A letter from Superintendent Ewert:
August 31, 2017
Dear Littleton Public Schools Parents:
Many of you are aware that this has been a sad beginning to the school year. We lost a high school student in a tragic car accident two weeks ago. On Tuesday, a high school student took his own life. And, last night, a middle school student took his own life. Like you, we are grieving with our students, colleagues, and community.
Our hearts are heavy as we continue to support all of our students and their families -- especially those closest to these tragic events. I want to remind you that the safety and well-being of our students and staff continues to be our highest priority. We are a close-knit community and school district, and many families have been and will continue to be impacted. When students come to us in crisis, we immediately engage the student and the family. We do our very best to connect students and families with the community resources they need. We partner closely with external agencies (such as All Health, Littleton Adventist Hospital, Second Wind, Colorado Crisis Services, etc.).
During times of tragedy, it is common for information and misinformation to quickly spread through mainstream and social media while the facts are still being determined. Our goal is to always communicate the facts directly to you as best we can and as soon as it is appropriate for us to do so in partnership with law enforcement and impacted families.
Following any tragedy, we believe that school is the best place for our students to be, and we recognize the important role schools play in addressing the mental health and wellness of our students and families. We are also aware that safety and mental health are community-wide issues that need continuous discussion, partnership, and action on a broader scale. It is human nature to feel frustration, anger, and fear and to look for rationale when people in our community are in crisis. Sometimes simple answers cannot be found. This is when it is most important for us to continue to partner with one another as parents, community, and schools to find ways to better address the needs of our families.
As you know, Littleton Public Schools has numerous programs, interventions and highly trained mental health professionals in place to address the needs of our students and staff, and we are always looking for ways to improve. We have many resources on the district’s website that might be helpful to you as you discuss these sensitive issues with your children in age appropriate ways. http://www.littletonpublicschools.net/content/socialemotionalandbehaviorservices.
I also invite you to revisit the information in the 2016 publication, “Safety, Mental Health and Wellness in Littleton Public Schools”, which outlines the numerous safety, social, emotional, and behavioral services provided to LPS students, staff, and families throughout our school district. This publication, which was mailed to every LPS family last fall, is available on the district website.
I am frequently reminded of the caring, character, and perseverance of the LPS family. LPS is a special place in which to learn, teach, and grow because of this community’s strong partnership with its schools. Please reach out to your school community if you need support, and continue to remind your children of just how much you love them.