Week 10: We’re in. Are you?

Guidelines for parents to follow during a crisis

A school emergency can take many forms: a natural hazard, such as an earthquake or severe weather event; or an intruder in the school. We all hope it never happens, but we steadfastly prepare in case it does.

In a school emergency, the first instinct as a parent is to pick up the telephone and start calling the school or rush up to the school to pick up your child. The truth is, this only complicates matters from a  safety and  security standpoint.  The best action you can take in a school emergency is to stay close to your phone and email, and wait for instructions and updates. 

During the golden hour of an emergency:

  1. We must keep phone lines open for emergency responders. Please do not call the school. You will receive a message from the school as soon as possible.
  2. Staff and students are discouraged from using cell phone communication for safety reasons and, in fact, may be asked to silence their cell phones. Do not call your child’s cell phone.
  3. School access routes and entrance areas must remain clear for emergency vehicles. Do not immediately drive to the school.

Emergency Communications:
During emergencies, heavy demand for communication services can quickly exceed the capacity of existing systems, limiting user access or shutting them down entirely. During a natural disaster,  access to, and   functionality of, communication equipment and infrastructure may be limited. With that in mind, the district will attempt to initiate communications through various channels, including but not limited to:

  • School Messenger: text, email, phone
  • Flash Alert Messenger & Newswire
  • District/school websites
  • Social media: Facebook and Twitter, and
  • Reverse 911, if activated by a local emergency response agency

In preparation for an emergency:

Please make sure your child’s school has accurate emergency contact information, including phone and email. Also, be sure to designate who may pick up your child from school in your absence.

Addressing security threats:

Sandy Police officers have trained and prepared all school staff to respond to a security threat using Run, Hide, Fight protocols; and all K-12 students are instructed by their teachers, age-appropriately, to follow the protocols.

  • If it is determined that a potentially dangerous situation is outside/near a school, the school will remain locked, the building will be monitored, and students will not be allowed to exit the building until the situation is resolved.
  • If it is determined that a potentially dangerous situation is inside the school, staff will initiate a Run, Hide, Fight response to safeguard students.

School emergency response protocols:

The nature of a school emergency dictates the protocols school officials will initiate as a means to ensure the    safety and well-being of students and staff.

Depending on the emergency, students may be:

  • secured within their classroom or another location within the school building,
  • secured at an outside location on school grounds, or
  • relocated to an off-campus site for reunification with family.

Please note: All parents or designees wishing to pick up students during a family reunification will need to show photo ID.

For more information about the district’s Emergency Operations Plan, contact Julia Monteith at 503-668-0679, julia.monteith@ortrail.k12.or.us, or visit our Student Safety & School Security webpage.