Plainview's top school administrators worked through the weekend reviewing the district's security measures in the wake of the heinous school shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut.
Dr. Lorna Lewis, Plainview's Superintendent, told the Board of Education Monday night that the district had additional security in place Monday and was ready to counsel students who needed to talk about Friday's tragedy in Newtown.
The district tightened its security measures, especially at its morning- and after-school centers, Lewis said, and will conduct a new security audit of its buildings and emergency planning.
Friday's horrific events weighed heavily over Monday's Board of Education meeting.
The evening opened with a short concert by the Plainview JFK Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Glenn Rubin. One of the pieces performed was a solemn string composition called "Confluence." Rubin dedicated it as "a memorial for Newtown."
Board President Amy Pierno began the regular meeting with 26 seconds of silence, one for each of the children and teachers murdered on Friday.
"Safety and security of our students is always paramount, and we are always looking for ways to make improvements," Dr. Lewis said. "We've just experienced a horrific event."
She acknowledged that the before- and after-school hours were not being monitored as closely as they could have been. The district fixed the problem on Monday, she said, a fact confirmed by one parent who thanked the board for the additional measures.
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Going forward, the district will examine additional surveillance equipment, security personnel and an updated emergency plan.
The district already has a detailed plan in place that was rehearsed in a "table top" exercise during the last school year, said Ryan Ruf, the district's assistant superintendent for business.
During that exercise, school officials worked with the federal Office of Homeland Security and were joined by members of the Nassau County SWAT team and Emergency Services Unit, along with Plainview firefighters and other first responders. Ruf said that plan will be reviewed again in the wake of the tragedy and updated as needed.