February 18, 2018
RE: School Safety
Dear Somerset Families,
Your televisions, newsfeeds, and other media outlets have more than likely been flooded with details around the tragic events that took place on Wednesday, February 14th, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, when an armed gunman took the lives of 17 students and faculty members and injured several others.
On Thursday, as we welcomed in our scholars for another day of school, I couldn’t help but to think to myself that this unimaginable event could easily have happened to any school and at the same time I thanked God that it didn’t happen to us. Nevertheless, I wanted to write this letter to reassure you of the measures we will continue to take as a school to ensure your child’s safety while in our care. As the principal, it never escapes my mind of the awesome responsibility I have when it comes to the safety and security of our school, faculty, and scholars. The possibility of someone intruding into our school and inflicting harm on any of our children or staff is unfathomable, but still an event that we have planned for.
Somerset Prep has several protocols in place for drills including fire, earthquake, tornado, bomb threat, lockdowns, and active shooter. We have long been prepared for a school-wide lockdown and will be having a meeting on Wednesday, February 21st, to meet with our faculty where we will complete a dry-run of our active shooter drill. The majority of these drills are practiced on a monthly basis, with scholars and staff, and are routinely reviewed by the leadership team; currently, we are collaborating with MPD (Metropolitan Police Department) in order to improve training and policy surrounding these types of safety threats. Your child will be participating in an active shooter drill in the coming days. We believe that practicing these drills will help alleviate the fear and anxiety around not knowing what to do if this ever becomes our reality.
Our clinical staff is available to your children if they need to discuss their feelings or process their emotions. We all understand that these events can be traumatic to our children and we want you to know that we are here to provide support and comfort to each and every scholar at Somerset. Moreover, our school will be holding an assembly to discuss our safety and security measures with our student body and also to discuss any questions or concerns they might have. If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 562-9170.
Thank you for your continued trust and support,