis. These pre-established relationships aid in the response and access of resources in times of great need. I pray these relationships will never need to be called upon for a tragedy like the one that happened yesterday in Florida.

Fred Van Vleck, Ed.D.

Superintendent Eureka City Schools