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NHCS superintendent offers reassurance about school safety

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- In the wake of Friday's school shooting in Connecticut, New Hanover County Schools Superintendent Dr. Tim Markley has sent a letter to schools, parents and the community about school safety here.

Dear Parents, Staffs and Community Members:

We extend our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to all of the families involved in the Newtown tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. In the meantime, we will remain diligent in providing security and protection here in the New Hanover County Schools.

I believe it is important for us to come together as a community in the aftermath of the horrific tragedy that occurred last Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. This is a difficult time for us all and especially for parents with school-age children. When something like this occurs, it is understandable that we would have concerns. I have included a link with some information which you may find beneficial from the National Association of School Psychologists about helping children cope. http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/CaregiverTips.pdf

Please be assured that the safety of all students in New Hanover County Schools is and always will be our first priority. As we prepare for this final week before the winter holiday break, we have reviewed and increased our safety plans. The following is a list of precautionary measures we are taking:
1. All of our high schools and middle schools have Sheriff's Resource Officers (SROs) on duty.
2. We are working closely with the Wilmington, Carolina Beach, Wrightsville Beach, and Kure Beach Police Departments, as well as the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office. They will increase patrols around our elementary schools.
3. Central Office administrators will be at schools during the week to provide additional support.
4. If students need additional counseling, our team of counselors and social workers are ready to support and assist them.
5. All schools are reviewing their safety procedures including lock down and check-in procedures. Each of our schools has a safety plan and participates in regular lock down drills.

NHCS Safety Officer David Spencer and law enforcement assist with the drills and work with the schools to improve the process.

If you have any questions regarding the safety procedures of your child's school, please contact the principal.

Sincerely,
Tim Markley, Ed.D.

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