HELP US KEEP YOUR CHILDREN SAFE! What you need to know if there is an emergency at your child’s school:
Review this information carefully. Following the steps provided will help school officials, police officers, firefighters and other responders do their jobs and focus on the safety of all involved.
Keep your child’s emergency contact information up-to-date. Inform your child’s school immediately if your phone number, address or email address changes. You may be called and emailed during an emergency. Additionally, children will only be released to adults listed on the emergency information form.
Talk with your child about listening and following directions at all times and especially during an emergency.
Report any safety concerns you may have to your child’s school principal.
WHAT PARENTS SHOULD DO DURING A SCHOOL EMERGENCY
1. Wait for information from the District. The latest information will be provided by phone, text and email via the District’s messaging system (School Messenger). The first priority of school and district personnel is to address the emergency at hand. You will be informed as soon as information is available. If it is an ongoing event, updates will be provided as new information is available. lnformation may also be obtained from the WSD Facebook and Twitter, website and WTV, Comcast Cable 28 and Verizon Channel 41.
2. Try not to call the school. Telephone lines may be needed for emergency communication.
3. Do not go to the school, or evacuation site, until notified to do so. During extreme emergencies, students will be released only at designated locations at the school or evacuation site. It is important that no other pickup point be utilized (e.g., do not go directly to your child’s classroom), as we need to be able to account for every child at all times. Please emphasize with your child the need to remain with school personnel until you arrive or somebody you authorize to pick up your child arrives.
4. Know that in the event of a serious emergency, students will be kept at their schools or evacuated to a prearranged alternate site. When the time comes to pick up students, only you or a responsible adult you have preidentified (i.e., your child’s emergency contacts on file with the school) will be permitted to pick up your child.
5. Impress upon your child the need for them to follow directions of any school personnel in times of an emergency.
FACTS AND TERMS EVERY PARENT SHOULD KNOW
Run-Hide-Resist: Starting in the 2018-19 school year, the district is changing how our schools respond to emergency situations that involve a building intruder. Instead of the old approach of automatically “locking down” and staying in the classroom, the new protocol (which is based on best practices from local and nationwide school security experts) incorporates a “Run-Hide-Resist” approach. Staff members and students will assess the situation and will have the option of running away from the danger (if circumstances dictate) or hiding (the traditional locking of classroom door and hiding in the classroom). The “resist” option is also in play, as a last resort (age appropriate tactics that can include use of barricades, projectiles, etc.). Staff members have been trained in this new protocol, and stand ready to share the new approach with students at the start of the year. From there, drills will be conducted to help staff and students alike be as ready as possible for all emergencies.
External Lock Down: During an external lock down all school exterior doors are locked because of a threat or potential threat located outside the school. Students and staff may move throughout the building as needed.
Shelter-In-Place: Shelter-In-Place means that children are moved to interior rooms in the school with few or no windows. Shelter-In-Place is used when there may be the potential for harm from extreme weather or hazardous materials that may have been released into the atmosphere, and it is determined that an evacuation or dismissal could place students at risk.
Evacuation: Evacuation means that students and staff must leave the school building and move to a prearranged safe location.
CURRENT SECURITY MEASURES
The Wissahickon School District currently uses the following safety and security equipment and resources.
- Full-time School Resource Officer
- On-staff security at WHS and WMS plus additional contracted security coverage during and after school hours
- Security cameras in all schools
- Secure vestibule in all schools preventing unauthorized entry beyond the primary, locked, exterior door
- Raptor ID system in all schools that checks visitors against national sexual offender databases and allows schools to produce visitor badges with photos
- Electronic “key cards” at all buildings for access control
- C.LA.S.S. (Countywide Law Enforcement Alerting and Safety System) in all schools
- Emergency procedures posted in all offices and classrooms
- Fire alarm systems installed in all schools
- Two-way radio communications within each building
- Individual building safety committees
- Monthly fire drills and other regularly scheduled safety drills in partnership with local first responders
- Safe2Say Something Anonymous Reporting System
Safe2Say Something Program
The Safe2Say Something Anonymous Reporting System allows our students & school community to report safety concerns confidentially via a mobile app, website or tipline.
Wissahickon Schools and the Police Departments of Ambler Borough, Lower Gwynedd Township and Whitpain Township are committed to a partnership that is designed to keep the children of the Wissahickon School District safe and secure at all times.
We encourage all families to review the following safety related documents:
Meet Officer Beth Sanborn
Officer Beth Sanborn is a Lower Gwynedd Police Officer assigned to serve as the full-time School Resource Officer for the Wissahickon School District. Her office is in the high school, but Officer Sanborn is a familiar face in all schools as she provides education, guidance and support to all students and serves as a valuable resource to staff.
“I am an adult who students can come to if they are in crisis or concerned about a friend, classmate, or family member. I think students are most familiar with my welcoming smile and my constant plea to ‘MAKE SMART CHOICES!’ Another goal is to show students that police officers are human beings, no different than they are, and remind them that we are helpers and someone you can turn to when in need.”