February 3, 2023

Greetings Gunston Families,

It’s been a difficult week this week. I think this is so for anyone who is a family in APS, but the tragedy and incident at Wakefield felt a little closer to Gunston as Wakefield is our feeder high school; we know staff and students that are there. Plus, the student who overdosed was a Gunston student last year. So, we are carrying some personal sadness.

At the school board meeting last night, Dr. Durán stated that your child’s safety is of the utmost importance. He shared some of the structures that are in place and identified some new processes for schools and some potential additional supports. Please know that we are not just waiting for guidance from our central office. We take the safety of your child very seriously. We are not only looking out for their physical safety but also for their emotional safety as well. Everyone has the right to be at peace in the Gunston garden, and the responsibility to behave peacefully, something I say every morning on the announcements.

We intentionally work to ensure that every student has a trusted adult in the building. One reason we emphasize this is so that if students have information about potential harm, either to the school, to other students, or students harming themselves, we want students to feel comfortable to share the information with a trusted adult.

We take very seriously anything that is shared with us about harm/violence at school, harm directed at other students, and information about students harming themselves. Please encourage your child that if they suspect, hear, see, or have hunch about something, to share it. That strategy is one that has helped us keep students safe in school, in addition to other actions we have taken.

Once I receive more information about the additional resources and supports that will be coming to schools, we will hold a TownHall. I will work with our PTA to decide on the best venue for that conversation. So, more details to come, but please know that the work of keeping your child safe continues and we are even being more diligent in that work.

Dr. Wiggins

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