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Update from Clarence CSD December 2, 2022

Dear Clarence School Family,

As we turn our calendars from November to December, we are reminded that the coming weeks bring with them special opportunities for joy and celebration. However, we also know that the holiday season is rarely stress-free. Changes in routine, a dizzying array of demands, and unrealistic expectations can often lead to increased levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. Although these tensions can be difficult for anyone, they are especially challenging for young people already struggling with issues related to mental health.

While students in crisis can oftentimes feel an overwhelming sense of loneliness and isolation, research suggests that they are not alone. Experts estimate that one in five youth suffer from a mental health disorder, and they emphasize the important role that schools play in diagnosing and supporting young people who are going through a tough time.

If you notice that your child seems to be experiencing persistent levels of stress or anxiety in the coming weeks, please don’t hesitate to reach out. In addition to having a faculty and staff that are committed to building positive relationships with kids, we have the best counselors, psychologists, and social workers around. We want all of our students to feel safe and secure this holiday season, and we will do whatever we can to provide appropriate support as quickly as possible.

“If You See Something, Say Something”

Earlier this year, the Rockefeller Institute of Government issued a policy brief titled, “What We Know About Foiled and Failed Mass School Shootings.” The researchers focused on examining “incidents and plots that resulted in zero victim causalities,” with hopes of identifying actionable strategies for preventing violence in schools.

While the document is understandably troubling to read, it emphasizes the importance of paying attention to “leakage”—warning behaviors that indicate a preoccupation with, or plans for, violence. The information is a reminder that when it comes to keeping our school community safe, we all have a role to play. If you become aware of something that appears suspicious or might be a risk to students or staff, we would ask that you contact a school official or law enforcement immediately. To make this as easy as possible, we have created a “Tip Line” on our homepage that also provides the contact numbers of helpful agencies.

Please know we wish we didn’t have to focus so much on the topic of school safety. However, we take our commitment to providing a secure learning environment very seriously, and we will do whatever it takes to keep our kids safe. As the week comes to a close, I would like to extend a special note of thanks to the individuals who sit on our different safety teams. While I spent time with our District Safety Team this past Thursday evening, I couldn’t have been more thankful for, or impressed by, the approximately 40 educators, parents, and community partners who meet regularly to talk about the best practices involved with school safety.

Bright Spot

This weekend, music educators from around the State will be gathering in Rochester for the 86th Annual NYSSMA Winter Conference. In addition to providing hundreds of professional learning sessions for attendees, the organizers have also invited a very select number of student ensembles to perform. I am pleased to share that this Saturday morning, Mr. Vitello and our High School Wind Ensemble will be performing four pieces of music for all those in attendance. This is an honor that doesn’t happen by accident, and it is a great opportunity for our artists to showcase all the good things we have going on here in Clarence.  

Finally, please join me on congratulating Coach Andrews and our Varsity Girls Soccer team on ending the season with a #25 NATIONAL ranking! They represent the best of the best, and their 19-2-0 record wouldn’t have been possible without an incredible amount of hard work and dedication.

I’m sure we are all a little bit tired after staying up for the Bills game last night. Hoping you can find time to relax and recharge over the weekend!

Matt Frahm, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

PS: If you haven’t done so already, make sure to check out our Winter Sports Calendar. Competitions have already started, and you aren’t going to want to miss seeing our Red Devils in action over the next couple months.