January 9, 2020
Dear North Vancouver School District Parents/Guardians and Staff,
The North Vancouver community has been deeply impacted by the tragic airplane accident in Tehran, Iran. North Vancouver residents were among the victims of this tragedy, including a North Vancouver School District student attending Carson Graham Secondary School. Our collective thoughts and sentiments are with the families and friends impacted at this time.
The North Vancouver Iranian community is a vibrant and integral component of our school district. We have close to 1,300 Iranian students in our schools. This tragedy is devastating and the losses are being felt across the school district and our larger community.
Students may wish to talk about their thoughts and feelings. Counsellors from the School District Critical Incident Team are available to assist students individually or in small groups. Please contact your school principal should you believe a student needs additional support. Counselling support is also available to school district staff.
Anticipating that students may have a reaction to this event, we have some resources available for parents that could be helpful in responding to children's concerns. Parents/guardians may find the BC Children's Hospital grief and loss information helpful: http://www.bcchildrens.ca/health-info/coping-support/grief-loss. Parents have been provided a document of guidelines for parents to support children through times of grief. If you should determine that your child needs further professional counselling, here is the contact information of two local agencies that are available to assist you: Hollyburn Family Services - 604-987-8211, and Family Services of the North Shore - 604-988-5281.
This is a deep loss for our school district and larger North Shore community. I ask that we work together to support our friends, family, neighbours, community members, colleagues and students who have been affected by this tragedy.
Superintendent, North Vancouver School District