THE ROLE OF PARENTS IN AN EMERGENCY
In a school emergency, the first instinct as a parent is to pick up the telephone and start calling the school or rush to the school and get your child/children. The truth is, this only complicates matters from a safety and security standpoint.
Parents too close to an incident often hinder the rescue attempts of police and fire officials on the scene. The best action parents can take in an emergency is to stay close to their phone and e-mail and to monitor local radio and TV reports for regular updates and instructions.
SCHOOL EMERGENCY RESPONSE PROTOCOLS
A school crisis can take a number of forms including an environmental event, such as a chemical spill or gas leak; a weather emergency; such as a tornado warning; or an intruder in or near the school. The nature of a school crisis dictates whether school officials will put in place a lockdown, lockout, shelter-in-place, evacuation or any combination of two of these protocols, as a means to ensure the safety and well-being of students and staff. In the event of an emergency, the parent staging area will be at City Hall in the City Council Chambers in order to receive further information and instructions.
LOCKDOWN: A lockdown takes place if an internal threat is identified at the school. All school doors are locked and students are confined to classrooms. No entry into or exit from the school will be allowed until an “all-clear” announcement is made. Students will NOT be released during a lockdown.
LOCKOUT: A lockout takes place if an external threat is identified at the school. All school doors are locked and students remain inside the building. No entry into or exit from the school will be allowed until an “all-clear” announce-ment is made. Students will NOT be released during a lockout.
SHELTER-IN-PLACE: Students take refuge in designated areas to protect them from hazardous materials or severe weather. No entry into or exit from the school will be allowed until an “all-clear” announce-ment is made. Students will NOT be released during shelter-in-place.
EVACUATION: In the event of certain building emergencies, students will be relocated to an evacuation assembly area. Students will be released ONLY to parents/guardians with picture ID and permission from a district official. This procedure is necessary to account for the whereabouts of all students.
Parents/Guardians will be directed by school or public safety officials via Robo call, email, and or text messages to their child’s specific location. Students will be released ONLY to parents/ guardians who are documented as emergency contacts and who present a picture ID such as a driver’s license, military ID or passport. The reunification process can be time-consuming so parents are urged to be patient.
BE PREPARED FOR A SCHOOL EMERGENCY
Ensure that your child’s emergency contact information is accurate and current.
The district uses Robo calls, email, and or text messages to notify parents of inclement weather and emergencies.
Become familiar with your school’s emergency communication procedures. Each school is committed to providing accurate and timely information in the event of an emergency.
Although your first reaction would be to call or rush to your child’s school, please follow the tips listed below. In the event of an emergency, the parent staging area will be at City Hall in the City Council Chambers in order to receive further information and instructions.