SAU 57 Superintendent Michael Delahanty said he expected discussions about school security and emergency response to begin again locally in the wake of Friday's school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Delahanty said Salem schools did not take extra precautions or change any of their normal school day protocols as a result of the shooting.
Without knowing full details on what happened in Connecticut, Delahanty said it could have been "potentially more problematic" to change protocols or increase police presence at schools. Some local communities did make changes Friday.
As fate would have it, Delahanty said Salem High School conducted a lockdown drill Friday morning, before news of the Connecticut shooting broke.
"The timing was coincidental and beneficial, in that it happened before and not immediately following the news," Delahanty said.
Delahanty said the schools have a number of emergency protocols in place, ones they go over with students regularly.
That includes procedures like "return and remain," where everyone in a school is required to return to their classroom if they aren't in one or remain where they are until an all-clear is given.
If someone enters a school and becomes violent, Delahanty said schools will go into a lockdown, where all doors are locked and students remain in place until an all-clear is given.
In the event of an emergency, parents would be notified by e-mail, and Delahanty said currently that's the only means the district has of contacting parents on a large scale.
"We do not have an automatic calling system," Delahanty said. "There is an expense associated with that...I expect this is going to prompt a discussion about that again."
On a day-to-day basis, Delahanty said doors on Salem schools are not locked. In order for all doors to be locked at schools, Delahanty said a staff member would be required to operate a buzzer system to allow entry to schools.
"Staffing is a challenge," Delahanty said, adding at five of the town's eight schools, someone would physically have to open a door to let someone in if all doors were locked.
He expects that to come up in discussions in the wake of Friday's tragedy.
"If I believed a few extra minutes would leave to a safer environment, we would do that in an instant," Delahanty said. "But in my experience, and my understanding of these kind of incidents, the perpertrator is almost always known to individuals in the schools. I'm not saying that's always the case, but many of these people would be allowed in anyway."
This weekend, Delahanty said he expects to consult with other school officials to discuss ways administrators and teachers will address student concerns related to the Connecticut shooting next week.
"Kids are going to be unnerved," he said.