- What to expect during a school emergency
- Student's Role in an Emergency
- Families Role in an Emergency
- Communicating During an Emergency
- Lockdowns and Shelter-in-Place
- Picking Up Students After an Emergency
The first priority for school staff during an emergency is to ensure the safety of students, other staff members and any guests who are on campus at the time. Emergency situations can cause disruptions to regular communication, schedules and plans. We've provided information on what families can expect during an emergency situation and how to best support the safety of students and staff.
Schools work with students to prepare them for situations by conducting drills each year. Some may be as simple as the traditional fire and evacuation drill, while others focus on lockdown situations and intruders on campus. The purpose is never to scare students, or parents, but to give them the skills and knowledge needed to remain safe during an emergency situation.
Students should understand and follow all plans applicable to the given crisis.
- Students should not panic. In the absence of adult direction, decide where it is safest to be and remain there.
- If a violent situation occurs, notify the nearest school staff member.
- Share all relevant information with law enforcement, teachers, and school staff.
- During and after the crisis, to the extent that is safe, keep your belongings with you, do not pick anything up, and do not go back for anything until receiving clearance.
- Calm and reassure fellow students.
- Do not perpetuate rumors to others. This includes via text message or social media. We want parents and students to have accurate information, not rumors.
- Stay calm during a school emergency.
- Your attitude/actions conveyed to students in person or by cell phone communication may be traumatic, especially to young children.
- Make sure your emergency contact numbers are updated through the Q parent portal.
- During a school emergency, listen carefully to emergency notification messages. Check district (https://www.sanjuan.edu) and school web pages as phone communication may be interrupted due to excessive calls.
- Do not allow the media, against your will, to pressure you to be interviewed during a crisis.
- Rely on factual information from the school district or law enforcement.
- Frequently rumors may surface.
- Recognize that crisis counseling services will be available for you or a child affected by a crisis.
- Please contact a school administrator or counselor about accessing counseling resources.
Our goal is to inform parents that a shelter-in-place or lockdown is underway as soon as it is safe to do so. Staff members will first ensure the safety of your student and others on campus then turn their attention to providing you with timely updates. Please know that we also work to ensure all information shared is accurate which sometimes requires delays while details are verified with law enforcement or other sources.
How we’ll share information with you in an emergency:
Mass Notification & Websites
- An automated mass notification alerting you that a shelter-in-place or lockdown is underway will be sent via phone call, email, text message and push notification to the district's mobile app. Because staff are focused on your student’s safety and accurately determining the specifics of the situation, this initial message may simply inform you that a safety situation is underway but may not provide many if any details about the cause. Emergency mass notifications are sent with a high priority for rapid distribution and they’re sent to all phone numbers and email addresses we have on file for a student’s parents or guardians.
- An initial alert followed by updates of information will be posted to the school and district websites. This is the best place to look for official updates as we will update information as it becomes available. Posts are made to the district’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. This helps other members of the community receive information about the incident.
- During an extended shelter-in-place or lockdown you may also receive updates via our mass notification system to share the current status of the school or additional information. This same information is made available on the website.
- After a shelter-in-place or lockdown, you will receive a final update via the mass notification system and a posting to the website sharing a summary of what was involved in the incident, what was done in response, and steps going forward.
The district actively works with news media during emergency situations to help share accurate and helpful information. Please watch for OFFICIAL information from the district or first-responders on news media.
During and after an emergency, school phone lines may become overloaded. Please refrain from calling a school during or right after an emergency if at all possible. If it is urgent that you get a message to the school for the safety of your student during an emergency, please contact the district office at (916) 971-7700.
During an emergency situation a school campus may be placed in one of two modes: Lockdown or Shelter-in-Place. Often, the determination is made in coordination with law enforcement officials based on the threat level presented to the safety of those on campus.
To help protect the safety of students and staff, no one is allowed to enter or leave a school campus when placed in lockdown or shelter-in-place. This includes parents, visitors, and news media. Parents and guardians will be alerted to the situation by school staff using our automated notification system as soon as it is safe to do so. Updates will be made as they are available and information will be posted to the school and district website. Parents and guardians who do attempt to come on campus may be putting themselves and others in danger. Anyone attempting to gain access to a campus will be refused entrance and asked to wait off-campus.
What is a Lockdown? (highest level of alert)
Used in imminent danger, situations such as when there is a potentially dangerous stranger with or without a weapon on campus, violent criminal activity or a dangerous incident on the immediate perimeter of the school, etc. Lockdown orders will be made in plain language so all persons on campus understand the lockdown is not a drill.
During a lockdown, students and adults are brought inside classrooms and other designated areas. Doors and windows are closed and locked immediately, curtains or other window coverings, if available, are pulled closed; all lights are turned off. Students, staff and visitors are to stay out of sight of windows and doors and shall remain silent (this includes no talking or cell phone use). They may take cover behind barriers such as bookcases, partitions or desks.
What is Shelter-in-Place? (raised alert level)
Used in potentially violent situations, such as a police helicopter in neighborhood, police activity in the neighborhood; reports of a potentially dangerous situation near the campus; severe weather, etc. Doors and windows are closed and locked immediately, curtains or other window coverings, if available, are pulled closed. Students and staff may not move about on campus, except with an authorized safety escort. Class instruction may continue. Shelter-in-place orders will be made in plain language so all persons on campus understand that the shelter-in-place is not a drill.
To ensure students remain safe, schools will implement restricted pick-up procedures after an emergency situation. Please keep in mind, that no one except authorized district staff and first responders will be allowed to enter or leave a school campus during a lockdown or shelter-in-place. Also, only those listed on a student's emergency card will be allowed to pick a student up.
Is Picking Up a Student Required?
The vast majority of emergency situations are precautionary in nature. In most cases we will not require students be picked up before their normal dismissal time. If pick-up is mandatory we will notify families. If there is a safety concern requiring students leave campus immediately we will evacuate students via foot or via bus depending on the situation.
When Should Parents Go to a Campus?
To ensure the safety of students and staff, parents or family members who go to a campus while it is in lockdown or shelter-in-place will not be allowed on campus. If you do go to the campus before the lockdown is lifted you will be stopped and asked to wait in a specified area off campus. Parents and guardians who do attempt to come on campus may be putting themselves and others in danger. Anyone attempting to gain access to a campus will be refused entrance and asked to wait off-campus.
Families will be notified that the situation has been resolved via our automated notification system as soon as it is safe to do so. Updates will be made as they are available and information will be posted to the school and district website. Once families are allowed on campus, you will be directed to a specific pick-up area.
What Should You Bring to the Pickup Area?
Again, restricted pick-up procedures will be in effect after an emergency situation. To help reduce confusion and avoid delays, families should come to the pickup area with:
- Photo Identification - This requirement applies to all families. If you do not have a photo ID, your student may not be released or it may cause significant delays.
- Your Mobile Phone - Emergency situations sometimes require changes to reunification plans. By having your phone with you, you will receive any updates sent via our automated notification system if you have provided us with your mobile phone number.
- Patience - In most situations, there will be a large number of families who choose to pickup their student after an emergency situation. This may result in an extended wait time as we verify ID's and call students to the reunification area.