McKinney ISD staff joins our community and the rest of the nation in mourning the tragic events that occurred on Friday, Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. We extend our condolences to the families of the victims and all of those impacted.

McKinney ISD considers the safety and security of your children as our top priority. The district works in close partnership with the McKinney Police Dept. and the McKinney Fire Dept. in establishing preventive measures and in the development of our security plans.

The safety measures, which include building access security, controlled visitor access and identification requirements, staff and student lock-down drills each semester, district and local law enforcement agency response plans and other efforts are under constant review. We also perform extensive security audits at each campus, and our campuses and district employ a comprehensive crisis response plan. Our goal is to provide an inviting school atmosphere, while at the same time maintain the highest security possible.

We also understand that such tragedies can create anxiety and concern for both parents and children. While it is difficult to understand or explain such violent actions, we ask for your support in providing your children with reassurances and encouragement. Please know that our counselors are always available to offer support and to provide guidance on how to deal with these difficult situations.

Additional resources on talking to children:

•  apa.org/helpcenter/aftermath.aspx

•  pbs.org/parents/talkingwithkids/news/

•  cmionline.com/get-started/parents/

•  nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/talkingviolence.pdf