Superintendent's Message

Statement Incident Letter April 2019

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Dear fellow members of our school community, 


The unfortunate events of the past few weeks, and the ensuing dialogue in our community, has led our school committee, in partnership with the superintendent and her leadership team, to enhance safety and security policies and procedures in our schools. 


Our primary goals in the Ware Public Schools are unchanged - to give our students the best education we can, to keep our students and staff safe and secure, and to foster a culture of inclusiveness with zero tolerance for violence. 


Simply put, we want to make every effort to prevent such an incident from occurring ever again.


All organizations, including schools, must constantly evolve to continue to meet goals. To that end, we are providing additional training to all staff that will better equip them with the mindset, toolset, and skill set needed to ideally strive to prevent such incidents in the future. 


The staff training is expected to cover managing aggression by reading body language, employing verbal de-escalation techniques, and as a last resort, employing physical restraint. These tools, techniques, and concepts will be fully compliant with Massachusetts state law and any programs deployed will be reviewed and approved by the appropriate authorities.


We are also taking the additional step of initiating a districtwide professional development effort titled “Fostering a Culture of Zero Tolerance to Violence”.  This will involve educating the learning community on relevant subject matter that supports and integrates with the goal of protecting students. Envisioned topics to be made available through the school will cover overviews on MA state law and bullying, student confidentiality, student expulsion/suspension, and the state’s recently adopted Juvenile Diversion Program. 


With the increased awareness of social and emotional health and well-being at the national and state level, we are also seeking appropriate subject matter expertise to communicate available information to parents and guardians. These topics may be available through online resources, seminars, or overview sessions provided by knowledgeable and reputable sources. 


All of these efforts are designed to help us better organize the school’s ability to prevent, deescalate, deter, or neutralize aggression in any form with training and proactive education.


As a near term goal, we will work to reduce violent outcomes such as bullying or fighting by increasing the school’s ability to respond quickly and effectively before or during a critical incident. As a long term goal, it is the school’s expectation that an educated community that is well versed in the dynamics of aggression and how to identify and deescalate such acts is a stronger community. 


Thank you for your input, your patience, and your understanding as we work through this process. Together, we will continue to help make our school system the best it can be. Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact your principal or me directly by emailing or calling 413 967-4271.


Aaron Sawabi                                                                 

Chairman, Ware Public Schools School Committee                  


Dr. Marlene A. DiLeo

Superintendent of Schools

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