SCHOOL REASPONSE TO EMERGENCIES
If there is an emergency at school, school personnel have been trained, and will react quickly to protect children. If the emergency is a fire, students will evacuate to their Assembly Emergency Area on the playground until authorities determine that it is safe to re-enter the buildings. If there is an earthquake, students will duck, cover, and hold on as trained until the shaking stops, and then will evacuate the building to the Assembly Emergency Area. Students will not return until the buildings have been inspected and it is determined to be safe to enter. In both of these cases, students are being led away from the building, which due to the fire or earthquake has become a possible danger to them.
If there is a hazard outside, such as a report of a person in the area with a gun, or a nearby chemical release, students will be brought inside, where the building itself will help protect them from danger. School will act to protect students, and is prepared to shelter the students inside classrooms for hours if necessary. If students are held for a lengthy period of time, there are plans in place for emergency food, medical and restroom needs – these plans vary depending on the nature of the danger to students.
If there is an emergency at school, you will generally see one of two scenarios when you arrive at the school. You may see all of the students outside in the Assembly Emergency Area, if the building is potentially dangerous to the students, or you will see no one outside, because there is a potential hazard outside of the school, and officials are keeping the children inside, and using the building to help shield the students from harm.
Depending on the situation, you may not be able to get close to the school and may be asked to wait in a safe area near the school. If it is hazardous for students to be released, everyone will be kept inside the school until they are notified by the authorities that it is safe. Schools will act with the safety of students in mind, and school officials will always follow the directives of the police department and the fire department.
During a lockdown, students are moved (or remain) inside for their safety because there is some sort of threat to the well-being of the students. Lockdowns are implemented for a variety of reasons, including an intruder on campus, police action in the area, disruptive community incident, or even a dangerous animal on campus. In a lockdown, school buildings are used to help protect the students from outside harm. During a lockdown, school administrators and district officials work closely with law enforcement and other outside agencies to maximize student safety. The level of activity allowed on campus during a lockdown varies widely by incident, and decisions about student movement and services within the campus are based on what is safest for students in each incident.
Parents will receive information and updates about the status of a school lockdown through Gradelink email blast.
During an earthquake, students and staff will drop, cover, and hold on until the shaking stops. Once the shaking has stopped, teachers will check for injured students in their classroom, and evacuate everyone to the athletic field, playground, or other secured open area on campus. Evacuation is necessary following an earthquake because of possible damage to the buildings and aftershocks. Each teacher has a designated spot on the Assembly Emergency Area for their students, and all students are accounted for. Teams of school staff members conduct search and rescue, emergency first aid, and other disaster operations following an earthquake.
Request and reunion gate station is set up (gate by the chapel) to allow parents to take students home. If there has been earthquake damage to a school, students will not be allowed to re-enter the buildings until they have been inspected by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.
During a building fire on campus, teachers will evacuate their classes to the Assembly Emergency Area, or other secured open area away from the fire and its smoke. Each teacher has a designated spot on the Assembly Emergency Area for their students and follows a procedure to ensure that all students are accounted for. Request and reunion gate stations may be set up at each school site to allow parents to take students home. If there is fire damage to a school site, students will not be allowed to re-enter affected school buildings until they have been inspected by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.
During a brush fire or off-campus building fire that generates a harmful level of smoke at the school, the school will implement shelter in place procedures.
SHELTER IN PLACE
During a shelter in place, students are moved (or remain) inside for their safety because there is an environmental or chemical threat to the well-being of students. Shelter in place uses school buildings to provide protection from the outdoor environment. There are several reasons why a school may initiate a shelter in place, including chemical spills in the area, brush fires, any kind of airborne contaminants, or a swarm of bees. During a shelter in place, school administrators and district officials work closely with government agencies to maximize student safety.
The level of activity allowed on campus during a shelter in place varies by incident, and decisions about student movement and services within the campus are based on what is safest for students in each incident. Parents will receive information and updates about the status of a school shelter in place through Blackboard Connect automated phone messages.