School lock down procedures to be reviewed

In light of this week's conference on school violence in Ottumwa, KTVO wanted to know how prepared Heartland schools really are.

The Ottumwa School District already has emergency plans set up for many situations including an intruder, gunman or bomb threat in the building.

Superintendent Jon Sheldahl says even though he feels the schools are safe, there will be some significant changes, and all the district's policies will be reviewed.

While fire and tornado drills are practiced more frequently, the lockdown drills are practiced only once a year.

"We have good plans in place but I will say they will be significantly updated based on the things we learned yesterday. And I would say that we will also want to practice more routinely how we practice these kinds of things, Sheldahl said.

Sheldahl says administrators from the three schools also attended Thursday's conference and debriefed afterwards.

Friday, Sheldahl held another meeting with the middle and high school principals.

We left coming away thinking there were several things we want to do differently as a result of that. So it was a great opportunity for us. We have had good things in place. We can think our schools are safe, but you can prepare better, you can prepare better for violence, Sheldahl said.

Sheldahl said many policies have been in place since the Columbine shooting.