Monday, December 17, 2012

Informative and devastating: school lockdown procedure for parents

This was in my inbox this morning and while it may be deemed necessary, I couldn't stomach this line: "These sights have been selected based on their visibility to an intruder". Rest in peace, children and guardians of Sandy Hook.

Good morning SJD parents,

As a follow up to my email earlier this morning, I would like to provide you with information regarding our procedures here at the school should we need to go into a lockdown situation. I am providing this email for information only at the request of our PAC president and am not anticipating any need for an actual lockdown at our school.

You may recall that we had an unconfirmed sighting of a cougar around the school in mid-November. Our school went into an indoor only lockdown so that no child and/or staff member was out on the playground during the school day. This type of lockdown is the least intrusive to our school as the children and staff are able to move freely within the school but not permitted outside. We were able to stay in contact with the conservation officer and Victoria Police throughout the day as to the level of risk to our community, and provided that information to parents on email as well.

Should there be a need to go into a full lockdown of our school, the teachers and students are trained to lock the classroom doors (if not already locked) and move the children to the designated lockdown area of the classroom, music room, library or gym. These areas are identified by a symbol of a lock that is displayed in clear view within the classroom. These sights have been selected based on their visibility to an intruder. The children practice this drill regularly, just as they do fire and earthquake drills. The administration, office staff and custodian have additional duties during a full lockdown drill (e.g. locking our front door, accounting for missing students …). We run our emergency drills from time to time with our police liaison officer in attendance and/or the Victoria Fire Department. We are also required to log our emergency drills with our district Health and Safety Department.

Should we need to go into a lockdown while the children are outside (threat is within the school at the time), we have a protocol to move our students to the nearest available facility which is Central Middle School. Children would go into the gymnasium at Central and parents would be contacted to pick the children up from there.
I hope that this information regarding lockdown procedures reassures you that we have protocol in place to keep your children safe at SJD. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Mrs. Teri Wickes
Ecole Sir James Douglas School

Ford Pier's haunting and beautiful song: Why On Earth?

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