Tragedy in Connecticut – Message from SMPD & SMFC Superintendent’s Letter to Parents

A Message from the San Mateo Police Department

San Mateo Police Department’s collective hearts also go out to the victims, families, and loved ones affected by today’s tragedy in Connecticut.
SMPD Chief Manheimer said “we have been working closely with our local school district administrators since early this morning to keep them updated on the evolving situation and assess any local threats and need for additional actions.
Given the fact that it appears this is an isolated and targeted incident, we sent officers to each of our local school sites this morning simply to reassure them, review protocols, and see if there were any additional needs that they had.”
As always, SMPD is dedicated to working in close collaboration with our schools, and will continue to assess and review safety and security measures with our school sites and administration to ensure we protect and prepare our local school community.

SMFC Schools
Superintendent’s Letter to Parents Regarding Tragedy in Newtown, CT

Dear Parents,

I am deeply troubled to hear about the shooting that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut this morning that resulted in the deaths of students and staff members. My heart goes out to the community and the families of the victims.

The San Mateo and Foster City Police Departments have visited our campuses today to assure the schools of their support and availability. They will have an increased presence in the community throughout the day and evening. While there is no indication that this is anything but an isolated incident, we do want to take this opportunity to remind our families that we conduct regular drills, including those for a building lockdown, and that we have a check-in process for all visitors to the campus. This is a stark reminder of the importance of our safety procedures and our check-in processes for all visitors to campuses.

It is imperative that you assist us as parents in following our front office procedures when arriving on campus. Use front entrances only when visiting schools and check into the office immediately upon arrival. Don’t forget to let us know when you are leaving. Exits and entrances are locked throughout the day and should not be propped open by staff or parents for any reason. These are just a few of the procedures we must enforce to help ensure we know who is on campus at all times. Certainly in this day and age we can never be absolutely protected against all circumstances, but we do train our staff and rely on our parents to help us enforce our own procedures.

The San Mateo-Foster City School District has been working closely with our police departments to review and assess security measures on each school site and have very sound procedures and protocols in place. Student safety and school security is our highest priority. Please continue to help us by being our eyes and ears on campus and reporting any safety concerns you notice.

We will learn more details in the hours and days ahead and will discuss and debrief with administrators and staff accordingly. As a parent, I am heavy-hearted by the tragedy that occurred today. Please keep the families of those involved in this terrible situation in your prayers.

With much care,
Dr. Cynthia Simms

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