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Safety First

December 07, 2018

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Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board is committed to the safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and their families. Given the recent threats to school safety situations which led to Lock Downs and/or Hold and Secures taking place in some of our schools and in schools in two of our coterminous School Boards in KFLA, we recognize the diverse needs in our community and are dedicated to meeting students, staff and their families ‘where they’re at’. Threats of Violence can alter a person’s sense of security and safety. As Catholic educators, we know we are entrusted with your children each day, and we take our responsibility for your child’s safety and comfort at school very seriously.


As parents and guardians, recent local events trouble us, and we hold our children even closer.  High profile threats of violence, particularly in schools, can confuse and frighten children and youth who may feel in danger or worry that their friends or loved-ones are at risk. They will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and guardians can help children and youth feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security and talking with them about their fears. In talking with your children during this difficult time, some of the advice from experts in trauma response may be helpful. 

Key messages for supporting children include: 

  • Reassure your child that s/he is safe. 
  • Provide extra emotional support (attention, affection). 
  • Minimize their exposure to media coverage of the events. Important to Note: Kingston Police are asking the public to not interact with any suspects via social media. 
  • Talk calmly about the events, and answer any questions they might have at a good level for their age (not too much detail, especially for younger children). 
  • Look for signs that your child is struggling (e.g., nervousness, irritability, problems eating or sleeping), and check in with a professional if you are worried. 
  • Schools are safe places. School staff work with parents/guardians and public safety providers (local police and fire departments, emergency responders, hospitals, etc.) to keep you safe. 
  • We all play a role in the school safety. Be observant and let an adult know if you see or hear something that makes you feel uncomfortable, nervous or frightened. 
  • Although there is no absolute guarantee that something bad will never happen, it is important to understand the difference between the possibility of something happening and probability that it will affect you (our school community). 
  • Senseless threats of violence is hard for everyone to understand. Doing things that you enjoy, sticking to your normal routine, and being with friends and family help make us feel better and keep us from worrying about the event. 

Parents/guardians, please see the attached documents, sent home September 4, for more information regarding Safe School Procedures at St James Major and the ALCDSB Threats to School Safety Administrative Procedure found at https://www.alcdsb.on.ca/Board/Policies/Pages/default.aspx.  In addition, Tips for Supporting Children and Youth During or After a Crisis Event is also attached. Please do not hesitate to contact the school with questions or concerns.

Letter to Parents Community Threat Assessment Protocol.pdfProcedures for Threats to School Safety.pdf Tips for Supporting Children and Youth During or After a Crisis Event.pdf