Our hearts go out to all who were affected today at Sandy Hook Elementary. It is a terrible, terrible tragedy for our nation.
Fairfax County Public Schools has released the following email alert concerning their safety and security procedures:
A message from FAIRFAX COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
In response to today’s tragic school shootings in Newtown, Conn. (sic), FCPS would like to share with parents and employees some of the safety procedures in place. Because of our proximity to the nation’s capital, FCPS has focused a great deal of attention to these procedures, and is vigilant about protecting the safety of its students and employees. The school division has spent considerable time and effort in planning and practicing safety and security measures appropriate for addressing a major critical incident. You are encouraged to review the Emergency Preparedness and Support website at http://www.fcps.edu/emergencyplan/index.shtml . Among these measures are:
- Close coordination and emergency planning with Fairfax County police and fire departments.
- Comprehensive division-wide crisis management plan.
- Individual school crisis plans – updated within the last 12 months – that include evacuation, shelter-in-place, and parent reunification plans.
- Employee training in crisis management and communication.
- Strict visitor controls, including required employee and contractor IDs.
- Door access technology to aid in visitor control for all elementary and middle schools.
In addition, we have Fairfax County police officers, as school resource officers, present in all secondary, high schools and middle schools; school-based security staffs in all secondary, high and middle schools; and uniformed security staff patrolling all elementary schools during regular school hours and all FCPS facilities after hours. While no methodology is fool-proof, FCPS is fortunate to be in an area where the school division and the county work together to take every precaution in the event of an emergency.
Our thoughts are with the families and staff of Sandy Hook Elementary School and the residents of Newtown.
This communique makes a very important distinction. No matter what extent of precaution one takes, almost “no methodology is fool-proof.” Nevertheless, we are grateful for all their efforts and pray for peace amongst all those affected.