Starting today, students in Stow and Munroe Falls will see a heightened police presence when they go to school.

Dr. Russell Jones, superintendent of the Stow-Munroe Falls School District, contacted parents by phone Sunday night to tell them that the school shooting in Connecticut forever changed how things are done at schools.

"Last Friday we all experienced the unimaginable, the most horrific events that I have experienced as a professional educator," he said. "What we saw and what we heard was simply unbelievable. This has changed everything. Just like September 11 changed how we travel at airports, what happened last Friday has changed what happens at our schools."

So this week, local police will have "a very heavy police presence in all of our buildings." The Board of Education, as well as mayors Sarah Drew of Stow and Frank Larson of Munroe Falls, along with police chiefs Rick Myers of Munroe Falls and Louis Dirker of Stow, will work together to develop a plan to have "a physical security presence in every single building for the long term."

This is the district's last week in session before the two-week winter break begins.

Jones said in the meantime, principals will review security procedures with teachers and staff, who will make sure that all perimeter doors are locked and there is only one entrance to each school building.

"I can assure you that all our buildings are safe and we are committed to making sure all teachers and staff members will be able to do their jobs, and that our students will be able to learn in a safe environment," he said.

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