Commack school officials announced recent upgrades were made to the district's security systems after news broke of the Newtown school shooting on Dec. 14.
Commack Superintendent Donald James wrote a letter addressing district parents and local residents about coping with tragedy of the Newtown school shootings, which was posted Sunday on the district's website. It was only sent out to parents who signed up to receive email notifications.
"Regarding security, be assured that our electronic security system was recently upgraded to include digital security cameras that constantly monitor our school buildings and grounds as well as electronic door entry systems. You should know that our security cameras are accessible to law enforcement via our security web portal should an emergency situation arise," James wrote.
Commack Board of Education approved spending $36,421.50 for security upgrades at the primary, intermediate and high schools and $250 for security upgrades at the middle school paid for by an EXCEL grant at its Dec. 13 board meeting.
Commack School officials did not provide further details on these recent security system upgrades.
"We are not seeking publicity, only trying to help parents in dealing with this tragedy," wrote Brenda Lentsch, spokeswoman for the school district.
In his letter, the superintendent said Commack School district locks all entry doorways at each of its buildings, except for those kept manned by a security guard. There are also additional security guards who patrol and monitor the facilities at all times.
James recommends that parents shield their children from the media coverage of the Newtown school shootings.
"Although it may be difficult, please try to shield your children from the barrage of media coverage around this event as exposure will increase their anxiety and threaten their feelings of security. Please spend some time with your children in an effort to help them understand and process any information they may have heard, and encourage them to seek assistance from an adult if they are frightened or upset," the superintendent writes.
Commack schools will review its security procedures and protocals will staff, and implement new procedures if necessary to keep buildings secure.
The district's website links advice from the National Association of School Psychologists for teachers, adults and parents in how to help children cope in times of crisis.
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