Statistics tell us that schools are among the safest places to be due to the strong commitment of educators, families, and our community to our students and schools. Your children's safety is of the utmost importance to us. We have put together this guide to answer any questions you have about what to expect if there is a school emergency.
What you can do to prepare:
- In the event of an emergency it's important that we have accurate contact information including your phone, email, home address, and other emergency contacts.
- Explain to your child that cell phones should not be used during an emergency unless directed by an adult. Your student must pay attention to instructions from trained personnel.
- Let your child know that we all play a role in the school safety. They can be observant and let an adult know if they see or hear something that makes them feel uncomfortable, nervous or frightened. Let them know there is a difference between reporting, tattling or gossiping. They may provide important information that could prevent harm either directly or anonymously by telling a trusted adult what they know or hear.
What you can expect if there is an emergency:
- During an emergency, our first priority is to protect our students and staff.
- The emergency plan will be implemented and the district/school emergency teams will respond. For security reasons, components of our emergency plans are not publicly available.
- Families will be kept informed on the situation with as much detail as possible. The first and official way for us to contact you in an emergency is using our automated phone calling system.
- We urge our families and community to look for official messages through our district communication channels and to avoid sharing unofficial information.
In an emergency situation, phones are needed to manage the situation and lines must remain open. Calling could also put students and employees at risk in an intruder situation. For example, if they did not have time to turn down their ring volume, your call could potentially give away their hiding spot.
You will not be allowed on school grounds during an emergency. Emergency personnel responding to the situation need the area clear to do their job. After emergency responders determine that a safe student release is possible, arrangements will be made to reunite students with their families. This could occur at a reunification site.
Communication during an emergency:
- When we share information, our goal is to ensure it is timely and accurate. You may receive multiple updates as additional information is made available.
- Sometimes, we are not able to share information from our law enforcement partners, so we communicate what we can, when we can.
- Parents and guardians will receive an automated phone call and email altering them about the emergency. Information will also be shared on the district website and social media as appropriate.
What you can do during an emergency:
- Remain calm.
- As difficult as it may be, don't call or go to the school. This allows us to focus on student safety and keeps phone lines and traffic lanes open for first responders.
- Avoid contacting your child during an emergency. Depending on the situation, this could compromise their safety or distract them from following necessary instructions. If your child contacts you, please remind them to remain calm and follow the directions of school staff.
What to expect after an emergency:
- Be patient and wait for information. We know this is hard, but our focus is on the students.
- If an off-site family reunification is necessary, please remember that emergency pickup procedures differ from normal pickup. You will need to bring a photo id to the site.
- Students will only be released to a parent, guardian, or other adult listed on the student’s Emergency Information Form, which you completed at the beginning of the school year. The individual picking up the student will be asked to complete a Student Release Form (available on-site). This procedure is designed for your student’s protection and for your peace of mind.
- Please be aware that reunification can be very time-consuming, and we appreciate your patience.
- It is important to remain calm as students are greatly influenced by their family’s sense of well-being. At the same time, families need to be compassionate listeners when their student speaks of an emergency. Please seek help from the school, district, or community resources if you/your student have concerns.