Updated 7:10 p.m. with more information from Superintendent David Fleishman.
In the wake of the today, Newton Superintendent David Fleishman is offering support and reassurance for local parents.
In a message sent to parents this afternoon, Fleishman assured families that Newton students are safe and schools will have a regular dismissal today.
Newton Public Schools faculty and staff will be available to provide support for students on Monday, Fleishman added.
Fleishman encouraged parents to speak to their children about the event "in ways that are comfortable for your family and developmentally appropriate."
A copy of Fleishman's message is below:
This is David Fleishman, Superintendent of Schools in Newton. I am sure many of you are already aware of the school shooting that took place today in Newtown, CT. I am calling to let you know that we are keeping your children safe at school and that we will have regular dismissal today.
Inevitably, many of your children will want to discuss this very upsetting event over the weekend and we encourage you to speak with them about this in ways that are comfortable for your family and developmentally appropriate. On Monday our faculty and staff will be available to provide support as needed.
Thank you very much and take care.
In addition to the message sent home, Fleishman also posted a message on the district's website stating that he has met with all Newton principals and leaders of the citywide safety team to discuss how best to support students and staff when they return to school on Monday.
The district recommends the following resources when thinking about how talk about the tragedy with children:
- Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event: A GUIDE FOR PARENTS, CAREGIVERS, AND TEACHERS provided by SAMHSA
According to reports from the Associated Press (reported via Newtown Patch), a shooter with several guns is believed to have shot and killed 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.Twitter and Facebook or sign up for our email newsletters.