Message from School Superintedant: Re: School Massacre

Dear Parents and Guardians:

There are few words, if any, that can express the sorrow surrounding the horrific events in Newtown, Connecticut. We share a shock and disbelief that cannot be quantified. I join all residents of Hoboken in sending our thoughts, prayers, and condolences to the families and to the many people who are coping with this tragedy.

The families of Hoboken are also coping with the tragedy in many ways. It is natural for parents and children to have some level of anxiety, given the circumstances, and knowing that there is no practice that could be put into place that would be 100% effective in preventing acts of violence. We can be well prepared to deal with a variety of incidents in our schools in partnership with other first responders and community agencies.

You may not be aware that the Hoboken Public Schools are designated as a MOSS (Making our Schools Safe) school district. Officials from the New Jersey Department of Education reviewed our school security plans this year, and have come to the district to assess our readiness. We have done very well with the assessments and we continue to improve by conducting drills and evaluating our own performance. We also enjoy something not present in many other school districts. We have school security personnel at each building, a security camera system, and an electronic means of completing background checks on all school visitors. In addition, I know that the officers of the Hoboken Police Department are very well trained. We include them on our training activities and we assist them with their training to respond to incidents in
schools, such as the multi-agency event held last year at Hoboken High School.

As our thoughts turn to the opening of school on Monday, our parents may be confronted with a variety of discussions regarding the events in Connecticut. Children typically have many questions, and as a parent, it is sometimes difficult to discuss such an incident with a child. There is no one set way of having this discussion. I have included a link and articles that may be helpful to parents and teachers.

The counselors and teachers are prepared to work with the children when we return to school on Monday. As always, each child is treated as an individual and we will work to monitor student responses to the tragedy very closely. Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s school should you feel the need to do so.


Mark Toback
Superintendent of Schools