From The Desk - March 2018

A Message From Celina ISD Superintendent Rick DeMasters

Supporting Students After A Tragedy

Dear Bobcat Nation,

Our hearts continue to be with the community of Parkland, Florida.  Students and staff members deserve to feel safe and be safe at school, but that safety was shattered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday, February 14th, with a horrendous act of violence.  Our thoughts also are with our Celina ISD families.  We know that at a time like this, many parents want to know, not only about what schools are doing to keep their children safe and secure, but also how they, as parents can support their children when events like this occur.

At Celina ISD, safety is a Top Priority!  We believe in the importance of preparation and continuous improvement.  Our Celina ISD Police Chief is in constant contact and collaboration with CISD Administration and Staff, in regards to training sessions with faculty, and the importance of mandatory safety drills with our students.  Our CISD Emergency Plan, which speaks to our safety procedures is continually updated and reflects that our district is 100% compliant with state laws governing safety protocol.

Our facilities have been made even more secure through a number of improvement projects, thanks to the support of our Celina ISD School Board Trustees and seek to do more in the future.  We are extremely fortunate to partner with the City of Celina Police Department, who provide a highly trained, caring, and visible presence within our school district.

As much as we proactively prepare for emergencies, tragic events like the one in Florida are shocking and hard to comprehend.  Children look to adults for guidance on how to react. As parents, you are the experts about what is best for your own children at home, but it can be challenging to know how to speak about the unspeakable. In times like these, parents and staff can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security, talking with them openly about their fears, and reassuring them that schools are very safe places and dangerous events are very rare.  The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) recommends the following strategies, detailed in the resource, “Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers:”

  • Reassure children that they are safe and their school is safe.
  • Make time to talk.
  • Keep your explanations developmentally appropriate.
  • Review safety procedures.
  • Observe your child’s emotional state.
  • Limit exposure to television and other media about these events.
  • Maintain a normal routine.

If you feel that your child is having issues dealing with the recent events, please do not hesitate to talk with your child’s teacher, school counselor, or principal.  Also, as parents, please take this opportunity to talk with your children about the importance of speaking up right away if they ever become aware of a possible danger.  We take every concern very seriously.  Telling a trusted adult, a parent or a school employee, could save lives!  Celina ISD will always work to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for all of our students and staff.  Thank you for your support of Celina ISD and for partnering with us to keep our students safe.

Rick DeMasters

Superintendent of Schools

Celina ISD