Dear AOS 98 families, students and staff;
Please know that student and staff safety are always our first priority. We take any threats, anonymous or not, seriously and we consult with law enforcement as necessary. If there is any doubt about whether or not a threat made against the school is credible or not, we will err on the side of caution. When added to the cumulative stresses related to COVID-19, the confluence of the anonymous threats against schools nationwide – no specific schools mentioned)-for tomorrow on Tik Tok, and completely unrelated events in a neighboring district for which they have made the decision to cancel school, I certainly understand your heightened levels of concern. I was asked by one parent, why we weren’t cancelling school tomorrow and I wanted to share what I can share, about what factors were weighed in making that decision.
- The threats on TiK Tok have been found to be not credible by various agencies across the country and there has been no threat linked specifically to AOS 98 Schools. School Committee Members were apprised of this earlier today.
- While I cannot get into details about our neighboring district, law enforcement has investigated and determined that there is no connection to our communities for which we would need to be concerned.
- While we have had some positive cases of COVID-19 at our schools, the vast majority of spread has been throughout the communities – not the school. Given the safety precautions in place, what we have learned about the impacts of the effects of school closure on our students and their families, the safest place for students to be is in school.
- We, as do all schools across the state, do have security measures in place, and safety plans and drills, including involvement of local agencies such as the police department, sheriff’s department, emergency services as well. This type of planning has, sadly, become a “normal” part of running schools, but I sometimes forget that as parents, you are not privy to that information and, for security reasons, much of the information is not published.
- We will be reconvening our safety committee to review recent events to determine how best to update our plans including our communication with all of you. Please contact my office if you have any questions or feedback for us to consider.
As always, as a parent, you are the ultimate judge of whether or not you feel it is safe for them to attend school, be it because of situations like this, or bad weather when school is not cancelled. In these cases, please follow the normal procedure of calling your child out of school and we will excuse the absence. Please do call, because we do worry if we don’t know why students are absent. Please know that your building administrators and staff take your child’s safety as seriously as I do. Members of the administrative team, board members, and my office staff have been in contact with me throughout the day and evening to ensure that we were still ready to go for tomorrow.
Thank you again for your continued cooperation during these trying times!
Sincerely, Robert Kahler, Superintendent