Colorado schools take steps to prepare for emotional, physical safety of students after Sandy Hook

DENVER - Schools in Colorado are taking extra steps to prepare for the first day of classes following the mass shooting in Connecticut.

The Cherry Creek School District, for example, met Sunday night to discuss security but also to direct teachers on how to best support students who may be struggling. Superintendent Mary Chelsey left a voicemail to parents tonight reassuring them. Each school will be asking parents to present photo ID Monday as a precaution.

"It's not fair to the little kids cause they don't get to see what the future is like," said 8-year-old Hunter.

"Knowing that there are people out there that like to copycat people like that, it just scares me," said Austin Norden, a 13-year-old student.

School administrators understand fear is present as students go back to class.  Mental Health Coordinator for the district said they will be available to those struggling.

"It's been an emotional weekend for everyone," said Dr. Ronald Lee, the district's mental health coordinator. "We want to be responsive to kids who have special needs or may need something above and beyond the normal day."

Lee said it was important for students and parents to maintain normalcy.

"Remember that kids take their cues from their parents and from adults," he said, "so if they are calm and even about school the next day, then the kids will feel that way too."

In an automated phone message to parents, Cherry Creek Schools Superintendent Mary Chelsey said, "We will be asking you to be prepared to present a photo ID when you enter any of our schools during the school day."

Douglas County schools sent an email to teachers with talking points. They plan to have more counselors available to students and staff. 

Denver Public Schools reviewed security Friday. School leaders sent an email to principals with resources on how to cope with grief and this statement:

"It may be helpful for school staff to talk to students about what has occurred and to reassure the students that they are safe.  Some students may find it helpful to write a card for the victims or do a charity project," the email said.

Although the list of school shootings has sadly grown, Lee reminds families that the classroom is a safe place.

"Statistics show that less than 1 percent of all kids have been killed either going to school or being at school," he said.

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