As you may have seen or heard through the media, or through your devices, yesterday, there was an amber alert for one of our Kindergarten students in Markham. A missing child is every parent’s worst nightmare. Words can’t express the depth of concern all of our staff members, both at the school and our Board offices, shared for the safety of our student yesterday.
We are so relieved that the child was found and is safe. Today, support staff, including psychologists and social workers, are available for our school community and will continue to support the student and her family.
Our first priority is always student safety and I want to thank the school staff for working diligently and assisting the York Regional Police (YRP) with their investigation. I also want to thank YRP for their swift response.
It is understandable that, after hearing the news of this case, parents may be looking for answers or clarification on what occurred at the school yesterday. I want to correct some inaccurate media reports. Our elementary school doors are locked during the instructional day and only parents/guardians or other authorized persons can sign out a child from an elementary school office. This is what occurred during this situation and what occurs throughout our system regularly. The school was not made aware of any restrictions for the signing out of this student.
I want to reassure you that our schools are safe places, and your children are safe in our care. Our school staff members continue to follow our safe arrival and departure policy and procedure.
Parents are our strongest partners in education and together we can work to ensure children’s safety. Everyone is encouraged to ensure that custody, access changes or safety concerns affecting your child are brought to the school’s attention immediately. Staff members at our schools are caring, dedicated and have genuine concern for your child’s safety and well-being. It’s important to keep your child’s teacher and school informed about changes that may be affecting your child or safety concerns you may have. All information shared with the school will be kept strictly confidential.
Thank you to everyone who shared the amber alert and who provided assistance in looking for the child. If you have questions or concerns about our safe arrival or departure policy and procedure, please speak to your child’s teacher or the school principal.
Director of Education