Recently my children’s school district had a bit of an active shooter scare. It turned out to be a false alarm, but all district schools went into lockdown.
In my opinion, the district did a good job handling the situation – with one notable exception. Before the event, parents were not notified about the district’s emergency response procedures, so many parents panicked and there was a degree of chaos and confusion (not inside the school) about pickup and other logistics. While the administrators, teachers, and students knew what to do in a lockdown, the parents didn’t know what was going on or how to respond. A few days later the administration sent an email to parents detailing the school’s emergency response procedure.
Pasted below is a (edited for security reasons) version of the email sent to parents after the event. This is not intended to be used as a template for any organization, particularly since portions of the email have been cut and other portions have been edited. It is intended to be an example of how to inform parents about your school’s plan.
If your school hasn’t notified parents about the emergency response procedure, do it now! Don’t wait until after an event to let parents know what’s going on.
Emergency Response Procedures
In light of last week’s events, please see detailed information below regarding our emergency response procedures.
Also, if you did not receive the text notification last week regarding the Lockdown, please make sure you are signed up for the Remind app, and that your information is updated by logging in to your account to confirm current information. All personal information is kept private. Teachers will never see your ….
To receive messages via text, text @xxxx to xxxxx. You can opt out of messages at anytime by replying, ‘unsubscribe @xxxxx’.
To receive messages via email, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To unsubscribe, reply with ‘unsubscribe’ in the subject line.
Emergency Response Procedures
How will my child’s school handle an emergency situation?
All ….. facilities have an emergency preparedness plan. The response to each situation will differ based on the specifics of that situation. The flexibility of the plan is key to the success of the response. In general ….. kits that contain key information and supplies; designation of a primary and secondary relocation/ evacuation site; provisions for training personnel and updating the plan; checklists and student information for dealing with specific types of incidents; and resources……
What is lockdown?
An emergency may prevent the safe evacuation of a school building and require steps to isolate students and faculty from …. interior lockdown situation, all students are kept in classrooms or other designated locations that are away from the danger. Faculty members are responsible for accounting for students and ensuring that no one leaves the safe area. School personnel……
In the event of an emergency situation, will the school go into lockdown?
The specific actions taken by us in any emergency situation, will depend on the specifics of the situation. Any action taken would depend on several factors, including the level of threat and the advice of local…..
A. The Principal or designee announces the Lockdown Level.
B. Law enforcement and the regional superintendent are alerted.
Level 1: Threat is exterior to school. Criminal activity in area of school.
Level 2: Threat is inside school (or potentially could be)
Lock exterior door….
Level 3: Threat is (or potentially could be) inside school….
What is primary or secondary evacuation site?
Primary or secondary evacuation sites are short-term solutions to a short-term problem. If an accident or attack that created an unsafe environment for students and personnel to remain at …. method for ensuring the safety of students and staff members in this type of crisis.
Can I pick up my child?
Parents are allowed to pick up their children unless public safety officials have declared a shelter-in-place response, or there is some other reason why access to the facility …… in emergency situations. Remember, school may be the safest place for children.
Why are you keeping children from their parents?
The administration does not intend to keep children from their parents if a crisis occurs during school hours or school activities. It is the schools intent to make sure that children are safe inside the school until such a time that the threat …. emergency messaging system.
Who can pick up my children?
Children will not be released to individuals who are not authorized ….. school year. Friends and neighbors may sign a child or children out with written permission from a parent or parents. Both (or all) parents have to give permission in writing for the sign out ….. notes and sign out lists. Schools will also ask for identification when the child is released to one(s) mentioned in the permission note.
Can I contact my child?
Parents are asked not to call in emergency situations so phone lines can remain accessible for handling the specific situation. Parents will be kept informed…..
What if my child is riding a school bus at the time of a crisis?
School bus drivers will be in contact with the Department of Transportation for instructions in the event that a crisis occurs while students are in transport. Bus drivers will be informed to use common sense and not travel toward the crisis location. Parents will be informed…..