Sharee Norfleet, Superintendent of the Pettis County R-V School District, sent a letter to parents regarding the safety of the students Monday afternoon (Dec. 17).  The exact text from that letter is as follows:

December 17, 2012

Dear Pettis County R-V Families:

In the aftermath of the school tragedy like the one that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary this past Friday, it is important that educators, parents and community leaders provide appropriate information and support to children and adults who may be experiencing anxiety and stress as a result of this event. At such times, it is also important for our school and community to renew our commitments to taking steps to ensure school and community safety.

I want to assure you that the Pettis County R-V Administration, Faculty, Staff and Board of Education have identified the need for us to review our current practices and procedures related to school safety and crisis response as a top priority. This process began today and will continue in the weeks to come as we learn more about the incident from experts who will guide our efforts to make our schools as safe as possible.

In the meantime, we have heightened security at both schools and will keep all exterior doors locked during school hours. Directions for entry into the buildings will be posted on the doors of all main entrances to our schools. While I know this may prove to be inconvenient, I think we can all agree it is a necessary precaution. I also want to encourage you to contact me, or one of the building administrators, if you ever have concerns about the security of our buildings or the safety of our students.

Our building counselors are available to speak with you and share resources that you might find helpful when speaking to your child about the tragedy at Sandy Hook or other tragic events that are similar in nature. Please don’t hesitate to call if they can be of assistance to you or your family!

This is an emotional time for all of us as we deal with the aftermath of this horrific event. While our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families and the community members of Sandy Hook, please remember our children and community members as well. I hope that my words have in some way assured you that the District is doing everything possible to keep your children safe while in our care and that we will continue to work toward improving the means by which we do this. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have specific questions or suggestions related to the safety of our schools.

Sincerely,
Sharee Norfleet,
Superintendent of Schools

In addition to the letter, parents of students in the Smithton R-VI school district were contacted by phone.  Here is a voicemail that one parent received:

What other precautions (if any) would you like to see our area schools provide?  Let us know in our survey.