To Our Utica City School District Families and Community,
As the crisis continues to unfold in the Middle East, as well as Ukraine, I know our Utica City School District community is experiencing a wide range of emotions, including profound sadness at the devastating loss of life.
While we may hold different or congruent opinions about the escalating conflict and history of war in the region, our staff is committed to safe and supportive learning environments and fostering a sense of belonging for all students in our schools. I’ve spoken to our administrative team about the importance of keeping a watchful eye on staff members and students to ensure that our schools remain safe, secure, inclusive, and nurturing spaces.
I encourage parents to reach out to me, our administrators, teachers, or school counselors should their child need any extra help or attention during this difficult time.
There are a number of social and emotional resources available to help parents and educators communicate during a crisis like this, including:
- Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Families and Educators: The National Association of School Psychologists provides tips for talking to children about violence.
- Talking to Your Kids About War: VeryWell Family explores ways families can speak with young people about war, including tips on sharing information and restricting media coverage.
- How to Talk to Your Children About Conflict and War: UNICEF’s guide offers eight tips to support and comfort your children.
- Resilience in a time of war: This article from the American Psychological Association can help adults guide their young children beyond fear and to resilience.
Our hearts are with those who have been irrevocably altered by these conflicts, and we’re sending our hope for peace.
Dr. Kathleen Davis