At Alum Rock Union Elementary School District the safety and well-being of all of our children is a top priority. As part of our regular protocols, every school has emergency planning and training in place. In an emergency, it is the role of all teachers and school staff to assist students through a crisis and ensure their safety.
Parent and family members should be familiar with this information as part of the emergency planning process to protect their children. It is important to review safety procedures in place at your child’s school. We know first-hand that proper preparation and planning can make all the difference.
While there is no way of knowing in advance exactly how to respond to every emergency, all schools have emergency preparedness plans to minimize risks and to evaluate and relocate students, teachers, and school
staff from harm.
Procedures are also written for situations that require everyone to remain in the building rather than leave. Emergency drills are practiced on a regular basis to ensure a smooth process and are based on district-wide safety
Unless there is a threat reported or your family is otherwise informed, school sessions and activities will continue as scheduled.
PARENTS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. Ensure that your child’s emergency contact information is accurate, current and updated on a regular basis. Contact your child’s school directly to update.
3. Make sure your family has its own plan in the case of an emergency. The American Red Cross has great resources for this: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/plan
4. Become familiar with the District and school’s communications procedures. Make sure you are familiar with ParentLink (the District’s automated phone messaging system) and the District website at www.arusd.org.IN THE CASE OF AN EMERGENCY:· DO NOT call or rush to your child’s school. Phone lines and staff are needed for emergency response efforts.· DO NOT phone/text your child. Staff and students are discouraged from using cell phone communication.
· CHECK FOR alerts from the District via phone, text and email, as well as Facebook and Twitter.
· Rely on official information from school officials and/or public safety officials.
· Call the District main number at (408) 928-6800 for more information.·Tune into local TV and radio stations for general safety and local information.
HOW WILL I BE REUNITED WITH MY CHILD:
· Parents/guardians will be directed by school or public safety officials to their child’s specific location.
· Students will be released ONLY to parents/guardians or other designated individuals who are identified as emergency contacts.
· All individuals will be required to present a valid picture ID. Make sure all designated emergency contacts are aware of this requirement.
Once an emergency has been evaluated, an evacuation may become necessary to ensure the safety of students and school staff. Each school site’s “Emergency Preparedness Plan” contains maps of designated “evacuation routes”, or pathways to select outside locations known as “assembly areas”.
We encourage parents to stay informed of their child’s school evacuation plans. It is important to know where the students will be located during an evacuation process. When the situation is determined safe, or “all clear,” students and staff will return to their classrooms and resume in the learning environment.When it is decided that students and school staff will not return to the classrooms, or it is the end of the school day, a process is implemented to reunite students with their parents and family members. Reunification of students is an important component of the Emergency Preparedness Plan. A request gate will be established for parents to provide information and request the release of their children. Another area is setup for the process to release children to their parents and family members.
DROP, COVER, AND HOLD PROCEDURES
When the ground begins shaking during an earthquake or a loud explosion is heard or felt, a “drop, cover and hold” procedure begins. Everyone – students, staff and all others present- will take the following protective actions:
Drop and take cover under a nearby desk or table, or “drop” to the ground in the safest place against an interior wall avoiding areas near unsecured objects, which may fall.
Cover your eyes by leaning the face downward against the arm, and protect your head by clasping one hand behind the neck.
Hold on to the table legs, or side of the desk and remain in position until the shaking stops, objects stop falling or as instructed by a teacher or other official.
Drop, Cover and Hold – Move away from buildings, power lines, block walls, and other items that might fall or increase the danger. Take the “drop” position or sit down in a safe area. Remain in position until the ground stops shaking or as instructed by a teacher or other official.
School personnel or local law enforcement may make the decision to “Shelter-In-Place” when conditions are present such as an unusual odor or sound, visible smoke or a dangerous incident in the surrounding school or neighborhood. All doors are locked, windows closed, students remain inside and engage in normal indoor activities. Movement is kept to a minimum. School site administration may give the “All Clear” announcement.
A LOCKDOWN signifies that a danger exists on campus such as an armed intruder, or active shooter or other reasons to shelter students. Staff members have a very limited time to assess both the situation and the surrounding environment and respond to the situation based on “Run, Hide and Defend” protocol.
Emergency actions will be closely followed and monitored. This procedure directs staff to close and lock classroom doors, blinds, windows, turn off lights, barricade and wait for further instructions. Once public safety responders have determined the area as safe, further instructions will be given. In an emergency, response procedures will depend on the nature and scope of the incident and prevailing conditions.
In an emergency, school personnel will provide information to parents as quickly as possible and all available communication systems will be used to relay announcements and instructions. Recorded emergency messages may be obtained through the district’s telephone at (408) 928-6800. Updates will be provided through ParentLink (the District’s automated phone messaging system), the District’s website (www.arusd.org), Facebook and Twitter. It is very important that your contact information is always updated to ensure you receive timely updates.
District staff and personnel are to direct all media inquiries to the Superintendent’s office and District’s public relations team. In accordance with district policy, comments to the media are to be made only by authorized District spokespeople.
SCHOOL SITE SAFETY
Congregating at a school will most likely hamper the ability of emergency responders and school personnel to identify the specific nature, cause, and extent of the emergency. In such cases, school personnel will follow the direction of the public safety and health officials. Again, as information becomes available it will be given to parents and family members via available means and the media.
In the case of any emergency, schools will do their best with their emergency supplies and resources under whatever circumstances occur. It is important to stay calm and know that your child’s safety is our utmost priority. School principals and personnel have the training and skills to:
✓ Act in response to an emergency
✓ Keep children and staff out of harm’s way
✓ Return the school to the education setting
✓ Become familiar with the School Site Safety Plan
In California, we have a long-term obligation to plan for earthquakes. Recently, this obligation has expanded to include the modern problems of biological, chemical and nuclear warfare- weapons of mass destruction. The impact will vary with the types of disaster and may endure for long periods. With this in mind, it becomes readily apparent that schools need to become self-sufficient and work together with the support of the community.
Please contact the Alum Rock Union Elementary School District at 408-928-6800 with any questions.