Dear APS Community,
We are deeply saddened to see yet another senseless act of violence in the Denver metro area. Yesterday’s shooting in Boulder and the shootings in Atlanta over the weekend are heartbreaking and extremely difficult to talk about with each other, our children, families and communities. We know that many of our children in particular may be exposed to disturbing images and news reports in the coming days that will be difficult for them to process.
Please know that you are not alone and in times of crisis. We have counseling and mental health supports available for our students and staff. If a student or staff member is struggling, please reach out and connect them to a mental health professional at school.
We want to remind you that the mental health resources listed below are always available to you, your student(s) and your family.
- If you or a loved one is in imminent danger, please call 9-1-1.
- For urgent counseling, call Colorado Crisis Services at 844-493-TALK (8255), or text “Talk” to 38255. This service is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
- One of our main partners, Aurora Mental Health, operates six centers in Aurora. Visit aumhc.org for details.
- All APS employees have free, 24-hour access to counseling and other services through our Employee Assistance Program. Please call 1-888-324-2631 or visit hr.aurorak12.org/eap. APS has also partnered with Meru Health, which offers support to all APS staff through a free and 100% confidential 12-week program accessible via smartphone. Click here for more information.
We also want to share the following resources on how to speak with your student(s). The following is a resource from the National Association of School Psychologists on talking to children about violence:
In light of the Atlanta shootings, below are resources on how to talk with your children about racism:
- Resources for Talking About Race, Racism and Racialized Violence with Kids
- How parents can support kids through (and beyond) the latest wave of anti-Asian American violence
As always, you can find more information about our mental health resources by visiting mentalhealth.aurorak12.org.
We have experienced much pain, loss, frustration and anger in this past year. In APS, we want to fight for kids by being a trusted resource and partner that provides support in times of crisis. Thank you for your continued support and care for our children and community.
- Superintendent Rico Munn