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      Liverpool School District responds to Newtown tragedy

      In the wake of the school shooting tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the Liverpool School District has sent a note to parents outlining security protocols at all of the district??s school buildings.

      In the letter sent Monday afternoon, Superintendent Dr. Richard Johns tells parents that ??the safety of our students (your children) is a responsibility that we never lose sight of.?? He goes on to detail steps the district has taken to secure its buildings and answer questions from parents and community members.

      Here is the text of Dr. Johns?? letter:

      Throughout this past weekend, I was contacted by many of you who asked questions regarding security protocols that are in place for all Liverpool Central School District buildings.

      As you know, the safety of our students (your children) is a responsibility that we never lose sight of. The District has a variety of security measures in place in each of our buildings. Each District employee must wear a district-issued ID badge at all times. Schools are to be locked throughout the day and visitors are asked to ring in to be granted access to the building. Visitors also must present a valid ID and be scanned into our Raptor V-Soft Identification System to assist us in keeping unauthorized visitors (and those with criminal records) from entering District schools.

      This morning, each of our building administrators wanted time to speak to their staff and students about security in their schools. Later today I met with my administrative team to discuss District security protocols and brainstorm any additional security measures we might wish to take. We also took time to answer any questions they might have pertaining to communicating with parents throughout the District about what we are doing and why it is important.

      You, as parents, can assist us in our safety efforts by following established procedures when you visit one of our schools. Please make sure you check into the office immediately upon entering a building. While we love having parents involved in their children??s education, we ask that you follow all District regulations to ensure your child??s safety and not interrupt the educational process by visiting classrooms unannounced.

      Please wear your ID badge while in the building and do not forget to tell us when you are leaving the building.

      These protocols have been place in our District for some years, but the tragic events of last Friday have put us in a reflective mode. While no amount of planning can guarantee that a tragedy like this doesn??t happen again, we are doing everything in our power to keep our students and staff safe each day.

      Johns also released a statement over the weekend regarding the Newtown tragedy. Here is the text of that statement:

      Like many of you, the Liverpool Central School District would like to send our deepest thoughts to the families and friends of those impacted by today??s school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. Words cannot express the sympathy that all civilized people share over such a tragic and senseless act of brutality.As you know, the safety of our students (your children) is a responsibility that we at the Liverpool Central School District hold as a backdrop to everything we do. The District has a variety of security measures in place in each of our buildings. Schools are locked throughout the day, and visitors are asked to ring a doorbell to be granted access to the building. Visitors also must present a valid ID to be scanned into our Raptor V-Soft Identification System to assist us in keeping unauthorized visitors (and those with criminal records) from entering District schools.Only those people who belong in the building are allowed in. We have several security systems and protocols in place to ensure that this is the case. Our Security Division regularly performs security audits to be sure that no one becomes lax with these measures. In the aftermath of this tragedy, I have asked our administrators to review these security requirements with their staffs to ensure that our students continue to be safe and secure when they are in our buildings each day.While this tragedy happened elsewhere, our children will be impacted by this news. I encourage you to be aware of what your children are saying about the tragedy throughout the weekend, and reassure them that school is indeed a safe place. If your child needs to have a trained person speak to them about their fears over this incident, please contact the principal at your child??s school.Sincerely,Dr. Richard N. JohnsSuperintendent of Schools