Students in Jefferson County 509-J schools get their winter break early.
A combination of rumors of violence, because of the Mayan Calendar “doomsday” forecast, and community reaction to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary has prompted Jefferson county 509-J School District officials to close all schools today despite no credible threats.
Superintendent Rick Molitor states the district has been working closely with law enforcement on the rumors of violence - and have found no credible threats - but the rumors have caused a significant interruption and made it a difficult educational setting.
Molitor says closing the schools early will allow for students, staff and family some added peace of mind during this difficult time; as well as staff reviewing current safety protocols.
In addition to the school closures today, there will be a 2-hour delay when they return on January 7th, to update teachers and staff on new safety procedures.
We have placed the entire district statement below:
Dear 509-J Students, Parents, Families and Staff,
Re: 509-J Schools Canceled on Friday, December 21st, and 2-Hour Late Start on
Monday, January 7, 2013
All Jefferson County School District schools will be closed this Friday, December 21st, 2012
and a 2-hour late start will be held on Monday, January 7, 2013
I know there have been a number of recent rumors about student safety. I want to assure
our students, families and staff that your district has been working closely with local law
enforcement in Madras and Warm Springs and have found no credible threats to our
schools. However, these rumors have created a significant interruption to our schools and
will make it difficult to have an appropriate educational setting on Friday, December 21,
With that said, I also feel it’s important to acknowledge the heightened sense of concern
our community is experiencing in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. As
a result, this school closure will allow students, staff and families some added
peace-of-mind during this difficult time.
Furthermore, this school closure will allow our district-wide safety team to focus on a
careful review of our current school safety plans.
Our District support staff will be working with local law and fire departments this Friday,
December 21, 2012 to reconfirm our current safety procedures and make adjustments
over the break where we find opportunities to make our schools safer for students and
School will start again on January 7th with a two-hour late start. We will spend that
morning updating teachers and staff on new and existing safety protocols and be prepared
to work with students to ensure everyone knows safety is a priority and students will be
safe in our schools.
Thank you for your support and cooperation. We wish you all a safe and peaceful holiday