As you are aware, we have many different drills at the Middle School designed to establish safe patterns for students and staff to follow in the case of an emergency. These drills are practiced at various times during the year to ensure that all students and staff members have experience in dealing with any situation that could arise.
At least three different times during the year, bus drills are held. During these times, student attention is called to the different methods of egress from a bus in an emergency, safe conduct while waiting for, boarding, riding, and departing from the bus, and other topics similar to these.
For a minimum of twelve times a year, students and staff members practice leaving the building, following the ringing of the fire bell. Students become familiar with how to leave the building, where to stand, the importance of remaining with their teacher, and what to do if they are in the hall. Teachers in the Middle School report attendance to the person in charge of their part of the building, using red and green signs signifying if they have all their students or have an extra one or are missing one. These attendance changes are called in by walkie talkie and all students are accounted for, before students re-enter the building.
In these drills, no one leaves the building. In reality, these drills are designed to either keep people from entering the building or secure the students in their classes because someone has entered the building who should not be there. As there are two types of drills, each needs to be explained.
· A threat occurs outside and we wish to seal the building until the situation is taken care of safely. Students and staff members hear an announcement from the principal's office stating that there is a Lock-in. Teachers know they are to pull the window shades and have the students move away from the windows. Teachers take their room key and go to the classroom door. They open the door and look in the hall, asking students who are in the hallway to enter their room. They then lock the door, and email attendance to the main office (including the names of students who might be missing from their class at that time OR students who have entered their classroom because they were in the halls). Substitute teachers are called on the intercom for attendance. Custodians immediately lock the entrances to the building and all bathrooms, making sure they are empty. Security and administrators walk the building and remain in constant contact. For all drills, the Seventh Precinct is present, offering help and suggestions. No phones are answered and no one enters or leaves the building until the drill is over.
· A threat occurs inside where someone potentially harmful enters the building. Students and staff members hear an announcement from the principal's office stating that there is a level 2 lockdown. Teachers immediately take their room key, go to the classroom door, open it quickly and sweep any student in the hall into the classroom, and quickly lock the door. At the same time, students move as far from the door as possible. Window shades are left open. Attendance, as above, is emailed to the main office or received via intercom. During this drill, the police then take over, deciding the role of administrators, custodians, and other school personnel. Students remain in their classroom until the danger has passed.
The purpose of all of these drills is to provide the safest conditions for our students. During these times, parents can help by not calling the school or coming to the complex. We know this is stressful for you as well, but you must understand that the safety of our students comes first. We will send home information as soon as possible.