CALGARY – Grief counselors will be made available to staff and students at both Ernest Manning High School and Westmount Charter School following the death of twins Jordan and Evan Caldwell at Canada Olympic Park (COP).
The brothers died after taking an after-hours toboggan run down the facility’s luge-bobsled track on Saturday. The pair was pronounced dead at the scene and six others were rushed to hospital.
Both brothers attended Westmount Charter School in northeast Calgary from Grade 5 – 10, but Evan moved to Ernest Manning High School for Grade 11 and 12 to take a specialized engineering class.
The CBE said Sunday it would make counseling services available to students and staff who need support.
“The Calgary Board of Education sends our deepest condolences to the family of Evan and Jordan Caldwell,” the CBE said in a statement posted to its website. “Our thoughts are with the injured young men, their families and our grieving students.”
Westmount Charter School Superintendent Joe Frank and CBE Area Director Calvin Davies gathered together on Monday to speak about the resources available for students, families and staff.
“I think it’s really important when such a devastating tragedy such as this occurs, for us to realize there’s a whole range of responses,” Davies said. “We’ve put into place at our schools, both here at Westmount and at Ernest Manning, a very flexible support system so that we can respond to the range of emotions that take place.”
Frank said three tables have been placed throughout Westmount Charter School to allow students to pay tribute to the boys.
“Those tributes will be gathered, in what whatever form they are, and provided to the family,” Frank said.
“Both of these boys, their influence and impact was far reaching,” Davies said. “We want to make sure that we’re there to support our students, families and staff across the city.”
Davies wore a blue ribbon while he spoke. He said the two legs of the ribbon represented the two teens, while the colour blue is both symbolic of Ernest Manning and Westmount Charter School.
In a statement released on Sunday, family said Evan was responsible for reading the morning announcements over the PA system at Ernest Manning.
“The morning announcements are never going to be the same,” Grade 11 student Alexis said to Global News when arriving at school on Monday. “It’s just really sad.”
Meanwhile, Westmount Charter School Principal Janneke Frank remembered Grade 12 student and student council president Jordan as “an inspirational and respected leader in our school community.”
“Students and staff will remember Jordan and Evan as remarkable individuals and an unforgettable duo at Westmount,” Frank said in the statement.
– With files from Dallas Flexhaug, Erika Tucker and The Canadian Press
Watch below: Global’s ongoing coverage of the sledding incident at Calgary Olympic Park
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