March 28, 2023 – Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 Superintendent Dr. Mark B. Skertich sent the following letter to families today in response to yesterday’s tragic school shooting at Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee.
Yesterday’s tragedy in Nashville, Tennessee, is devastating and there are no words to accurately express our sympathy for the victims, their families, school and community. These recurring acts of violence cause fearfulness about school safety among families, students and educators across the country, including our district.
As we have repeatedly said, the safety and welfare of our students is a top priority in our school district. We constantly reevaluate and reinforce safety initiatives in our schools. The tragedy in Nashville is another harsh reminder, despite having plans in place, no school is immune to senseless violence.
Days like this may make us feel powerless, however, if we focus on proactive things we can do to help prevent occurrences before they happen, we set a proper example for our children.
Communicate suspicions and concerns with principals, staff or law enforcement: The goal is to always be proactive regarding risks and threats before they arise. Our ability to thwart a problem is only as good as the information we get from families, students and community members. Your involvement is a vital part in the district’s efforts to provide a safe environment for our schools.
We encourage you to call 911 if there is an imminent danger; and share non-emergency information with our principals or counselors, or local police by contacting the dispatch numbers for each community. (List of non-emergency phone numbers is attached.)
Filter information about tragic news events and present it to children in an age-appropriate way: We have included links to several resources to help you and your family discuss and process what occurred yesterday. Do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s school for additional support.
We rely on the strength and constant dedication of our Kahok community to support the safety and well-being of our students and staff. Thank you as we work together to provide a safe and nurturing environment for our children.
Mark B. Skertich Ed.D.
Resources for Families and the Community
Non-Emergency Contact Information:
Collinsville Police: (618) 344-2131
Maryville Police: (618) 344-8899
Fairmont City Police: (618) 274-4504
Caseyville Police: (618) 344-2151
Madison County Sheriff’s Department: (618) 692-6087
St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department: (618) 277-3505
Emotional Wellbeing & Talking to Children About Tragedy:
- American Academy of Pediatrics: “Talking to Children about Tragedies and other News Events” (Click HERE for Spanish)
- National Institute of Mental Health: “Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters: What Parents Can Do” (Click HERE for Spanish)
- National Association of School Psychologists: “Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers” (English & Spanish printables)
- Child Development Institute: “How To Talk To Kids About Violence” (PDF/English)
- Mental Health America: “Talking To Kids About Fear And Violence” (PDF/English)
CUSD 10 Virtual Calming Room
Our social work and counseling staff maintain a website for students, staff and families to access resources, links and advice for managing emotions and feelings: Virtual Calming Room