Birmingham Schools Superintendent Daniel Nerad released a statement late Friday afternoon, noting "our children are precious" after the tragic shooting at a Connecticut elementary school earlier in the day.
According to reports, 27 were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT Friday morning, 20 of which were young children.
Details are still emerging from what many are calling the worst elementary school shooting in U.S. history. According to Newtown Patch, the male gunman "deliberately went to Sandy Hook Elementary School with the intention of killing his mother, who was a kindergarten teacher at the school."
"The tragic news out of Connecticut today reminds us that our children are precious, and their safety must be attended to at all times," Nerad said.
According to Nerad, Birmingham Schools alerted all buildings in the district following the shooting to heighten the adult presence in the halls, at recess and during dismissal.
"We want you to know that we regularly review our security and safety measures," Nerad said. "This includes the involvement of, and cooperation from, our local police and fire departments."
"We want to assure you that we place the safety of our children and staff at the top of our priority list," he added.
At Derby Middle School, principal Debbie Hubbell wrote home to parents that teachers didn't have time to inform students of the shooting as they only learned the news late in the day.
"I do expect that this will be a topic of conversations within my households this weekend," she said. "We will address this with students on Monday, focusing on our care and concern for them and the many ways we make our school a safe place."
In a press conference Friday afternoon, a visibly affected President Barack Obama wiped away tears as he addressed the media.
"Our hearts are broken for the parents and the survivors, as well," he said. "There are no words that will ease their pain."