Superintendent of Schools Mark Donovan took time Monday to visit each of the city's public schools "because it seemed like the thing to do" after Friday's school shooting in Newtown, CT.
Supt. Donovan checked in with each building's faculty and staff, and reported that elementary school students did not broach the subject of the Newtown shooting.
The superintendent's complete statement regarding Monday in Woburn follows:
Today, I had the pleasure of visiting all of our elementary schools to check in with principals and some staff members. I also took the opportunity to stop by our first-grade classrooms, just because it seemed like the thing to do. Principals all reported that their teachers were well prepared for the day, but that there was almost no mention of the tragedy in Connecticut by elementary students. We made a conscious decision not to open the discussion ourselves, but to make resources available for students who felt the need to discuss the topic. My sincere hope is that our elementary students were focused on “kid things,” such as the upcoming holidays and the December vacation.
I want to express my deep appreciation to all of our educators on who always display professionalism and work in the best interest of their students. Their task today was not an easy one, but they handled it with their usual skill and compassion. Our school district also owes a debt of gratitude to Mayor Galvin, Police Chief Ferullo, and Fire Chief Tortolano. We can always rely on their support when it comes to keeping our children safe. I also want to thank our School Committee and our City Council for supporting various safety initiatives over the years. We have made enormous progress in this area, and I applaud Assistant Superintendent for Finance Joe Elia for his leadership. As several of us met today, we resolved to keep working diligently in the area of student safety.
In closing, let me thank parents who had the difficult task of deciding how to handle this terrible situation when it came to the particular needs of their own children. We all were working with a very delicate balance, but we worked together, and will continue to work together to get through this difficult time. I hope everyone is able to enjoy some special family time over the next few weeks—perhaps with an even greater appreciation of what we have.
Superintendent Mark Donovan