May 25, 2022 – Superintendent Dr. Mark B. Skertich shared the following message with families today in response to the school tragedy that occurred in Uvalde, Texas, yesterday, May 24, 2022:
The tragedy that occurred in Uvalde, Texas, yesterday is devastating and there are no words to accurately express our sympathy for the victims, their families, school district and community. A tragedy of this nature leaves an uneasy feeling about school safety among families, students and educators across the country, including our district.
The safety and welfare of our students is a top priority in our school district. While no plan can totally prevent random acts of violence, we have safety initiatives in place that are reviewed by law enforcement and district officials annually, and practiced throughout the school year.
The tragedy in Texas is a harsh reminder, despite having plans in place, no school district is immune to senseless violence. However, following these horrific incidents, law enforcement professionals work tirelessly to learn from what occurred and look for ways to make improvements in school safety. Our district is constantly monitoring ways to tweak building security and incident readiness, and train our staff in the latest procedures.
I want to take this opportunity to reiterate the need for everyone to 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. (See below.)
I have included resources to help you and your family discuss and process what occurred yesterday.
Our Kahok community has always come together to stand with each other and support the needs of our school district. At this time, we must again rely on that strength to do our best for our community and our students.
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