Dear McKinley Families,
School safety is of paramount importance to us all. We have Lockdown Procedures in place as part of our commitment to keep all our children and staff safe within our campus.
Later this week, we will be conducting a Complete LOCKDOWN DRILL, one of two we will conduct this year. All operations and instructional activities will be halted, no employees or visitors will be granted access to the site for the duration of the lockdown and all occupants are to remain inside buildings to provide the highest level of concealment and cover.
Our office staff will contact the Police Department to notify them that this is a drill and no office phones will be answered as the drill is conducted.
During the drill, our custodian, Office Manager and I will “walk the campus” to ensure that the procedure was followed and once we’ve determined that everything is secure, we will issue an “all-clear” signal. I anticipate this will take approximately 20-30 minutes.
In an effort to allay student fears that can be attached to this experience, I visited virtually every classroom today to brief students on what to expect when we practice our first lock down this year. (I have to zip into three more classrooms which I’ll do first thing tomorrow morning.)
I’d like to share what I covered with your children –
♣ Our number one school rule is BE SAFE
♣ We practice being safe in different ways
o Playground & School Rules
♣ Lockdown Drill examples –
o Swarm of bees moving around campus
o Unfamiliar dog on campus with no collar who is behaving strangely
o Severe weather
o An individual or adult who we don’t know that doesn’t belong on campus
♣ Overview of what to expect during Lockdown Drill
o Alarm sound (60 seconds of a loud, sustained alarm)
o If you are outside, get inside the classroom closest to your body
o Expectations for classrooms once kids are inside
• Doors locked and closed
• Blinds drawn
• Lights off
• Any phones on silent
• Students sit in safe spots designated by teachers
♣ Reminded children this will be a drill and there is no danger, but we practice so we are prepared
I ended with a refrain a colleague shared, “We’re not scared, we’re prepared!”
Sometimes, lockdown situations can frighten students, however we do everything possible to keep the children calm.
Any efforts you can make at home to support this message (Be safe, we practice all kinds of ways to be safe at school) would be appreciated.
As parents, you know your child best and I trust you’ll approach this in a way that works best for your child(ren). Please discuss this situation with your children and let us know if follow-up is needed at school.
Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ll close with heartfelt thanks for your support as a parent community.