The following is a statement released Sunday, June 6, 2010, by Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith:
To the PPS community:
My heart, and the hearts of everyone who is a part of Portland Public Schools, goes out to Kyron Horman and his family.
We are all wishing for Kyron's safe return as quickly as possible and we are grateful for the efforts of all the law enforcement agencies who have worked so tirelessly over the past 48 hours to determine the cause of Kyron's disappearance, locate him and return him safely home.
The reported disappearance of a student from one of our schools is unprecedented and deeply troubling. Portland Public Schools is doing everything we can to assist the authorities in their effort to find Kyron.
I appreciate the many parents, students and school staff who have been providing information about Friday's events – especially everyone who came to Skyline today to talk to investigators – and I encourage anyone who may have seen Kyron on Friday to come forward, if they have not yet done so. (If you think you may have information that could be helpful, you can contact authorities at: 503-261-2847)
Support to Skyline and all schools
In the wake of this event, we are taking several immediate steps to provide support to Skyline and its families, as well as families across our school district. In addition, we are also reviewing school district policies and protocols to strengthen and speed communication between our schools and our families.
Here is what we will put in place at Skyline elementary tomorrow:
Our Crisis Response Team will be available to provide counseling support to Skyline students, staff and families all day on Monday and Tuesday. The school psychologist assigned to Skyline and Roosevelt High School will also be on site all day. Up to five professional counseling staff will be available in room 203 at Skyline.
Two school resource officers will be in place to provide enhanced security at Skyline School.
Here are additional steps we are taking at Skyline and at all schools across the district:
As of Monday, June 7, 2010, we are mandating the use of our automated attendance call system at every K-8 and K-5 school, so that families will be notified of any unexcused absence during the day the absence is recorded. (Because this policy is not currently in place at all schools, it may take a day or two to fully implement the automated system. Until the system is implemented, we are requiring schools that do not use the automated attendance system to call families directly when there is an unexcused absence.)
We are re-emphasizing our existing policy requiring all school staff, contractors and volunteers to display their I.D. badges and for visitors to sign-in and wear name tags at every school, during school hours. Any visitors who refuse to sign-in and wear a name tag will be asked to leave.
We have put in place a counseling hotline that is available to anyone who needs advice or support, in particular how to help children address the safety and emotional issues raised by this situation. That number will be staffed starting at 8:30 a.m. Monday morning. The phone number is: 503-916-3931.
We are convening a team of school district leaders, including deputy superintendents, principals and school security services, as well as leaders of the Portland Association of Teachers, to review arrival and dismissal practices and identify ways we can ensure a smooth, well-coordinated transition of student supervision between families and teachers at the beginning and end of the school day.
As part of this effort, we will review our visitor sign-in practices for school events that invite large numbers of family members and community members into our schools.
We will continue to hope for Kyron Horman's safe and speedy return to his family. In the meantime, Portland Public Schools will continue to do everything we can to aid law enforcement in this investigation and make every effort possible to ensure that students are closely supervised and monitored throughout the day at all our schools.