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Rochester Schools Report 'Quiet and Calm' Monday With New Safety Measures in Place

Volunteers took shifts at school entrances, and police stepped up patrols around the schools in the wake of the Newtown school shootings.

Rochester Community Schools responded to the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, on Monday with heightened security at each building in the district. 

Interim Superintendent Tresa Zumsteg asked principals in all elementary, middle and high school buildings to lock all exterior doors after students arrived in the morning; either staff members or parent volunteers monitored the front doors of buildings during the day. 

In addition, the Rochester Police Department and Oakland County Sheriff's Office had extra police patrols around the schools. 

"I am pleased to report that Rochester Community Schools had a quiet and calm day, with classroom activities proceeding as normal," Zumsteg said in an email to parents on Monday night.

The district's Critical Incidence Team, which includes administrators, social workers, police officers and PTA members, met to discuss long-term plans and safety protocols on Monday.

That team has called for specific training for school personnel that deals with armed intruders. 

"In the long-term we are looking at how we can implement an enhanced monitoring system in our schools," Zumsteg's email stated. 

"We know that open and frequent communication is one of the key components in bringing a community closer together, and that there is strength in this partnership." 

What was different at your child's school on Monday? Join the conversation on Facebook.

Meredith McCutcheon December 19, 2012 at 05:15 PM
In a time like this, we don't need this kind of hostility. Please, let's focus on how we can fix this for our kids.
Meredith McCutcheon December 19, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Absolutely, Doug. Our kids can't learn unless they feel safe. My second grade son came home Monday with lots of questions about Sandy Hook (of course, kids talked on the playground), and he's been quite unsettled this week. Having all of the doors locked and a staff member stationed at the front door helps a little. And if he feels a little safer, that's wonderful. I also hope that this event will be a tipping point, forcing us to address these cultural issues, forcing us to rethink the way we live and the laws we make.
Steve Clarke December 19, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Let us also hope the Laws we make and any procedures put in place are the result of a rational thought out plan and, not the result of knee jerk policy's put in place by the unknowing few. Sadly this happens all to often.
Steve Clarke December 19, 2012 at 06:01 PM
You are absolutely right. I can't help but wonder what that young teacher, Ms. Soto thought just before she was shot and killed ? I wish I had a gun right now - - - maybe ?
Richard Happening December 20, 2012 at 02:27 AM
This is not going to STOP ALL shootings/wackos.......... An inexpensive way to make our schools SAFER: Install a wireless panic button system in each school. Wireless buttons (on necklaces and other types) could be given to each teacher. There could also be six to eight buttons located strategically throughout each building so that students/others could summon help. In the event of a problem, this would ensure that help arrives just as soon as possible. It also would be somewhat of a deterrent and make me feel much better than simply knowing that a nice parent has volunteered to take the first shot (the current "heightened security" situation). This could be implemented for under $5000 per building and system monitoring would be a minor expense when compared to the benefits- both perceived and real. This would calm a lot of people who are very anxious about something that hopefully will never happen in our area. Doing something that MIGHT actually help is far better than what has been done. Granted, it has only been a few days.

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