Boulder Valley School District Superintendent Bruce Messinger sent a letter to parents Monday, outlining the district's safety procedures in response to questions raised by the mass elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

The district also sent a letter Friday, the day of the shootings, to parents offering advice on discussing the tragedy with their children and providing information on district resources for those in need of support.

"As children came back to school today, we knew parents would be saddened and worried about the children in Connecticut -- and also would be starting to reflect on our own schools," Messinger said Monday. "We wanted to provide some reassurance that we do take safety very seriously. It's something we continuously work on."

He said he also touched base with principals before the start of school Monday, encouraging them to increase the adult presence at the start of school and provide reassurance to parents.

In his letter, Messinger noted that the district four years ago received a federal grant to conduct a thorough review of district security practices. Based on the review, the district developed a security plan that included online administrator training through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Each of Boulder Valley's schools developed a security plan specific to its building. The school plans are reviewed annually. Boulder Valley also redesigned administrative spaces at most schools in recent years, creating more direct office oversight of front entrances.


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Every parent or volunteer entering a school is expected to go first to the office, sign in, receive a name tag and then return that name tag to the office when they sign out. All employees are required to wear ID badges.

"It's a balance of trying to have a welcoming environment, but maintain a safe environment for students and staff," Messinger said.