Colorado schools are reviewing security measures in wake of the Connecticut school shooting

Some districts require visitors to show ID

DENVER - Colorado schools are reviewing security measures in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Denver area schools are looking to make changes, if needed, to their security plans after the mass shooting at the school in Newton, Conn. Many local district officials met with security teams or law enforcement Monday morning to talk about reviewing plans already in place and assessing whether they need improvements.

"We don't want it to be a knee-jerk reaction," said Douglas County Public School spokesman Randy Barber.

Douglas County Schools will increase police presence at all of its schools and will review current safety procedures to see if there needs to be changes.

Almost all of the school districts in Colorado conduct "lockdown" drills, where students stay in place and school entry doors are locked. Denver, Cherry Creek, Weld and Douglas County have similar drills, at least twice a year, to teach students what to do in an emergency.

Denver Public Schools staff recently went through an active shooter drill, with several other local agencies, back in 2011.

The drill "was critical for adults, so they know what to do," said DPS spokeswoman Kristy Armstrong.

Cherry Creek public schools spokeswoman Tustin Amole said parents will now be required to show an ID to enter any school. The policy has been in place for a number of years, but some staff would let parents they know to bypass the rule. Amole said that will now change and hopes parents understand the new security procedure.

Amole also said the district is reminding staff to remain on a heightened alert.

She wanted viewers to know that there are security cameras in all Cherry Creek Schools that can be accessed by security personnel or police if there is an emergency inside a school building.

A Jefferson County Public Schools official said the district has heightened its security awareness. The official said the district is confident in its current security measures.

Aurora Public Schools isn't doing anything drastically different. A district spokesperson said it is reviewing all safety procedures. The district is also working with the Aurora Police Department to increase patrols around schools.

The district does several safety drills, with and without students, involving different scenarios, including a drill on a school bus hijacking.

Adams 12 Five Star said it isn't making any major security policy changes, but wanted parents to know that it continues to install a buzzer-entry system, like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary, that will prohibit people from entering the school. 

Adams 12 District spokesperson Pat Hamilton said half of the entry systems have been installed in its elementary schools and the other half will be installed by the end of the school year.

7NEWS asked Hamilton if the school is re-examining the buzzer system, since the suspected shooter, Adam Lanza, was able to bypass the system. Hamilton said the district believes the system is effective and safe.

Classroom doors in Weld County Public Schools will remain locked until further notice.

District spokeswoman Theresa Myers said all principals are to talk with staff about the district’s security procedures starting Monday.

Myers also told 7NEWS principals in all schools will greet students and make sure they safely leave each school day.

The district is also telling staff to call 911 if there is anything suspicious.

Boulder Valley Schools said in Monday statement that it is reviewing its security procedures. "As part of the build out of the nearly $300 million bond project, many schools saw significant redesign of their administrative space to allow more direct office oversight of their building's front entrance," wrote district Superintendent Bruce K. Messinger.

He added that any parent or volunteer entering a school is expected to go first to the office, sign in, receive a name tag and then return that name tag to the office when they sign out.

Aurora Public Schools, Adams 12 5 Star, and Englewood didn't return calls from 7NEWS. When they do, we will update the story.

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