District Lock-In Drill - January 28

posted Jan 24, 2013, 12:06 PM by Corey Thompson   [ updated Jan 24, 2013, 12:07 PM ]
In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, many of you have contacted my office and our schools with your questions, concerns and suggestions.  Thank you for reaching out to us.  Each morning, you entrust your children to us and we do not take that responsibility lightly.  

The District has worked diligently over the years to establish comprehensive safety protocols.  Since December, my team has been carefully reviewing our procedures to be sure that we are doing everything we can to protect students and staff in the event of an emergency.  Our wonderful partnership with the Sherwood Police continues, and they have been involved in our review, in addition to evaluating our facilities and making recommendations to us for improvements.  We have been making changes in our buildings to enhance security, some of which you may notice, and others that you likely will not.  Staff are receiving refresher trainings and students will experience more regular drills throughout the school year.

On Monday, January 28 we will be conducting lock-in drills throughout the district.  
A lock-in is what the news media often refers to as a "lock-down" -- all students and staff are secured within individual classrooms/offices and there is to be no movement throughout the building.  Drills will take place throughout the day, two campuses at a time on the following schedule:
8:30 a.m. - Edy Ridge Elementary, Laurel Ridge Middle School, Middleton Elementary
9:30 a.m. - Sherwood Middle School, Hopkins Elementary
1:00 p.m. - Archer Glen Elementary, Sherwood High School

There are a few things I want to be sure and share with you prior to conducting these drills:
  • Sherwood Police will be on-site, along with my team of administrators, to observe.  If you are around our campuses on the 28th, you will very likely see an increased police presence as our partners help us evaluate our protocols.  

  • If you are a visitor in the building during one of the drills, we need you to participate with us; please follow the directions given by our staff.  If you arrive during a drill, you will not be allowed to enter and students will not be allowed to exit until the drill concludes.  Please plan ahead if you need to drop off or pick up your student during the day on Monday.

  • Later this week, we will be reminding all students of the procedures they should follow during a lock-in.  We have taken great care to make sure these conversations are age appropriate.  We know many of our elementary students are unaware of the events that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary; our staff will approach this drill with this understanding and remind students that this is one of the many safety drills that we do each year at our school.

Each school has a designated off-campus “Safe Place” location where students and staff can relocate to if an evacuation of the building is necessary.  If this were to occur, parents would be notified of the location and procedures for reuniting with their student(s) via our notification systems and/or FlashAlert.  

As parents of secondary students, many of you have designated an alternate, personal, safe location with your child; this might be a neighbor’s home, the library, etc., within a half mile of the school, where your student would have access to a phone.  While we never anticipate students being separated from our staff in an emergency, we know that some families take comfort in having a second location identified, in advance, with their student.

As a reminder, in the unlikely event of an emergency, the District would communicate with SSD parents using our automated phone system and FlashAlert.net.  Parents can be sure they are prepared to receive prompt communication from the District by doing two things:
  1. Ensure that parent phone numbers are up to date with school office staff or in our student information system, eSIS
  2. Sign up to receive Flash Alert messages, bookmark the FlashAlert website or download the FlashAlert app

I know this is a lot of information all at once.  Please know our principals will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding Monday's drill.  You are welcome, as always, to contact my office as well.