What should parents do before an emergency?
Parents can assist greatly by helping with preparation before an emergency by doing the following:
- Ensure your child’s school has accurate contact information so you can be reached in case of emergency. Keep the information current by notifying school office staff of any changes as soon as they occur. Multiple contact sources are helpful, including cell, home and work telephone numbers and email addresses. Local emergency contacts should be provided in the event you cannot be reached.
- When visiting your child’s school, follow all visitor guidelines and obey parking and traffic signs.
- Talk to your child about the kinds of drills a school conducts and the reason for those drills. Remind children the importance of staying calm and following instructions. It’s also a good idea to reinforce these lessons at home by preparing your family for emergencies.
What should parents do during an emergency?
During an emergency situation, school and district officials must act quickly—under the direction of law enforcement and first responders—and follow established protocols to safeguard students, secure schools and communicate accurate information in a timely manner.
- Keep your phone lines open and don’t immediately drive to the school. Roads must be clear for first responders.
- As difficult as it may be, avoid contacting your child during an emergency. Depending on the situation, this can further compromise their safety, overload cell systems, hamper the ability of first responders and cause delays in releasing official, accurate information. Please listen/wait for instructions and act accordingly.
- Parents will be notified, and announcements will be made, via automated phone calls, email, the district website and the district’s Facebook page.
We want our parents prepared for what you can do to help the school if we are in an emergency situation. Here is some information:
- All schools practice fire/evacuation, earthquake, and lock-down drills on at regular basis.
- Each school has a crisis response team in place that has first aid training and can remain at school after hours.
- District administrators work and communicate with emergency management officials and local fire and police agencies in emergency preparedness/crisis response plans.
- During an emergency, this website, local radio (710 AM, 1000 AM, 1090 AM), TV stations (Channels 7, 4, 5), and the http://flashalert.net/ will keep all parents informed. Also watch for emails and listen for phone calls.
- Please listen to instructions and act accordingly. DO NOT CALL THE SCHOOL as the phones will be used for the emergency situation and staff members will be busy taking care of student needs. Messages to the media will be updated as needed; for instance, when and where you can pick up your child.
- If the school is in a lockdown, NO ONE (other than emergency response teams) is allowed to enter the school. This is for your child’s safety. Please DO NOT COME TO THE SCHOOL but listen to the radio/TV for the time and place you can pick up your child.
- Once the emergency situation is over, any adult coming to the school to pick up a child(ren) MUST have identification. This is for your child’s safety so we can track who has picked up the child. Students who normally walk home will be allowed to do so only after police have determined that the area is safe. Under some conditions, students that normally walk may need to be picked up. Depending on the situation, high school students who drive may need parent permission to leave campus and drive home.
- School maintenance and custodial staff members are trained in each building on the location of HVAC (heating, ventilation, and cooling systems) and building controls systems.
- The District has access to regional counseling services in an event of a large-scale emergency.
- All schools have communication systems that include cell phones and walkie-talkie radio systems. The District is connected to the state emergency communication system.
- Additional important links for Homeland Security and Comprehensive Safe School Planning may be found on the OSPI Web site.
Staff members are trained for emergency situations and our highest priority is the safety of our students. Keep this information handy so you know how you can help your child should an emergency situation happen at school.
Safety measures are in place throughout the district. The elementary and secondary schools have security measures in place to provide a safe learning environment. Staff members are trained for emergency situations. All schools were contacted when the district received word of the threats. All schools have maintained a heightened awareness and security. Students are trained on lockdown, evacuation and other emergency procedures monthly. All visitors of each school must check in through the office and all staff and visitors wear badges to identify themselves. There are security cameras in place throughout the district and entry/exit doors are monitored by staff regularly.
PLEASE MAKE SURE EMERGENCY INFORMATION IS CURRENT FOR YOUR CHILD. Whenever you move, change phone numbers, or change emergency contact names, please contact the school immediately.
Level Alert and Terrorism Response
- In the absence of a clear, specific local threat to safety, schools will remain open and students will be engaged in learning. Remember that your public schools are the safest places for our children to be during the day.
- The decision to close a school is the responsibility of local school boards and school administrators. The exception is a formal “state of emergency” declared by the Governor that includes a school directive.
Comfort kits for elementary students.
Parents are encouraged to prepare a “comfort kit” for elementary students that will stay at the school for the year. These are very helpful for students in a stressful situation to have items from home. A list of items can be found here for Monte Cristo Elementary and Mountain Way Elementary.