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Communication to School Community

January 22, 2023

Dear Parents, Guardians and Staff, 

I reach out today to say thank you to our entire school community for your continued support of our students, as well as the family and friends of Ava Wood. We recognize the many emotions you may be experiencing and the outpouring of kind thoughts, words, and memories this tragedy may bring up.

I have been asked to share information with our school community from the organizers of the candlelight vigil planned for this evening. We have heard that many of our students and families are planning to attend this gathering. The vigil is taking place at St. Mary’s of the Assumption Church at 47 Syracuse St. in the village of Baldwinsville. The vigil will begin at 7 p.m. and is being live streamed on the St. Mary’s YouTube page. Parent members of our Durgee Jr. High School PTA have been working with St. Mary’s staff to plan this gathering for members of our community. If you are planning to attend this gathering, organizers are asking you to arrive no earlier than 6:00 p.m., in addition to considering carpooling to and from the gathering.

The district’s Crisis Response Team will continue to provide support and counseling to students and staff. A document containing resources and strategies to support you and our students is attached to this communication. Please call or email our support staff in any of our schools if additional support is needed.

Again, I am thankful for our close-knit school community’s support and understanding. Our thoughts remain with Ava’s family and friends during this extremely difficult time. 


Joseph M. DeBarbieri, Acting Superintendent of Schools