Barron County (WQOW) – The Barron Area School District is focusing on recovery, just as 13-year-old Jayme Closs’ family is.
The school district has played a vital role in helping to keep hope alive in the community during the nearly three months Jayme was missing.
The events included a balloon release, a Tree of Hope lighting ceremony, both held at Riverview Middle School, and a Gathering of Hope at the high school in Barron.
Related Story: Balloon ceremony held for Jayme Closs
“Right now, incredibly wonderful that she’s been found and I just want parents to know how we will handle it as a school district, especially at the elementary level,” said Jennifer Clemens, principal at Woodland Elementary School.
Jennifer Clemens sent out a letter to parents of elementary school students, explaining that the faculty will do their best to dispel rumors and fear, and continue to talk about the importance of safety.
“We do want our elementary kids to maintain their innocence for as long as possible, and you walk this line between giving them enough information to be strong and resilient, and be safe, but also to be innocent,” said Clemens.
Scott Stralka, the directing principal at Riverview Middle School, said not knowing where Jayme closs was for the nearly three months was tough.
“We have the luxury of a small-knit community that is supportive that it just become second nature to take care of our kids and our community. So we have outstanding resources in this community,” said Stralka.
Superintendent Diane Tremblay of the Barron Area School District said resources for staff and kids include counselors, along with local and state-federal resources.
“I’m proud. I’m very proud to be part of this community, part of this school district,” said Stralka.
“To Jayme herself, I’m so sorry for her loss, and I think she is one of the bravest little girls I have ever known. What an ordeal,” said Clemens.
The Barron Area School District has a slogan ‘To Be Golden Like A Bear’. Tremblay said, “Jayme brought that to a whole new level.”