Dear Collective Families,

It has been an emotionally difficult weekend for us all, contending with the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut.  I am sure it is on so many of our minds and weighing down our hearts.  As we prepare to return to school tomorrow, I am extending a few thoughts and suggestions.
1. Children respond to news about tragic events in different ways.  I am sure there will be many Collective children who know nothing about this tragedy, and there may be some who have heard a bit.  So you know, we will not be bringing up this topic with our classes nor having any class discussions about it.  At the same time, though, the teachers will be alert and ready to speak individually with any child who may bring it up.  They will also be watching for children’s unspoken signs and reactions to these events, and will respond accordingly.  At this stage in young children’s lives, we believe it is best to answer a child’s questions simply and to provide reassurance, but not to offer any further information.  If you have any concerns about your own particular child’s response, please let me know by email, by phone, or by stopping by the office tomorrow morning, so we can be prepared to help.
2. As we adults try to process this incomprehensible tragedy, it is very important that we do so privately and away from our children.  Please be very careful not to discuss the events of Newtown in the Collective hallways or classrooms where children can overhear you.  But again, please feel free to speak with me in the office to express any concerns.
3. We all need to feel safe.  If your child is feeling frightened, please reassure them that the Collective is a very safe place where the teachers are looking out for them.  The front door is kept locked, and we have a very clear monitor in the office so we can always see who is on the landing.  We only allow people we know and who belong to the Collective to enter the building.  Everyone else who buzzes must remain at the door until a director goes downstairs to speak with them, finds out their business, and sees identification.
4. Children take their cues from the adults around them; and at a time like this, it is so important that we act as normally as possible around them.  To that end, we plan to follow our normal Monday at the Collective, which means being together in a loving and caring community.  Thank you for always making that happen.
With great fondness,