School Emergency Guide for Parents
Safe Learning and Working Environments – A Top Priority
Creating and maintaining a safe environment in our schools for students, staff, and visitors is one of the key elements of the District’s strategic plan. Parental support and community involvement are vital to helping the district maintain safe, orderly schools. The District works with Local Emergency Planning Committees, and public safety agencies within the Borough and state to develop and implement school and District emergency plans that help create safe school environments.
Emergency Preparation is Critical
The District and all schools in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough have plans to respond to emergencies, including inclement weather, fire, dangerous items on campus, and other situations. Schools update their site specific Safe School Plans annually, assisted by the School Resource Officer (SRO) provided by the City of Ketchikan Police Department. In addition, all schools conduct emergency drills throughout the school year so that students and staff are aware of the most effective and safe emergency responses.
Parents Have a Key Role in Emergency Response
During and following an emergency situation, school and district officials must act quickly and follow established emergency protocols to safeguard students and staff, secure schools, and communicate accurate information in a timely manner. The district will be assisted greatly, if parents take these few critical steps:
· Give school officials accurate contact information so you can be reached in case of emergency. Keep the information current by notifying officials of any changes as soon as they occur. Multiple contact sources are helpful, including home and office telephone and fax numbers, mobile telephone numbers and email addresses. It is also important to provide up-to-date names and contact information of family members, friends, and any other adults authorized as emergency contacts for your child, in case you cannot be reached
· Talk to your child about your emergency notification arrangements and let your child and school officials know if you anticipate being unavailable or difficult to reach for an extended period of time.
· Stay informed about potentially serious situations, such as inclement weather.
· Monitor local media when serious conditions arise at school or in the community that might result in school evacuation, early dismissal, or school closure.
· Notify school officials if you see or hear of anything that could create a danger at school.
· Sign up for emergency notification: http://www.flashalert.net/
Delayed Dismissal and Emergency School Closings
Occasionally, an unforeseeable event or emergency may require the closing of a school or all schools for a period of time. The decision to close schools, or alter opening and closing times, is made by the superintendent after consulting with staff and public safety agencies. Notification of emergency closings is given as soon as possible so parents and guardians can make arrangements for their children’s care during such situations. The decision to close schools is based on many considerations, the most important being the safety of students, staff, parents, and others in the community.
In cases of threatening weather, the district maintains contact with local law enforcement officials to help make decisions about dismissal of students or school closings.
Emergency weather related delays of school start, dismissal and closing of schools are announced on FlashNews and FlashAlert. FlashAlert messages are sent by text message to cell phones and email accounts. FlashAlert is used for emergency changes to scheduled events. FlashNews is used for more routine announcements of school district events and is sent to email accounts. To learn more about FlashAlert and FlashNews, visit the District homepage :
or visit the FlashAlert website: http://www.flashalert.net/
Important Points to Remember
· Your school has a plan – Each school has a site-specific Safe School Plan. Teachers, administrators and staff have been trained and have completed drills using this plan.
· Keep your emergency contact information current – Please be sure your emergency contact information (home address, home/work/cellular telephone numbers, names of others authorized to pick up your child) is updated whenever there is a change.
· Monitor local news – Monitor local media outlets for information regarding school emergencies.
· Be alert for a Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District Notification – The district and schools send emergency and routine messages to parents via mass telephone notification: http://www.flashalert.net/
· Parents may register multiple phone numbers with their child’s school to ensure messages are received: http://www.flashalert.net/
· Do not call or go to your child’s school – During an actual emergency, school staff will be busy responding to the emergency and addressing the needs of students. Calling the school will only tie up phone lines that must be used for emergency communications with staff and emergency responders. Please do not go to your child’s school unless you have received direction to do so from the school or district officials. Vehicular traffic around the school may impede the ability of emergency responders from entering/exiting the campus.
· Reuniting with your child – When the situation allows, students will be released following procedures prescribed in the school’s Safe School Plan. This procedure ensures that each student is released in an orderly manner to a parent, relative or other authorized person designated by the parent. Individuals picking up students will be asked to present valid picture identification and may be asked to sign students out to ensure safety and accountability.
· Students who remain at school – If a parent, guardian or authorized designee cannot pick up their child following an emergency, the child will remain under staff supervision until the parent, guardian or authorized designee arrives at the school.