Flags flew at half-staff in honor of the shooting victims at Sandy Hook Elementary. In
"I've visited both a middle school and an elementary school and from my perspective it seems like the elementary school maybe was impacted a little bit more," says Steve Edwards of the Frederick County Public Schools.
"There was one parent at one of our elementary schools, that I was at, that did come in and did not express great concern, but just wanted to kind of make sure that everything was okay," says Mitch Peeling, Director of Student Support Services for Frederick County Schools.
School officials say they're not only paying close attention to the needs of students after the tragedy, but their parents as well. They say if parents have any questions or need to talk to a counselor, they are available to help.
"It's important for parents to know that our school administrators and counselors are available if they need some advice," says Edwards. "By all means give the school a call and ask to speak with our counselors and they'll be more than happy to give some advice and expertise."
"All of our schools have crisis management plans in place," Edwards says. "Those plans are reviewed annually. Staff is trained in how to deal with a variety of situations that may occur during the school day. Our schools have secured entrances, which means that visitors to the schools are directed or they're met by someone at the front door, as soon as they enter the building."
They say discussions about Friday's tragedy with young children should be dealt with caution.
"The only thing that we ask parents to do, especially with the younger children, is to make sure that they turn off the TV," says Peeling. "If a child sits there and watches TV without an adult to help them make sense of it, it's very difficult for a young child to process the information like that."
As for teachers, officials say they want the school day to operate as a normal day unless a student asks about the shooting.
The Winchester Police say they're working to update plans with the schools in case of a similar emergency.
"We hope a similar situation will never happen here, but by working with our partners in the community we can make sure we do everything possible to ensure we are fully prepared to deal with any situation that may threaten our children and our community," says Chief Kevin Sanzenbacher.