Days after Friday's where 27 people, including 20 small children, lost their lives to a gunman, the Riverhead School district met to strengthen security procedures close to home.
Riverhead Central School District Superntendent Nancy Carney said she met Monday with the district's emergency response team.
"We made plans for strengthening our current safety procedures and practices both immediately and in the long term," she said.
Carney also addressed the school population Monday in a hearfelt letter on the district's website, after on Saturday.
"This iisn’t the holiday message I was planning to write. There are no words to adequately describe the feelings of grief, sympathy, and sadness that I am feeling for the students, parents and educators of Sandy Hook Elementary School and Newtown, Connecticut. I am sure you join me in sending our thoughts and prayers to them," she wrote.
"The safety of our students has been and continues to remain the top priority of this district," Carney said.
Security guards, she said, are posted at each building; each guard undergoes extensive training mandated by New York State.
In addition, Carney said, the district's buildings have self-locking exterior doors and security cameras to allow staff to monitor, remotely, all entrances and hallways. Additionally, administrators and security officials carry emergency radios with them at all times.
Along with the outlined precautions, Carney said the district practices safety with students on a frequent basis, including an early release drill, a lock down drill, a lock out drill and twelve fire drills per year.
All students who travel to school by bus also practice three emergency procedures each year.
Carney said counseling will be available to students and staff all week.
"Throughout this week, and continuing on an as-needed basis, we will make our counselors, psychologists and social workers available to students and staff who need support," she said. "We will keep our daily routines intact to provide a sense of security and normalcy for our students. Nothing can ever erase this horrible tragedy, but we will continue to place the safety of our students above all as we recover and move forward together."