Dear Riverhead School Community,
As you may be aware, since the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, students across the country have come together to organize three separate events (scheduled for March 14, March 23 and April 20) to honor the memory of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School victims. The first of these events, the National School Walkout, is scheduled for Wednesday, March 14.
Over the last two weeks, members of our administration team met together and with Riverhead High School students to discuss plans and procedures for honoring the 17 lives lost in Parkland while allowing our students to demonstrate hope and kindness in a safe and constructive manner. While we must remain neutral in our stance, as educators and parents, we are sensitive to the reason behind the March 14 event. With that, we have chosen to implement the below plan as a memorial to the Parkland victims.
As a team, we have created a plan that we believe will provide our students with the opportunity to promote positive outcomes. At this time, our plans are as follows:
• On March 14, Riverhead High School students who wish to participate in the National School Walkout will have a safe outdoor area designated to honor the Florida victims through a moment of silence. This event will take place at 10 a.m. and last approximately 17 minutes.
• To ensure the safety of our students, plans have been made to provide a controlled environment to exit the building to a secured outdoor area.
• High school teachers will remain in their classrooms and supervise students who choose not to participate in the activity.
• Beginning at 10:17 a.m. on March 14, Riverhead Middle School will hold an extended study hall period. The period will begin with a general, age-appropriate message read aloud to the students explaining the purpose behind the extended study hall period.
• Also on March 14, RMS students will pay tribute to the 17 lives lost through a variety of classroom-based activities. All activities will be centered on kindness.
• No elementary or middle school-aged students will be permitted to exit their school building. Students who choose to do so may face disciplinary consequences.
• Between March 14 and April 20, all schools in the district will teach and practice 17 random acts of kindness. Working together, students will create visual displays of random acts of kindness that have been demonstrated by fellow classmates.
While we will respect our students’ rights, whether they choose to participate or not in the March 14 memorial walkout, all students must remain on school property and adhere to the safety protocols in place. An email from our high school principal, Dr. Charles Regan, will be sent to all high school students outlining the district’s expectations of safe behavior for March 14.
As always, our top priority is the safety of our students. If you have any questions and/or concerns, please contact my office at 631-369-6717.
Dr. Aurelia Henriquez
Superintendent of Schools