BALTIMORE - As you get ready to send your children off to school -- there is no doubt what happened in Newtown, Connecticut has been troubling for you.
Many of you are wondering, how do I talk to my child about what happened and assure them that they are safe?
Schools across the state are struggling with the same questions.
Expect to see more police presence around schools.
Baltimore County Schools superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance says precautionary steps will be taken to increase vigilance at all county schools.
One of the ways they plan to do that is to institute the "keep a check program" which allows police officers to visit schools that don't have school resource officers to make sure they are secure.
In Howard County school officials plan to hold staff meetings first thing this morning to go over emergency plans at each school.
They'll also discuss safety measures that are in place to monitor visitors at schools and how to report suspicious activity.
School counselors will be on hand to help students and staff who may need it in wake of the Sandy Hook shootings.
Teachers have been told to look for signs of distress. If they notice a student struggling they should direct them to a counselor.
And starting today, Howard County police officers also plan to increase patrols at schools in the county.
It isn't just here but around the country that school systems are adding extra police presence and making counselors available as students return for their first day of school since the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary.