What Families Should Do During an Emergency
During an emergency, it is a natural instinct for families to want to rush to their child. Waukee Community School District shares the same instinct – to protect and safeguard our children. Our organized, systematic procedures and plans guide our response to a wide range of crisis situations.
Here are a few ways parents and members of the community can help us effectively respond to a crisis:
- Remain calm, follow procedures, and cooperate with school and public safety officials.
- Please do not go to the school. Traffic may block emergency responders from getting to the scene or transporting injured students or staff to emergency medical facilities.
- Please do not call the school. It is essential to keep phone lines open so school officials can make outgoing emergency calls.
- Remain close to the phone or computer. We will send accurate information and instructions to your contact information in PowerSchool.
- Tune in to local television or radio stations.
- Check district social media sites for possible updates. These include Facebook and Twitter (@WaukeeCSD).
- Understand that the district may require families to pick up their children at a reunification site other than their school. In this case, please bring your photo ID. The district will communicate the location of the reunification site through the channels provided above.
Readiness, Response, Recovery & Reunification
The district has a comprehensive emergency management plan focused around four principles: Readiness, Response, Recovery and Reunification. While there are certain details regarding our emergency response plan that are not shared publicly, we feel it is important for families to have an overview of our plan and how they can help during emergencies.
- Having an established emergency management plan developed in partnership with local law enforcement, as well as other appropriate emergency management resources.
- Analyzing our facilities for safety, security, communication, equipment capabilities and other areas of operational and functional ability.
- Research and preplanning to determine the most probable scenarios that could adversely affect our staff and the communities we serve.
- Training for our staff members so they can act as a team to mitigate a threat or minimize the impact to our children when a natural or man-made disaster occurs.
- Utilizing Threat Assessment Teams at each building to proactively identify and prevent potential safety concerns.
- Our district has conducted large-scale drills and tabletop exercises in partnership with police, fire, and emergency response services to test and improve our plans.
- Constant vigilance to make necessary changes when protocols or actions need to be modified.
- Recognizing an emergency or disaster early and communicating initial actions to co-workers, students and parents.
- Early notification of public safety when appropriate (911, Police, Fire, Rescue, Sheriff)
- Staff implementing actions that follow a predetermined plan to mitigate a threat or minimize the impact to our students when a natural or man-made disaster occurs.
- Staff working seamlessly with public safety officers when they arrive to maximize positive outcomes.
- Using our emergency notification system to alert families with accurate information as soon as possible. To ensure you receive a notification call, make sure that you have a PowerSchool account and provide up-to-date contact information. If you do not have an account, please call your school building office.
- Having predetermined programs in place to provide counseling services to staff, students and parents when a situation and/or need arises.
- Having the ability to continue operations or the capacity to restore basic services quickly and effectively.
- Maintaining a fiscally sound and financially conservative business model so the organization has a “rainy-day” funding mechanism.
- Utilize “hot-wash” methodology (immediate review of the response to the situation) so we can continue to reinforce the readiness and response process.
- This is a formalized, controlled release of students to their custodial parents or guardians. It provides a predictable and organized method of reunifying children with their families after an emergency.
- A controlled release may not be a typical end-of-school-day event and it may occur at a different location than your child’s school due to the circumstances of the emergency situation.
- If the reunification is at a different building, we will communicate the alternate location and instructions at the time of the emergency.
- The following will help familiarize you with the reunification process in advance of an emergency. You will need to:
- Bring a photo ID. This will streamline things during reunification.
- Fill out a reunification card. In the case of multiple students being reunified, a separate card for each student needs to be completed. This card and your identification will be used to confirm custody and help ensure proper and document reunification with your child.
- Be patient. Reunification is a process that protects the safety of the student and provides for an accountable change of custody. After check-in, a runner will be sent to recover the student while the parent/guardian will step over to the Parent Staging Area.