September 16, 2019

Dear NUSD Community,

Yesterday, tragedy again struck our NUSD family with a fatal car accident involving three of San Marin High School students.  It pains me to share that one of our students died at the scene and the other two were transported to local hospitals.

The Novato Unified School District is deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our condolences, hearts and thoughts go out to the families and friends of these three students.  Out of respect for the families involved, we are not releasing any other information at this time.

As soon as the Novato Police Department made NUSD aware of this event, we implemented our district’s Crisis Response Plan to provide an appropriate response to the situation. This plan is designed to provide robust assistance to our students, their friends, families and staff. 

We have a team of counselors and support staff at multiple campuses today and will continue these efforts throughout this week to support the entire school community.  We are cognizant that this event touches many lives across our Novato community, and we continue to prioritize our centering focus on fostering a culture of caring.

You may notice some changes in your child’s behavior as a result of this tragedy.  They may feel shocked, sad, angry, afraid, worried, or numb. Any of these feelings are normal after such an incident.  Your child might not feel like eating, or may eat more than usual. They may also sleep considerably more or less than usual and may experience unpleasant dreams or nightmares.  Your child may seem preoccupied, argumentative, less cooperative or communicative, or simply different. Headaches and/or stomach aches are other common responses to tragic incidents.  Your child may also have trouble completing school assignments.

We encourage you to talk with your child about what has happened.  Talking with a parent/guardian and/or trusted adult is very helpful for children as they try to cope with and work through tragedies in their lives.

Attached to this letter is some information that might be helpful to you if your child is having difficulty or needs support. If you are concerned about your child’s wellness, please feel free to call your child’s school. All our staff at Novato Unified are on heightened alert as they seek to ensure that our students emotional needs are cared for within our culture of caring.  

If you notice that your child is not feeling better within the next few weeks, or if you wish to talk with a counselor, please feel free to contact the principal at your child’s school for help. Support staff at your child’s school will be glad to answer any questions or provide support and guidance as needed.  

During times of tragedy, it is essential that we come together to support and care for one another. We are blessed to live in a community that will wrap its arms around all of those affected by this tragedy whether it be a student, family member, staff member, first responder, or a community member who rose above to help with this tragic accident.


Kris Cosca, Superintendent

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