ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KSDK) - In the Hazelwood School District, safety is top of the mind right now for police, firefighters and administrators.
The district has 18,000 students in more than 30 buildings. That's a lot of young lives spread over a lot of territory. And ever since the tragic shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, Hazelwood leaders have been working on how to best protect those lives.
The groups are working together to tighten security at the schools and some procedures have already been changed.
The first step was working with the Florissant Police Department to add a school resource officer at Northwest Middle School.
Right now the district is also improving its plan for dealing with an intruder in a building. One of the keys will be instructing teachers and students to evade a shooter, rather than just hiding.
But the planning goes beyond just policies. Police and firefighters will walk through every building in the district to identify any gaps in physical security measures.
"We're doing an audit of all of our internal locks," said Diana Gulotta, Assistant Superintendent for Communications. "Not so much the outside locks but actually the classroom door locks. We're also working with the fire department to provide more visible identification of the rooms.
The district doesn't have a comprehensive new security plan in place just yet and leaders are looking for input from the community. In mid-February the district will hold parent forums.
Schools will also run drills with students to work out any kinks as the new security plans are developed.