Keeping Students Safe When Crisis Strikes
Some of the safety and security measures currently in place in our school include:
School safety plans and emergency response procedures for:
evacuation and school closure
secure school and lock down
Emergency communications plans including parent notifications and alerts
School Incident Command Teams equipped with emergency response kits
Partnerships with local emergency responders
Visitor sign-in procedures
Regularly held emergency response drills with all students and staff
Safety assessments of school facilities in partnership with the school insurance agency.
First aid kits, fire extinguishers, and classroom safety kits
School Safety hotline with the National We Tip program, 1-800-78-CRIME (27463)
What you can expect during a crisis at school:
The school emergency response plans will be implemented and the Incident Command Team will respond according to the plan and as trained.
Both 911 and the school district office will be informed and will respond quickly and effectively to ensure the safety of all students and staff.
All appropriate emergency response agencies will be dispatched to the school, as needed.
Depending on the situation, all students and staff will be secured within the school building(s) or evacuated to a safe location.
Parents will be kept informed using the schools automated calling system. The situation will be explained with as much detail as possible to ensure the safety of all student and response personnel
How will the school respond when an incident occurs:
Depending on the nature of the incident, we will implement the following emergency response procedures:
Lock-down or Shelter-in-Place
In situations involving an intruder or threat of violence near the campus the school will be locked down with all students secured safely inside, or in a secure location. In case of an incident around the school which makes it unsafe for students to be outside, a Shelter-in-Place will be required for students to stay locked inside the school buildings but allows for continued operations as much as possible.
This action is taken to protect students and staff from falling debris. The Duck and cover action requires everyone to duck under a desk or table and cover their head with their hands. This position is then held until the shaking stops and the area is stable. Once the area is stable, students will be evacuated to a safe place.
When it is unsafe for students and staff to stay inside the building then everyone will evacuate to a safe location. This may be an alternate location on campus like the playground or the athletic field. At times the entire campus may not be safe and everyone will be evacuated to an off-site location. Following an off-campus evacuation, parents will receive information on the location and instruction for picking up their child(ren).
When picking up students after an emergency response procedure, a reunification will take place. The responsible adult picking up their student(s) must come to the designated pickup area with their photo ID. The responsible adult must be on the students emergency contact list.
What can parents do to help ensure the safety of students during emergencies?
If an incident occurs, it is only natural for parents and caregivers to want to rush to the school. However, doing this will often complicate a school-based incident and may interfere with the work of school personnel and emergency responders.
You can help manage a crisis situation by following these steps:
Remain Calm - Do your best to cooperate with school and public safety officials. Follow any instructions you may receive regarding your student.
Keep Roads Clear - Do not come to the school as that may interfere with the response efforts and put you in harm’s way. Traffic or parking congestion could block access to the school for critical resources like police, first or emergency medical responders.
Keep Phone Lines Open - Do not call the school office. Excessive phone calls could jam the phone system and hamper emergency communications.
Do not call your student if he or she has a cell phone. The circuits you are using may be essential for the emergency response.
Monitor the local communications channels such as the school's Facebook page or the local radio stations.
Be Patient - Students will be released to parents and guardians, or emergency contact persons as soon as possible.
Successful, safe and effective schools are also those with high levels of parent and caregiver involvement. You are vital to your student's well-being and safety. Help us keep our school safe by staying informed and taking with your child about school safety and emergency response. Please talk to the school administrator about any concerns that you or your child may have about school safety.
For additional information of Disaster and Emergency Preparedness for your family, visit www.RedCross.org and check out "Be Red Cross Ready" listed under the preparedness section or visit the FEMA site and go to the "Are You Ready?" at www.FEMA.gov. There are several downloads available on both sites that give step-by-step information on preparing for and dealing with crises.