EAST AURORA UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT
Brian D. Russ
Superintendent of Schools
May 30, 2022
Good afternoon East Aurora Families and Staff:
I hope that you and your families are in the midst of an enjoyable weekend as well as taking time to reflect on those we honor with the Memorial Day holiday. I would also like to thank you all for the many words of support and encouragement I’ve received since Thursday evening, as well as your flexibility and understanding over the late-evening notice on the decision to close school on Friday. Please know that every decision we made on Thursday and Friday was based on the information that was available to us at the time. As additional information came to light on Thursday evening, I felt that it was appropriate to make this decision.
We have continued to communicate with law enforcement and relevant authorities regarding the pending matter involving the threat we learned about last week. We have been given assurances regarding the status of that matter which enable us to feel confident reopening our campuses. This will begin with sports this evening and classes resuming at all three schools on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.
We will continue to take a “harden the exterior and soften the interior” approach to the remaining month of school; keeping our campuses physically safe while still remaining caring environments that respect the emotional and mental well being of our students and staff.
As such, we will continue to follow our established safety protocols. In addition, we are implementing specific strategies responsive to recent events (which, in the interest of community safety we are not fully publicizing). You will also notice:
- Once classes have begun each day, we will continue to have a single point of entry for all our campuses, with a ‘double locked door’ vestibule.
- All visitors to the campus will wait behind a locked door until their identity and purpose of visit can be confirmed.
- Visitors to campus will be escorted to and from their point of business.
- We will increase the monitoring of all doors being closed and locked at all times as well as reinforcing protocols regarding other points of entry (first floor rescue windows, etc.). We will also give reminders to students not to open exterior doors to individuals.
- When classes are outside, a ‘second set of eyes’ will be present at a distance to monitor for concerning situations or individuals.
- Beyond the presence of our SRO, we will have increased and regular patrols of our campuses by the EAPD as well as regular visual sweeps of our campuses by District personnel.
- We will continue to promote (in age appropriate ways) a “see something, say something” approach among our students, both verbally and with visual reminders. We ask you to have this conversation with your child as well.
- We will take time to have age-appropriate discussions regarding the importance of community and the need to care for each other. As it comes to conversations regarding recent tragic events, please know that our approach will be to help them make sense of what they are already thinking and feeling..
- Our counseling staff will work with our faculty and students to address any mental or emotional concerns or trauma-responses students may be experiencing.
Along the lines of the last point, families and staff who may desire additional support navigating these troubling times with their children/students are encouraged to reach out to any building’s Counseling Center, many local community supports, and/or to review the resources that were provided in my email on May 26, 2022:
Lastly, in the midst of these complex and confusing times, I hope that we can continue both to recognize that we already are and, at the same time, always strive to better become a peaceful and supportive community.