H-SANTA MARIA

Jan 4, 2013 8:31 PM by Nikki Ibarra

Santa Maria elementary schools to revisit safety plans, following Connecticut school shooting

Winter break is almost over for most Santa Maria students, as they head back to school next week.

This will be the first time they will be in their classrooms since the Connecticut school shooting in December; and that has some school board members talking about safety.

"We are much more aware and much more prepared for safety issues that might arise," said Linda Cordero, Santa Maria-Bonita school board president.

Cordero said the board, as well as administrators, will revisit school safety plans. "Schools have, you know, a lot more responsibility than just the reading and math types of things, you know. We do have to make sure that they're prepared to go out into the world to address all of the things that they will encounter," added Cordero.

Under the California Education Code, each school is required to have a safety plan.

"There's no prevention for everything but preparation certainly, you know, will reduce the risk and, you know, allow parents and our staff, you know, to feel that they are in a safe environment," said Cordero.

Part of the plan's practices include, lockdown drills, which administrators, teachers and students practice a couple of times a year. "Teachers are prepared so when they hear that they know exactly what to do and, you know, they start giving directions to students and it happens very quickly," added Cordero.

Cordero said there could be some additions to the safety plans following the Connecticut school shooting but, she said, that will be up to the district's safety committee.

"It's sad that we have to address this but we would certainly be very foolish not to," said Cordero.

Each school has its own safety plan.

The plans are available for parents to read at the school district offices or at each school campus.

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