Dear Families of SD46:

In light of the tragic events from Tuesday, November 1st, 2016 in Abbotsford, we would like to offer these recommendations from the National Association of School Psychologists on how to help your child deal with a violent school incident:

·      Your child may be confused or frightened by the news of this violent event and most likely will be looking to adults for information and guidance on how to react.

·      Be sensitive to the amount that the topic is being discussed in your home - as the media bombards us with messages of instability and fear, children will need to hear a calm message that they are safe.  Give facts only and allow children a chance to discuss if they need.  Maintain structure, stability and routine while also allowing flexibility if needed.

·      Restrict any photos, video or online footage of the incident – we know that visual footage can have a significant impact on students with anxiety. Limit the amount that footage is playing on the TV while your child is around.

·      Be aware of our own reactions and sensitivity to this tragic event and reach out for support when needed.

·      Observe your child's emotional state and watch for changes in eating, sleeping and mood.

·      Model calm, controlled behaviour.

·      Let children know it is okay to be upset.

·      Encourage your child to talk about their thoughts and feelings and make time to talk to them every day.

·      Spend extra time reading or playing quiet games before bedtime.

·      Focus a little extra time on your child this week; give more hugs and physical contact.

If you have concerns about your child's reaction, please reach out to your school staff, family doctor and other community supports.

Sincerely,

Superintendent of Schools

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