What to expect in an emergency

  • What to do during a school emergency

    In an emergency situation, your first reaction may be to call or come to the school. While that is a natural response, it may interfere with emergency agencies that are dealing with the situation. We ask that instead of going to the school, you rely on district emergency communications channels for information:

    Emergency information will be sent through the following channels:

    What type of emergencies might impact my child’s school?

    All emergencies impact schools including local and national events. Here are some examples of emergencies with actions that a school may take in response:

    • Severe weather - may result in early dismissal, late start, cancelled school, or shelter in place
    • Missing person or student – may result in a lockdown
    • Fire – may result in evacuation or shelter-in-place depending on location and severity
    • Weapons – may result in an evacuation or a lockdown
    • Bomb Threat – may result in an evacuation
    • Chemical/Hazmat/Biological Materials – may result in an evacuation or a shelter-in-place depending on the location and type of incident.
    • Intruder – may result in a lockdown or evacuation depending on the circumstances.

    Emergency Preparedness

    During an emergency situation, school officials must act quickly to secure schools, safeguard students and staff, and communicate promptly. Parents can help by being prepared before an emergency happens. Here are a few critical things you can do:

    • Give schools accurate contact information
    • Talk to your children about what to do, reinforce the importance of following instructions, and assure them that you will be able to find them after the emergency
    • Provide names and contact information for people authorized to pick up your children
    • Notify school officials if you see a dangerous or suspicious situation at school
    • If your child is on medication, be sure the school has at least a 1-2 day supply
    • Ensure that young students know their parents names, phnone number, and address
    • Sew emergency contact information into backpacks

    School Actions

    Different situations call for different actions. 

    • Lockdown secures the building and safely shelters all students, staff, and visitors inside the school building
    • Lockin is a modification of a lockdown which keeps students in the school, prevents entrance into the school, and allows the school day to continue within the building
    • Evacuation requires students, staff, and visitors to exit an unsafe school building
    • Shelter in place requires students, staff, and visitors to stay inside and take action depending upon the type of emergency

    Communication with parents

    It is understandable that parents will want to get in touch with their children in the event of an emergency. However, trying to call your child’s cell phone may prevent them from hearing important, even life-saving information. Students will be able to use cell phones if they need immediate assistance and once they are safe. Please avoid calling the school during an emergency – the school staff will be dealing with the situation and may not be available to answer the phone. Parents should use district emergency communication channels to get information during an emergency.

    Finding your child after an emergency

    Parents will be informed through district emergency channels when and where to be reunited with their children.