ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — The Adams 12 Five Star school district is looking for new ways to support students and tackle the complicated mental health crisis after several children in the community took their own lives, according to a letter from the superintendent.
The letter, sent to parents and staff members in the district Friday, says that over the past 40 days, five children in the Adams 12 district have died. Several of those students took their own lives, superintendent Chris Gdowski's letter says.
"Words fall woefully short in describing the depth of the pain and grief that parents, teachers, friends and neighbors have felt following these losses," the letter reads.
Gdowski says in his letter that the district is now looking for ways to address what is happening and find solutions.
"I am certain, given the value our community has long placed in the development of our children, that we are up to this task," it reads. "I also realize the path forward will not be easy...there is no single cause underlying these losses or simple strategies to address them - and that the solution will require help that goes well beyond the work in our schools."
The letter says that this week Adams 12 has been reaching out to other Colorado school districts - including Broomfield, Adams County and Westminster - that have experienced similar losses to see what changes they put in place.
They have also been in contact with a local mental health partner and law enforcement to "assess our challenges, needs, current strategies and opportunities to grow our support for students and families," according to the letter.
Gdowski said in the letter that after receiving input and support from these resources, he will reach back out to families with a concrete plan for next steps.
He also encouraged parents to have meaningful conversations with their children about what is going on.
"Please keep those students, families, loved ones and schools who have lost students - recently or in the past - in your thoughts and prayers," Gdowski said in his letter. "Give your children a long and tight hug this weekend. And please work with us, in the days and weeks ahead, to ensure that every child in our Five Star community knows how deeply loved and important they are to us all."
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