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Heights Schools Re-evaluate Safety, Security Practices in Wake of Tragedy

Heights schools administrative team has begun making some changes this week to its regular safety practices and is working on long-term solutions.

The Hasbrouck Heights school administrative team has already begun re-evaluating its routine safety practices in the wake of Friday's horrific tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

As per a letter sent to parents Monday, schools administrators have outlined some of the immediate measures they plan to put in place to improve safety. They are also working with the borough's police department officials seeking their input for some possible long term solutions.

Beginning Tuesday the schools now ask parents who need to drop off items to their children, such as lunch or books, to only do so between 9 and 10 a.m. This measure is being taken in order to limit the amount of visitors in the schools so they can better keep track.

Also, unless a scheduled appointment has been made, all visitors will no longer be buzzed in after ringing the bell but rather escorted by a staff member who will meet them at the door, according to the letter.

All three of the district's school buildings have already had security measures in place by way of locked doors during school hours and visitors have always had to be buzzed in by staff members.

Even before Friday's tragedy forced administrators to look at new security measures the school board had previously spoken of upgrading the cameras and intercom system at both Euclid and Lincoln elementary schools. 

New cameras had recently been added in some of the schools such as the a measure in the effort to combat bullying.

The letter also reminds parents to only use the schools' front doors for access going forward and there are plans to add additional security cameras at the start of the new year

School Superintendent Mark Porto did not immediately return requests for comment.

Patch will update as more information becomes available.

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