Superintendent of Schools Randy Weseman offered the following statement in response to the deaths of Nolan Vender, Central Junior High School eighth-grade student, and DaVonte Brockman, New York Elementary sixth-grade student, in Sunday's house fire at 1205 New Jersey Street, as confirmed by Lawrence/Douglas County Fire and Medical Services today.
"On behalf of the Lawrence Public Schools, I want to extend my deepest sympathies to the Glover family," said Weseman. "Our school communities are grieving this tragic loss and working together to support students, staff, and one another during this most difficult time."
The school district activated on Sunday its Crisis Response Team, which is made up of trained school volunteers who serve on an on-call basis on a rotating monthly basis. Approximately ten team members are lending additional support today at New York Elementary, Central Junior High, and other schools as needed. Crisis team members are social workers, school counselors, school psychologists, Bert Nash WRAP workers, school nurses, teachers, and staff who receive special training in mental health support and crisis response. They provide an organized, yet flexible, response to support schools during times of crisis and education in the grief process through counseling.
New York Elementary and Central Junior High both plan to send letters home with students this afternoon informing parents of the loss and sharing information on supporting children and youth during times of crisis.
Crisis Response Team members plan to return to these two schools as needed this week.