In partnership with the state department safety task force, we want to share the following terms and descriptions that we use with our students and staff. It is important for you to know these terms and how to properly respond.
SHELTER IN PLACE
This phrase might be encountered during inclement weather or a hazardous material release. A tornado warning will require schools to take students to an inner hallway or a room with few or no windows and stay there until it is safe to release students. These areas have been reviewed and approved by the Emergency Management Agency. Please note that we cease operations such as checkouts during an active warning. If you are at the school during a warning, we invite you to join us as we "shelter." Should we ever encounter a hazardous material release, we have made precautions to limit the amount of exposure students have with the outside environment.
This term is used when we are notified of a concern or when a potential threat is identified in the vicinity of the school but not within the school or on campus. If you are notified of a secured perimeter, do not go to the school as instruction will continue with restricted entry and limited supervised movement within the building. These situations are often very short lived. If the situation allows and is of a lengthy period of time, the school will make notifications to parents via their normal communication methods. Entries and exits are monitored during this situation; students will not be released outside the building until we receive an all clear by the appropriate agency.
A lockdown takes place if a threat or possible threat is identified inside the school or on the campus. Instruction and all movement is halted. All exterior and interior doors are locked, and students are secured in their classrooms. No one (except appropriate emergency response personnel) will be allowed to enter or leave the building/campus to avoid hindering emergency response teams arriving at the school. We ask that you monitor local news or wait for communication from the school system about any possible evacuation of the building and parent reunification site. Please note that we conduct a lockdown audit and review of lockdown procedures at each school at least twice during each school year.
This means a potential MAY exist for an unusual situation. This status may be used when there is an event in the community or on the state or national level. Instruction will continue but the system/school will be instructed to report any suspicious or unusual activity. This includes weather watches/warnings.
WHAT IS PARENT STAGING FOR REUNIFICATION?
When students have been removed from the school or when an emergency has occurred that affects the ability to have a normal dismissal, a relocation site will be established. Parents will be notified of this location by school/district communication systems. At this location, parents will be updated concerning the situation and the plans for reunification with their child.
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW
Be sure your school office always has updated information for your family. Be familiar with the terms listed above. Talk to your child about taking drills seriously and remaining calm in a crisis situation. As always, speak with your school principal should you have any safety concerns.