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TO:                  Superintendents of Schools


FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner of Education


DATE:             December 22, 2003


RE:                   The Country’s Heightened Alert Status and Emergency Messages to Schools



            As many of you already know, Secretary Tom Ridge of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced on Sunday, December 21, 2003 that the U.S. Government was raising the national threat level from Elevated Risk of terrorist attack (Code Yellow) to High Risk of terrorist attack (Code Orange).


            With this heightened alert status I would ask that each of you be mindful that I or a member of my staff may need to communicate important information to you and your schools on very short notice.  It is essential that we are able to get messages to you even over the holiday break.  If each of you (or your designated staff person who typically receives broadcast e-mails from the Department) would be sure to review e-mail on a daily basis even over the holiday break, it would ensure that your staff, students, parents, and community have the most up-to-date information in an emergency situation.


            As a reminder, the subject line for an emergency message from the Commissioner will always read as follows:  URGENT EMERGENCY MESSAGE FROM COMMISSIONER SUSAN A. GENDRON


            I’d like to thank each of you for your attention to this matter and I send my best to you and yours for a safe and happy holiday season.