Parents Expectations During A School Emergency (1/16/16)
From the Williston School District Safety Committee
Parents can be instrumental in helping authorities maintain order in an emergency situation by listening to and following directions given by school personnel, police officers and firefighters. Emergency situations make us feel vulnerable and out of control. School personnel, police and firefighters will do whatever is necessary to ensure your child is safe and reunited with you as soon as possible. The following are questions parents frequently ask during an emergency and the answers that will support the efforts of the people working to keep all children safe:
HOW WILL I GET INFORMATION?
All factual information will come from Unified Command (school, police, fire and other officials) via Blackboard Connect 5* hourly - even if the message is “no new information,” or more frequently if there is new information to report.
All members of the local and state police departments, including dispatch, will be busy dealing with the school emergency. Please refrain from calling the police or other departments working on the emergency so that they can focus on the situation at hand.
SHOULD I COME TO THE SCHOOL OR EVACUATION SITE**?
Only if you are directed to do so via a message from the school. Please do not come near the school entrances. Police officers/school personnel will have the entrances to the schools blocked. By doing so you could put yourself and others in jeopardy.
SHOULD I CALL MY CHILD’S CELL PHONE?
Staff will allow your children to call/text you when it is safe.
We know it is important for you to speak with your child in an emergency situation. However, the sound of a ringing/buzzing phone may draw attention to the location of students who are safely hiding/waiting for emergency personnel. Everyone using cell service at the same time may overload or crash this communication system. Please wait for your child to contact you or to be updated with factual information via a Blackboard Connect 5 message hourly - even if the message is “no new information,” or more frequently if there is new information to report.
WHERE WILL I MEET MY CHILD?
If the school is evacuated a Blackboard Connect 5 message will direct you when to meet your child at a reunification site away from the school and evacuation sites. Students will be sent to this location as quickly as possible. Please be patient. The rescue and evacuation may take time but will be done as quickly and safely as possible. If your child is sent to the hospital this information will be passed on to you.
Please follow directions and listen to school staff member(s) at the reunification site. These staff members have the latest factual information to share with you.
WHEN CAN I LEAVE THE REUNIFICATION SITE WITH MY CHILD?
Once at the reunification site, do not leave with your child unless police or school personnel give you permission to leave. We need to make sure we have accounted for all students.
*Blackboard Connect 5 - A communication system using the internet and /or phone that can send information to all registered participants.
**Reunification Site - A location established, based on the circumstances, away from the schools and evacuation sites. The site will be manned by school and emergency personnel.