Local school districts feel confident about their emergency plans, but in light of Friday's shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., are especially vigilant about making sure those plans are followed and everyone understands exactly how they work.
Ogden, Weber and Davis districts all hold regular drills, including fire, earthquake and intruder drills, according to officials from each district.
In Ogden School District, a detailed emergency plan is hanging on each classroom wall of every school in the district, with explicit instructions for any emergency situation, said Ogden District spokeswoman Donna Corby. If an intruder does enter the building, administrators are to make an announcement over the intercom that an intruder has entered the building.
"There is no secret code," Corby said.
Both Corby and Davis School District Communication Director Chris Williams pointed out that the intruder at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., got into the school and opened fire despite the school's emergency plan. But that is no reason to not be vigilant, Williams said.
Weber District's spokesman Nate Taggart said the incident was discussed in every faculty meeting Monday morning at all the schools. The emergency plans were discussed and different scenarios were brought up and addressed. He said he received phone calls from parents in the district suggesting ideas for making some schools safer, and he heard from some parents wanting assurance that safety precautions were being taken.
Administrators and teachers have also been instructed to watch for children who may be struggling or seem scared and talk with them.
"We have counselors on hand to be able to talk to them," Taggart said.
And all three districts' officials said everyone in their district has been on a bit higher alert for anything unusual to make sure there are no copy-cat incidents.
Corby said those measures were put into effect immediately after the incident in Newtown on Friday.
"Securing the students' safety and well-being is always the top priority," Corby said.
All three district officials said they have been impressed with the cooperation from local law enforcement officials.
"Just today I was at Roy High School and there was the police chief meeting with the principal about safety," Taggart said.
Corby spoke with Ogden Police Lt. Daniel Croyle, who oversees the district's school resource officers, to talk about extra protective measures in the secondary schools, a place where copycat crimes could occur, Corby said.
Williams said he had spoken with staff at schools in Kaysville who noticed a heightened presence of police officers in that city.
"It's always good to know they are looking out for things," he said.
Williams added that one of the big things they share with teachers, administrators and students is that their eyes are sometimes the best.
"If we have 800 eyes and 800 ears at some elementary schools, watching and listening for things that may seem different or not quite right, that can make a huge difference," he said.
Students are instructed that if they notice something not quite right to immediately contact a trusted adult and let them know.
Taggart said several of the schools in Weber School District are modifying their entrance and exit points and asking delivery drivers and other school visitors to only enter through the main doors.
Corby said that is a policy in Ogden District as well, but a policy that the district will be making sure is more closely monitored.
"Anything like this always makes us take pause and re-examine our practices and processes," Corby said. "We are vigilant and on heightened alert."
Williams said one thing the district and the community in general don't want to do is stop living their normal lives.
"Things can happen," Williams said, "but we cannot stop living our lives. What we need to do is look out for each other."