Dear SFSD families and friends,
As our community mourns the tragic loss of one of our youth, I wanted to take a moment to connect with staff, students, families and neighbors. It’s been a difficult year for our small, close-knit communities. We’ve struggled to understand the loss of precious lives and we’ve stood together in support of families and each other. Our school district team is passionate about making sure students feel welcome, safe and supported at school, and these losses hit us hard. We are always striving to provide the most attentive and nurturing learning environments for our kids. While we have many programs and partnerships in place to help us understand and address the social and emotional needs of students, it’s clear that there is more work to be done. This challenge is not specific to us; it’s a nationwide issue. Our kids are growing up in a world that is very different from the world we experienced as youth. The social pressures and expectations can be overwhelming, but coming together as a community will make us stronger and provide our kids with more skills and tools to help them transition into adulthood.
During this past week, our counseling and crisis teams have been working closely with students and staff at Silverton High School and Central Howell School to provide support. The Willamette Education Service District and the Marion County Health Department partner with us year-round and during difficult times as we just experienced. There are also resources that you can access if you are interested in learning more:
- Marion County Youth and Family Crisis Services
- Safe Oregon
- Marion County Suicide Prevention Services
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Safe Oregon also offers a statewide tip line that I invite you to share with family members and neighbors. This tip line, is for reporting concerns about personal safety or the safety of someone else.
- Call or text: 844-472-3367
- Send an email message: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Complete and online form: https://tips.safeoregon.com/
We continue to evaluate our supports for students. We are reviewing curriculum in support of the social/emotional learning needs of students. We are increasing professional development trainings to staff members and are planning trainings for parents and community members slated for later this spring. Check out the upcoming Silverton Together training on February 28, titled Youth and Technology – Are Our Children at Risk?
We know there is no magic solution to help our youth who are struggling, but we believe that together we can make a difference in their lives. That old expression “it takes a village” rings true to us every day in education. We thank you for your continued support and look forward to partnering with you to provide safe and welcoming communities and schools for our Silver Falls School District kids.
Please contact me anytime. I look forward to hearing from you.