October 17, 2023


Dear School Community Member:


Over the course of the last week, the Park Ridge School District was deeply saddened by the awful details of the terrorist attack on Israel and the unimaginable suffering of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians. The Park Ridge School District prides itself on being a compassionate community of people who care deeply about one another, and I want to acknowledge the devastation and fear that members of our community may feel. The violence and destruction taking place in the Middle East is difficult to comprehend. Please know that our thoughts are with all the families who have been impacted by this latest conflict.

As always, our focus has been on the children and staff entrusted to our care. Our teachers were notified earlier last week to monitor students or staff members who might be upset because of the conflict. We recognize that members of the community may feel distressed, isolated, and vulnerable, and reassure you that you are not alone in these emotions, and that support is available for our students, their families, and our staff. Our Child Study Team members, Guidance staff, and Therapeutic Counselors are trained to help navigate these complex emotions and will continue to be available to meet with those who seek extra support. Please feel free to reach out to your child’s principal if you need to speak with any of these professionals.


Unfortunately, the content being shared on social media is graphic and vividly painful, especially to those who have deep connections to the Middle East. I know the parents in Park Ridge are always vigilant in monitoring what their children are viewing on the internet, so all I ask is that you continue to do so.

For those of you who have been or plan on talking to your child about these current events, please be reminded that our staff is here to answer your questions or help guide your conversation. In addition, I have included the resources below for your review:

Resilience in a time of war: Tips for parents and teachers of elementary school children: This article from the American Psychological Association can help adults guide their young children beyond fear and to resilience. 

Resilience in a time of war: Tips for parents and teachers of middle school children: The American Psychological Association provides tips and strategies for parents and teachers of middle school-aged children.

How to Talk to Your Children About Conflict and War: UNICEF’s guide offers eight tips to support and comfort your children.

In closing, please rest assured that your children are safe and secure in school. As a district, we stand unequivocally against hate and violence. Our administrators and teachers work hard to provide our students with a learning environment that is free of hostility and bias. If you find that this is not the case, please contact your child’s principal or teacher immediately.

Thank you for your time.


Robert M. Gamper, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools