October 10, 2023

Dear SPS Community,

Over the weekend we learned of the horrific attacks in Israel, and have continued to watch as devastating events and news have unfolded in the following days. These tragedies are unfathomable. Our hearts and our thoughts are with all who are impacted by these events. 

For any student or staff member who is affected in any way by this tragedy, SPS has support available, including trained staff who are here to help. If you or someone you know does need support, please reach out to one of our school-based social workers, or your school’s main office staff. Please also check in with your friends and your loved ones in times of need, offer support and sympathy, and provide safe spaces for others as needed. 

In the Somerville Public Schools, we reaffirm that hate of any kind has no place in our district or in our community. Anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic rhetoric, language, behaviors, and actions are not, and will not, be tolerated. Any hateful language, imagery, or actions – against any group or individual – should be reported immediately to school or district administration and appropriate action will be taken as per district policies.

It is our hope that we can come together as a community, lead with kindness and compassion toward our fellow residents, and offer comfort in the days and weeks ahead.


Dr. Rubén Carmona, Superintendent of Schools
Mayor Katjana Ballantyne
Somerville Public School Office of Equity and Excellence

Resources for Families and Staff

-How to Talk to Kids after Incidents of Mass Violence (EmbraceRace.org)
-Talking to Children About Traumatic Events (Riverside Trauma Center)
-Coping with Violence (National Association for the Education of Young Children)
-Supporting Students, Staff, Families, and Communities Impacted by Violence (University of Maryland School of Medicine)
-Ways to Support Employees After Tragic Event (The Diversity Movement)