Principals and superintendents of local school districts are making sure parents know that they have security drills and measures in place in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, CT last week.
"The safety and security of students, staff and other school community members continues to be the focus of our school district," a letter from Eatontown School District Superintendent Scott McCue and Board of Education President Donna Diedrichsen said.
Officials from all schools offered similar sentiments to parents and students, and West Long Branch School District and Shore Regional High School Interim Superintendent added that counseling services are available for students and staff.
"Principals have spoken to their faculties and apprised them of PreK-12 counseling services available should any student or staff member need to speak to someone regarding this tragedy," LaPrete said in a letter to parents.
Adminstrators said each school has security measures in place and that the drills are practiced by students and teachers.
"Safety and security drills are practiced by both students and staff throughout the school year including lockdowns, evacuations and shelters in place," Tinton Falls School District Superintendent John Russo said in a letter to parents. "These drills are practiced at varied times during the year and varied times during the school day in order to best prepare our students and staff for an emergency. This has become routine for our students and staff."
Russo said administrators met with the Tinton Falls Police to review the school's emergency plans on Monday as well.
The letter from the Eatontown School District stated that the schools conduct safety and emergency drills "regularly" each month with the support of the Eatontown Police Department and the Eatontown Office of Emergency Management.
LaPrete said similar drills are conducted at Shore Regional and the West Long Branch School District twice each month.
"The drill is taken very seriously and the West Long Branch Police Department has been outstanding in assisting and recommending any modifications or improvements if deemed necessary," LaPrete said.
Russo also outlined the school's security measures that are used each time a parent wishes to enter the school to pick up their child prior to dismissal.
• Guests must use the buzzer at the main door, as all exterior doors are locked.
• Guests will be identified by camera
• Guests will be asked their name and the reason for their visit
• Guests must immediately report to the main office upon entrance where they must sign in and receive a visitor’s badge, which must be worn while in the school
• If the office staff is not familiar with the guest, they will be required to present photo identification.
"These procedures may present an inconvenience, but will be strictly enforced," Russo said.
Monmouth Regional High School posted an announcement on its web site that, "effective immediately all visitors to MRHS will need to produce photo identification upon signing in at the general office."