WEATHERFORD ISD SAFETY PREPARATION, DRILLS AND INFORMATION
The safety and security of our students and staff is of utmost importance to us. Please remember that, in the event of a campus emergency, parents might be notified through the School Messenger System. Therefore, it is very important that you keep your contact information up-to-date with your child's campus. In the event of an emergency, please follow all directions from the school. Parents who attempt to come to the school during a crisis can prevent first responders from arriving on the scene and may complicate an already difficult situation. Therefore it is imperative that parents wait for further guidance from school staff, as the safety and security of our students are the priority in our decision making processes during a crisis. Our staff has been trained in emergency processes and we work very closely with local, city and county law enforcement officials to assure that emergency processes are efficient. Emergency preparedness is ongoing.
The following questions and answers are designed to help parents and students understand Weatherford's emergency procedures.
1. What is emergency preparedness and what emergencies does Weatherford ISD prepare for?
Emergency preparedness for a school district involves four elements - prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. Weatherford ISD has established a District Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) that provides for procedures & processes for all these elements. Weatherford ISD has developed a great relationship with local emergency law enforcement and personnel in the city and county. We work with these agencies to develop our emergency plans. Weatherford ISD prepares for a wide range of events and crises.
2. Can I see the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) that has been developed?
No. Doing so could increase the risk to students and staff by allowing plans to come into the hands of those who may pose a risk to our campuses and other facilities. Texas law exempts sensitive information to be disclosed publically.
3. What will Weatherford ISD do in the event an emergency occurs while school is in session?
The specific actions taken by Weatherford ISD will vary depending on the nature of the emergency or crises. Every emergency or crises is different, but we want to assure parents that we work with and prepare our staff for an emergency situation. Your child may share with you some of the practice drills that we do in preparation for an emergency situation.
4. In an emergency, can the school keep parents from coming and getting their children?
Depending upon the nature of the crises or emergency, it may be necessary to restrict access to a school campus to anyone who is not emergency personnel or necessary school staff. Parents will be notified of the location of a parent / student reunification site if one is established.
5. What is a lockout?
A lockout is used when there is a situation outside the building that may be harmful. Any students who are outside the building are moved inside the building and all external doors are locked, including the front door. Students continue to move between classes and receive instruction as they normally would; however, parents will not be allowed to enter the building during a lockout.
6. What is a lockdown?
A lockdown is used when there is a threat inside the campus. The campus is secured and all external and internal doors are locked. In this situation all students and staff remain secure in a classroom or a secure locked area, if possible. Parents will not be allowed to enter the building during a lockdown.
7. What is an evacuation?
An evacuation is an emergency response when staff and students are ordered to leave the school building. An evacuation may occur due to any internal safety concern, such as a fire.
8. What is a shelter in place?
A shelter in place is an internal procedure where students and staff are kept inside the school facility to protect them from an external hazard such as a weather related event or chemical hazard. Students may be moved internally to a "safe" room or a room that has limited access to windows & doors.
9. What is a hold?
A hold is utilized when there may be an issue in the hallway - a medical emergency, a slippery floor, etc. This action calls for students and staff to remain in the classroom until the hallway is cleared. Classroom instruction may continue as normal until the "Hold" is released.
10. What is a parent / student reunification site?
A parent / student reunification site is normally a physical location separate from the facility where the crisis or emergency occurred. It is there that parents are reunited with their students in a controlled and orderly process.
11. Who can pick up a student from school or from a reunification site?
Students will only be released to individuals who are authorized on the enrollment card. Appropriate identification will be required to access your child.
12. How will I know where the reunification site is located?
Weatherford ISD will release information by School Messenger callout or have staff members to direct parents to the reunification site. Weatherford ISD will also post information on our website and could utilize local media outlets to assist in releasing information.
13. What occurs if my child and other students are riding a bus at the time an emergency occurs?
Weatherford ISD will be in communication with Transportation via cell phones and radios during any crises. There is an emergency process that is in place to communicate with Transportation to give direction during an emergency. Parents will be informed if a parent / student reunification site is established. For the safety of the students, it is important that parents not approach any bus while it is in route or in a secured location. Drivers are instructed not to stop or allow a parent or unauthorized person to board a bus.
14. My child has special needs. What emergency preparations and consideration are being made for children with special needs?
Your child's teacher and the campus nurse have discussed plans for those children with special needs and those plans are practiced when the campus has drills. This can be from assuring that medication is available during an emergency to the movement of handicapped children during a crisis.
15. Should I contact my child at school on their cell phone during an emergency?
As a parent, we all want to make sure that our children are safe and secure during an emergency. However, in a crisis situation, a cell phone ring could create imminent danger to your child and other students. Also, depending on the emergency, cell phone usage could cause cell towers and relay stations to become overburdened, which may cause a shutdown or delay in getting emergency calls through. We ask that are staff and students silence their phones and limit their calls for emergencies only.