Dear Dayton Oaks Families,
This past Tuesday, Ms. Tracy and I engaged in a school safety and security discussion during our monthly PTA meeting. We were fortunate to be joined by Mr. Jason McCoy, the Performance, Equity and Community Response Officer, who provided information from a district perspective. Recent national events remind us of the importance of school safety and security procedures and practices. As a school, we take emergency preparedness seriously, as well as communication with the community. Please ensure your family file has the most up-to-date information, as this is how Dayton oaks will communicate with you in an emergency situation. We also engaged staff in discussion around ways to maintain a safe a secure school environment, and I would refer you to our email message sent on March 5th.
In addition to ten fire drills a year, we conduct six emergency drills to prepare for an emergency situation. Following each drill, we always recognize or provide feedback to students and staff for their performance, and an email communication goes out to the community.
There are four types of emergency procedures: 1) duck, cover and hold-on, 2) shelter-in-place, 3) lockdown, and 4) modified lockdown.
Each scenario requires a different response from the school community.
Duck, Cover, and Hold On - The “duck, cover, and hold on” command would be given in the event of an explosion (bomb, mechanical malfunction), severe winds (tornado, extreme weather), earthquake, or other situations that might cause significant structural damage to the school. Students, staff, parents, and any visitor to the building should drop to the ground where they are and cover their heads until the extreme activity subsides.
Shelter-In-Place – The purpose of a shelter in place emergency response is to protect the inhabitants of a building from dangerous fumes or other environmental poisons that are outside the building; this means moving students into the school building if they are outside. In some situations, the school’s HVAC system would be shut down, and doors and windows would be sealed and locked. Shelter-In-Place emergency procedures would be initiated in the event of a hazardous materials spill in the area or in the event of some type of bioterrorism in the region.
Modified Lockdown – This command would be given if there were a potential for violent or criminal activity but not an imminent threat to our school. The day-to-day operation of the school would continue, but with modifications. Students would not be permitted to go outside for recess or physical education.
Lockdown – This emergency command would be given in the most extreme and threatening situation such as violence or criminal activity inside the school or in the surrounding area. Students, staff, parents, and any visitor to the building are expected to stay where they are and follow instructions given.
Off-Site Evacuation – In the event that our building is no longer safe, we may determine that we need to evacuate the students. We have designated locations for our off-site evacuation. If necessary, transportation to those sites may be provided by HCPSS. Students will be released to parents or other individuals listed on the student's emergency form. Please keep in mind that no student is released to any individual who is not specifically listed on the student's emergency form, including an older sibling. All adults must show photo I.D. when picking up a student.
We hope we never have to initiate any emergency plan. However, we know that drills and practices helps us improve our procedures. Each classroom has a “quick reference guide” easily specifying directions on where to go in the event of any of the above emergency situations. As we continue to engage the community on a local and national level around school safety and security, please know that there is nothing more important than your child’s safety. We are all committed to this goal.
If you have any questions, comments or feedback please let me know, utilizing the following discussion link: School Safety Survey