SANTA FE, Texas - Summer break ended officially last week for eight area school districts. Another 10 districts followed suit Monday as kids repopulate the classrooms. But the eyes of Texas seem to be on just one, Santa Fe ISD.
"Think about it, we`re only two days out of three months," says Lesley Darnell. "Two days ago was the three month mark and it`s still pretty fresh."
On May 18, the unthinkable. A mass shooting at the high school left 12 dead and 13 injured. Returning to the scene of the crime isn't easy. "We`ve had a police presence out here all morning, more than we`ve ever had on a first day of school."
Santa Fe has one high school, one junior high and two elementary schools. Student enrollment is about 5,000 with about 650 staff.
"Our community leaders and officials took no time off during the summer," Dwayne Martinez said. "They have been eating, breathing and sleeping safety and preparation for the future of this school and our kids."
New safety hardware and software has been beefed up district-wide. It includes automatic electronic door locks on every campus.
Every school now has working metal detectors. At the high school and junior high, no one gets in without going through one, no matter what time of day. At both elementary schools, adults must always pass through a metal detector.
"Words cannot describe how proud we are of our Santa Fe ISD community," Superintendent Dr. Leigh Wall said during a video message delivered Monday.
She says the district has four additional trauma counselors, five more campus cops, and 10 security assistants. "Additionally, a security assistant will also monitor cameras throughout the day."
They will also be monitoring social media and making it easier to report suspicious activity or voice concerns anonymously through the tribal tips line.
"In this tragedy we have shown the nation and the world the resolve, the resiliency, the compassion and love for one another. We are Santa Fe strong."