PHOTO TAKEN PRE-COVID
Messages/Updates from Dr. Blanch
March 22, 2021
Westchester County has notified us that there will be a test of the Indian Point Energy Center sirens in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Orange Counties on Wednesday, March 24th, at approximately 10:30AM. Sometimes this siren is audible in Somers, but not always. The following is a message from Westchester County:
This sounding is only a test. If there were an emergency at the nuclear power plants, the sirens would be sounded continuously at full volume for 4 minutes, followed by an activation of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on radio and television stations to broadcast important information and instructions. The sirens are not a signal to evacuate. Rather, they are intended to alert the public to tune to this or another EAS radio or TV station for important information. The siren sounding is ONLY A TEST. No action by the public is necessary.
March 18, 2021
Dear Somers Families,
I want to provide some more information about the 40 Developmental Assets survey that students in grades six through 12 are taking this week. We have paused giving the anonymous survey while we share this information with you and give you another opportunity to opt your child out if your child has not yet taken the survey. We will finish giving the survey next week.
This survey is given in partnership with Somers Partners in Prevention and is part of the Drug Free Communities program sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control. Millions of students have taken this survey, including Somers students in 2011 and 2018. These anonymous data points are an important tool in district and community efforts to support students’ social, emotional, and physical wellness. An overview of the survey results is presented to the community by Partners in Prevention.
There are several sensitive topics addressed in the survey, including sex, drugs, and suicide. These are topics covered in the district’s health and counseling curriculum, which starts with age-appropriate content in fifth grade. In preparation for giving the survey, we met with our Drug Free Community committee, which includes social workers, counselors, and our student assistance counselor. We debated the inclusion of these difficult questions, and the prevailing sentiment was that to eliminate those questions would be an avoidance on our part of a potentially uncomfortable reality.
As a reminder, here is the letter and opt out form for the survey that went home last week from middle school principal Jeff Getman. An identical letter was sent to high school families from principal Mark Bayer.
Before giving the survey, teachers had the choice of playing a video of instructions or reading a script identical to the video, which included telling students they did not have to participate or answer any questions they did not want to. You can read that script here.
The link to the survey itself is here.