Thompson School District promotes emergency readiness through comprehensive planning in collaboration with emergency service providers (police, sheriff, fire, and medical). Readiness planning is conducted through school crisis teams and the district's Crisis Incident Response Team. Every school has a crisis team that plans and prepares for emergency needs within their building. In order to further support schools, the district has a response team referred to as "DIRT" (District Incident Response Team). These two teams work in unison to bring about immediate and appropriate responses to any emergency incident that may occur.
Emergency incident response plans are aligned with guidance from the Department of Homeland Security, the Colorado Department of Public Safety, and the U.S. Department of Education. The universal elements of readiness are:
Prevent / Mitigate, Plan / Preparation, Response / Intervention, Recovery / Reunification.
Emergency Response Protocols
Schools practice a variety of emergency drills throughout the school year. These drills include fire, lock-down, lock-out, shelter-in-place, and evacuation. Thompson School District uses protocols from the i love u guys foundation:
Safety and Security Roles
Every person in the community has a role in maintaining safe and secure schools. The roles of staff, students, parents, and community include the following:
- Staff members follow safety and security protocols, model safety and security behaviors, reinforce behavior expectations, and provide behavior interventions. Staff members also plan and conduct emergency drills, participate in their security and safety committees, and work to collaborate with district personnel and community members in order to enhance measures to provide for a safe and secure learning environment. Staff members also know how to identify potential threats to safety and security and report such concerns to school administration without delay.
- Students play a critical role in order to maintain safe and secure schools. Students should follow all direction during emergency drills. Students should be willing to talk with parents, teachers, school counselors, school administrators, and police when they have concerns about their individual safety or that of another. Students should also practice positive interpersonal relationship skills to help sustain a safe and secure learning environment and to promote social competence.
- Parents should be knowledgeable about safety and security procedures at their student's school. Parents should reinforce and support school behavior expectations and should participate in safety and security discussions at meetings. Parents should be able to identify potential threats to the safety and security of their student(s) and report concerns to school administration and/or police without delay.
- Community members - including members of law enforcement, fire and medical services - should work to collaborate with school officials to develop emergency response protocols. Businesses, private organizations, clubs, and churches should work in partnership with the district to help build, support, and sustain safe and secure schools.
In the Event of an Emergency
In the event of any emergency incident at a school, parents/guardians are asked to monitor their phones and local news channels for information and advisements from the district. The district will provide urgent information to parents/guardians via telephone and email, the district website, social websites (Facebook and Twitter), and the media.
Please understand your school's emergency response plan. Among many things, you will want to know where to go for reunification (the process of bringing together students with parents / guardians). Schools have plans to help you with this process. So please take the time to ask a few simple questions:
- In case of an emergency and the students are moved off campus, where will I go to pick-up my student?
- In case of an emergency, how will I know what is going on?
- In case of an emergency, who can I call for questions and information?
- What hospitals would likely be used in case of medical emergencies and what are their phone numbers?
- In case of an emergency, will my student have access to his/her personal belongings and school supplies?
Please ensure your emergency contact information is up to date and on file with your school.
What you can do
Here are some suggestions to follow to help keep schools safe and secure:
- Report violence, harassment, bullying, suspicious persons or activities, and illegal activities such as weapons and drug or alcohol possession/use to school administration immediately. Do not wait! Without intervention, these problems do not go away.
- Report violence, harassment, bullying, suspicious persons or activities, and illegal activity such as weapons and drug or alcohol possession/use to police.
- SAFE2TELL® is designed to help YOU anonymously report any threatening behavior that endangers you, your friends, your family, or your community. Click the link to view and print Safe2Tell's most recent information sheet. http://safe2tell.org/
- Parents and students should discuss safety and security concerns, along with methods for prevention, intervention, and reporting.
- Monitor cell phone and social media information. Threats and bullying incidents have increasingly become more cyber based. Without parental monitoring of these media, student victimization may go unnoticed and needed interventions may be delayed.
- Talk to a school counselor. School counselors are trained in crisis prevention and intervention. Counselors offer significant social and emotional support to people at risk of harming themselves or others.
- Ask for help! There are many community resources available. Ask your school counselor, church, or civic organizations that provide help for individuals and families in crisis.
In February 2013, the Thompson School District hosted three safety and security community forums. The following are community member comments received at the forums, which the district will utilize to enhance safety and security programs: COMMENTS
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