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Emergency Preparedness

What is Emergency Preparedness?

Emergency preparedness is the process taken to keep students, staff and visitors safe from threats and hazards and maintain safe and healthy learning environments.  The District has developed the Emergency Safety and Security Committee to guide decision-making in the event of an emergency such as a utility outage, fire, intruder, building evacuation or medical emergency.

How can I stay informed?

Wilson Area School District uses mass notification technology to send text/voice messages and emails alerting parents, guardians and custodial adults of emergency and nonemergency situations.  School closings can be found on the District webpage and information will also be broadcast through local cable and media outlets. To ensure you will receive this important information, please update any changes in phone numbers and/or email addresses in the Skylert section of Skyward Family Access or by contacting your child's school.

 

How will my child know what to do in the event of an incident?

If an incident occurs at school, their teacher or other building staff will direct them on what to do and where to go.  Please talk to your child about the need for listening and specifically following directions during an emergency. As a parent, what should I do during an emergency at my child’s school?  Your first impulse when you hear there is an emergency at your child’s school may be to come to school to comfort your child. As hard as it is, we recommend that you do not come to the school.  The first priority of the school staff and first responders during an emergency is to keep students, staff and visitors already in the building as safe as possible. The second priority is to reunite all involved with their loved ones once the threat or the situation has been resolved.  Depending on the circumstance, the school may be in lockdown or following A.L.I.C.E. protocols which allows no one in or out of the building. If you arrived at the building during this time, you would not be permitted to see your child. The District will keep families updated using the mass notification system.  If appropriate, students will be allowed to text parents, guardians or custodial adults to let them know they are okay. Parents, guardians and custodial adults are encouraged to text their students and ask them to remain calm and to listen to direction.

How will my child’s school handle an emergency situation?

All schools have emergency procedures and resources to help deal with specific types of incidents before, during and after an event.  The specifics of each plan are particular to that school. A response will differ according to the type and severity of the situation and according to the direction of local first responders who might be called to the scene.  Students receive fire and safety drill training throughout the school year. All school staff and students are trained in the standard response procedures for A.L.I.C.E.


What is A.L.I.C.E?

The philosophy of A.L.I.C.E. is to use technology and information in a way so that staff and students can make informed decisions in a crisis and remove as many people as possible from the danger zone so that those involved have a better chance of surviving.  In short, using the A.L.I.C.E. method, we have taught our students and staff multiple tools to use in order to evade an armed intruder/active shooter who enters a school building.


Students and staff know in a crisis to:

1. Listen carefully to the location and type of event.

2. Get to and/or remain in a secure area until it is safe to evacuate.

3. Should an armed intruder/active shooter invade their area, apply skills to distract, confuse and gain control.

4. As soon as it is safe to do so, evacuate.

Please know, A.L.I.C.E. is not  teaching our students or staff to make any attempt to subdue an armed gunman.  However, we have provided them the knowledge that if faced with a life or death situation there are methods that can be applied to greatly enhance their chance of survival.   

What is an External Lockdown?

During an external lockdown, school personnel will secure the perimeter of the school building, lock all doors and students who are outside will be returned to the building with their teachers.  Classroom instruction will continue. No one else will be permitted to enter or leave during an external lockdown, except for first responders. An external lockdown may be initiated when there are unsafe neighborhood conditions.

 

What is the plan for evacuating a building?

The District has evacuation procedures that outline steps to be taken in the case of a necessary removal from any and all sections of the school buildings or grounds.  Evacuation includes moving students from one section of the building to another section within the building, moving from the building to the grounds, moving from the grounds to another District building or to Easton Area High School.

What is Reunification?

Reunification is the process of systematically reuniting students with their parents/guardians/custodial adults in a controlled setting.  Circumstances may occur at the school which require adults listed on the student’s Emergency Contact Form to pick up their student using a formalized, controlled release.  These circumstances may include a power outage, hazardous materials spill, severe weather, or a crisis. Reunification may occur at a different location other than the school. The age of the student and the seriousness of the circumstance will determine the need for formal reunification procedures.  Situations that require reunification also require that the student be released only to a person named on the Emergency Contact Form. Once a decision has been made to evacuate, parents, guardians or custodial adults will be notified through the District’s mass notification system of the location where children can be picked up.  Parents/guardians/custodial adults are expected to bring photo identification when picking up their children at reunification. The quickest way to be reunited with your child(ren) is to have a valid ID and to listen to the directions given by staff. If a parent, guardian or custodial adult cannot pick up his/her child(ren), they should send someone who is listed on the child’s Emergency Contact Form.  Children will not be released to persons not on the Emergency Contact Form. Parents/guardians/custodial adults are expected to be patient and remain calm. Reunification is methodical and, at times, a slow process but it is the best way for schools enduring an emergency situation to account for the whereabouts of all students and it allows for the safe return of those students to a recognized parent, guardian or custodial adult.  Parents/guardians/custodial adults are asked to park where indicated and not abandon their vehicles. In the case that a student is unaccounted for or missing, the “confirmed” adult will be asked to speak with a reunification counselor and/or administrator.