By CHRISTOPHER HOFFMAN, Special to The Courant
The Hartford Courant
5:31 PM EST, December 17, 2012
Police officers were at all four town public schools Monday as students returned to classes for the first time since Friday's mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
"We had police presence in all of the buildings off and on all day just to reassure students," Assistant Superintendent Paula Talty said.
The schools prepared for Monday's classes with faculty and leadership team meetings, Talty said. In addition, counselors were available to students or staff feeling anxious in the wake of last week's tragedy.
The district is also reviewing its safety measures and security protocols, Talty said.
Numerous students and faculty, especially at Edna C. Stevens School, came to school dressed in green and white, the colors of Sandy Hook school, in honor of those who killed, Talty said.
Overall, the day went "as well as one could expect," Talty said. She praised faculty and staff for making the day as normal as possible.
"Overall, I would say the day was very calm, very quiet and very productive," Talty said. "The faculty, administrators and staff handled today so professionally. Their focus was on the kids, which it is every day. They focused on the students and making today a very good day for students. They were very successful."
Talty said officers would be back at the town's schools tomorrow. It's too early to say how long the added police presence will last, she said.
Meanwhile, First Selectwoman Mertie Terry announced that her office is accepting donations for Newtown, which she will deliver to that town's first selectman. The town has also offered to help Newtown with police, public works and social services, if needed, she said.
Terry said she also asked the town's clergy to reach out to their colleagues in Newtown.
"Our hearts are broken," Terry said. "The pain that the citizens of Newtown feel is shared by all of us in Cromwell."
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