Norwalk High School, P-TECH will have 2-hour delayed opening Monday in wake of hoax threats

Superintendent Dr. Alexandra Estrella says the delay is being made to enable plans “to support the mental health needs of our students and staff.”

News 12 Staff

Dec 5, 2021, 5:47 PM

Updated 962 days ago

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Norwalk High School and P-TECH Norwalk will have a two-hour delayed opening on Monday in response to hoax threats made last week.
Superintendent Dr. Alexandra Estrella says the delay is being made to enable plans “to support the mental health needs of our students and staff.”
News 12 reported that no weapons were found after hundreds of backpacks were searched following a threat that put Norwalk High School into lockdown Friday.
Around 12 p.m. Friday, the Norwalk Police Communications Division received a very detailed, specific threat from an alleged student that they were inside Norwalk High School and were armed with a weapon inside their backpack.
Multiple units instantly responded, and the school was put under lockdown. Students were brought to the gymnasium and auditorium. Police established that the scene was safe.
It was the second threat made at Norwalk High School last week. On Wednesday, there was a bomb threat police say was deemed to be a hoax.
Police will also be on patrol around the school Monday.
As students learn their support options they will also be able to retrieve any belongings they left behind on Friday.
The full text of the letter from the superintendent is below:
We know that last week’s hoax threats caused significant anxiety and stress in our school community. With that in mind, Norwalk Public Schools has put extensive plans in place to support the mental health needs of our students and staff.
To enable these plans, Norwalk High School and P-TECH Norwalk will have a 2-hour delayed opening for students on Monday, December 6.  All other schools will be on a regular schedule. Bus transportation will be available for NHS and P-TECH on a 2-hour delayed schedule.  Please be patient when waiting for buses, as they will be completing other bus runs as well.
The time from the delayed opening will be used to provide social emotional support to all staff following last week’s events. During this time, they will also be provided with guidance on how to support and engage students when they arrive at school. Working with our city and community partners, additional trained counselors will be on site to help as well.
For students, advisory blocks will be held throughout the building to talk about what happened last week. Students will be made aware of all the support options available to help them cope with last week’s incidents. Small groups will also meet throughout the day. A plan is also in place for students returning to school to get any backpacks and bags that had to be left behind on Friday.
To ensure that students and NPS employees feel safe returning to school, the Norwalk Police Department will have an increased presence at the building. The NPD continues to work with federal law enforcement agencies to identify the source of these disruptions to our schools and community. Please contact them if you or your child has any information that may be helpful.
We have heard that many students would prefer a day off tomorrow. However, if students are not in school, they do not have the opportunity to discuss and process last week’s traumatic events with the support of their teachers, counselors and peers.  Please encourage your student to take advantage of the resources available to support their needs.
Thank you for your ongoing support as we work to support our students. I know it was a difficult week for parents and families as well.  If you or another family member would benefit from speaking with a mental health counselor, our staff can connect you with supportive organizations in the community. Please reach out to your school for more information.
We look forward to a safe, calm and productive week at school. As we head towards the winter break, we have a lot coming up to celebrate. I hope to see you soon.
Sincerely,
Dr. Alexandra Estrella, Superintendent


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