Happy holidays everyone! I wish you a season of peace, rest, good food, good times, and most of all, good health.
As you know, we recently had an incident in the district that necessitated an evacuation of one of our elementary schools and a Lockdown-Hold in Place in three of the four elementary schools as well as the Middle/High School. At a recent Home and School Association Meeting I explained the three different emergency drills we have, and thought that it would be helpful for me to reiterate my comments in Byrd Notes.
We are required to hold one evacuation drill and one lockdown drill per month according to New Jersey Administrative Code. Twice per year our evacuation drills consist of an on-site evacuation, which prepares the students, faculty and staff for a situation that may require us to leave the school grounds. During an on-site evacuation we convene at our fire drill stations, take attendance and then, upon direction, move to the basketball court where we wait for further instruction. In the event that we had to evacuate to Central School, the decision would be made by the Glen Rock Police Department after they assessed the situation.
Our monthly fire drills constitute evacuation drills as well.
We practice Lockdowns on a monthly basis. A Lockdown would be called for active shooters or if suspected dangerous people were within or near the school. During a lockdown, all activities would immediately be stopped, teachers would lock their doors, shut the lights, close the blinds, cover the window pane in the door and have the children quietly seated in an area away from the windows and door. Teachers know to notify the office via E mail or classroom telephone if a student is out of their room. Children have been taught what to do should they be out of the classroom when a lockdown is announced.
No one is allowed to enter or leave the building or the classroom room during a lockdown and teachers are not allowed to open their classroom door.
Cell phone usage, including texting, is not permitted during a lockdown.
The Main Office, custodian, maintenance, etc. would be in lockdown as well so if parents were to come to the building to sign their child out, there would be no response to the front doorbell. Only police and first responders would be moving about the building.
If the situation was deemed unsafe enough to warrant a lockdown, you should consider that it is unsafe for you to be in the vicinity of the school as well. As soon as possible, a Honeywell call would go out apprising you of the situation.
A Lockdown-Hold in Place is called when school or law enforcement authorities feel that the safety of the children, teachers, staff is jeopardized or for the privacy of a sick or injured faculty member or student. During a Lockdown-Hold in Place the classroom door is locked, the window blinds are closed and the window pane in the door is covered. Instruction/activities go on as planned; however, no one would be allowed to enter or leave the building or the classroom. Certain authorized people would be allowed in the halls to assist police and first responders; however, the front doors would remain locked and no one would be allowed to enter or exit the building. Again, a Honeywell would go out as soon as possible. Parents should not come to the school to pick up their child(ren) until the police determine that the situation has abated and it is deemed safe.
We have learned how important these procedures are to the safety of all us. I appreciate your interest in learning more about how we are providing for the protection of your children and thank you for your continued cooperation as we practice and refine our emergency responses procedures.
Enjoy the holidays and we will see all of you in the new year!!!
Linda Weber, Ed. D.
School Security Drills
NJ State Law requires schools to conduct school security drills of some variety once per month. This is in addition to the fire drills, we have been practicing each month for a number of years now. A school security drill is defined as an exercise to practice procedures that respond to an emergency situation including, but not limited to, a non-fire evacuation, lockdown, or shelter situation. We will holding school security drills monthly throughout the school year. If you observe these drills taking place, please do not be alarmed. In the event of an actual emergency, we will notify you through our Honeywell, reverse 911 system.
Thanks for your anticipated cooperation.
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