Dear Topanga Families,
I know many of you have questions about the school closing today, but it wasn’t until the 5:30 news conference from the District that we learned that all schools will be open tomorrow.
I spoke to many of you this morning on the phone and in person, and I was glad that all of our families got the message (one way or another) about the District-wide school closure today. It has been announced now that the threat received by several school board members was deemed by the police as not credible. All schools have been inspected and are safe, and all schools – including Topanga Elementary Charter – will be open tomorrow.
Things got a little frantic this morning with the Revere and Palisades High buses – but no child was left at school, and all employees were told not to come on campus. I was told that only the principal and the plant manager could remain on campus. After we inspected and secured the campus, we were inspected by the school police and the sheriff. We were given the “all clear” by both agencies – but I still had to wait to hear from the District before we could move forward.
I have sent emails to our staff about appropriate ways to speak to our students about what happened today. One of our leadership council representatives sent me a few good links to webpages that have suggestions on how to approach the subject with your child, and I will paste those links at the end of this email.
The way you speak to your child depends on their age – and (if they are younger) if they’ve been talking to an older sibling. Older children probably know some details (about a threat being made), but if a younger child doesn’t bring up those details, there is no reason for you to bring it up. Mostly, children need reassurance from us – we need to remind them that keeping them safe is the most important thing we do. Remind them that we have practice drills for earthquakes and fires not to scare anyone, but so we can be safe no matter what happens.
Our schools are safe and the threat was not a credible one – but our superintendent didn’t know that for certain early this morning, so he made the decision to close the schools - even if it meant erring on the side of caution. I too believe that when it comes to our children, it’s better to be too safe than not safe enough. I hope that together we can show our students that we are calm and in control, because we know that school is the safest place for them to be.
The latest news from Topanga Elementary Charter School and TEP, including the TEP Newsletter and the Friday Focus.