Concerning National Events on Jan. 6

Jan. 06, 2020

Concerning National Events on Jan. 6

Please accept a virtual hug from the staff at COS. There is so much we are all coping with right now. Yesterday's alarming news on the national level has been shocking to all of us as grown ups and we hope you are finding ways to process all that you may be feeling about what you saw and heard yesterday.

We want to share resources for your family to help you and your children cope with our current situation in a healthy way. And we also want to let you know how our staff has prepared for this day.

We understand that our families know their children best and make decisions about whether or not to share information about the adult world based on their family values and their children's capacity to understand and cope. We know many of our families avoid sharing news coverage, violent images, and other stimuli that may trigger fear in their children and we support this choice. Many of our older students may be accessing news on their own and have full knowledge of the events of the day.

Our staff gathered early this morning to discuss potential impacts of the tragedy at the Capital and our approach to working with our children today. We know that our teachers are trusted adults in your child's life and we value that role. And we know that in times of community violence, children's questions always go back to safety. For that reason we are focusing on the following:

Routines and rhythms

Maintaining familiar routines establishes structure and provide a sense of safety.


While we intend to redirect any in-class conversations in our younger grades, our middle school teachers are prepared to facilitate opportunities for students who would like to share their understanding of what happened and express their feelings. Younger grades teachers are prepared to offer open drawing experiences to students as needed to allow those who may need to express thoughts the opportunity to do so individually while avoiding introducing unpleasant thoughts to children who may not have them.

Protecting & Connecting

Classroom experiences will naturally incorporate reminders that our students are safe and focus on reinforcing the strong bonds we have established in our classroom communities.

Modeling & Teaching

As always our teachers are models of calm and optimistic behavior. That is what strong people do. The work of our teachers is mindfully done. The experience they have carefully planned for their students are for the purpose of growing strong humans with capacity. The work of our teachers matters so very much today.


Our vigilant staff is always on the lookout for changes in student disposition and behavior. Dialogues with families and our COS Care Team will be ongoing as we support the needs of our students.

Support and Resources for Families

When we help students during crisis, remember that we are all in this together. Some suggestions for families:

  • Try to keep routines as normal as possible.

  • Limit exposure to media and the news.

  • Be honest with your child and share with them as much information as they are developmentally able to handle

  • Listen to your child's fears and concerns.

  • Reassure your child that the world is a good place, but there are people who do bad things.

Helping Children Cope with Frightening News

How to talk to your kids about the chaos at the Capital

Connect with our School Counselor's Resources

While your child's teacher is a great resource, Jill Jenkins, our School Counselor, and Dr. Pia Houseal, our Director of Student Support Services and a licensed school social worker, are also available to talk with parents about how to support their children in coping with feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.

Jill Jenkins

Ms. Pia

Ms. Jill's Virtual Calming Space