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.
Make sure your phone numbers, email and emergency contact information is updated in the Infinite Campus parent portal. The district sends calls, texts and email during an emergency. Additionally, students will only be released to adults listed as an emergency contact.
Talk with your child about listening and following directions of any school personnel during an emergency.
Report any safety concerns you may have to your child’s school principal.
Students and families may also confidentially report any safety concern using the Safe2Say Something Anonymous Reporting System website (www.safe2saypa.org), tipline (1-844-SAF2SAY) or mobile app (search for Safe2Say Something).
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 global messaging system. 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.
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 or an authorized adult arrive for pickup.
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 pre-identified (i.e. your child’s emergency contacts listed in Infinite Campus) will be permitted to pick up your child.
FACTS AND TERMS EVERY PARENT SHOULD KNOW
Internal Threat (Lockdown): In response to a building intruder, our lockdown protocol incorporates a “Run-Hide-Resist” approach which is based on best practices from local and nationwide school security experts. Staff members and students assess the situation and 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 protocol, and share the approach with students at the start of each school year. Drills are also conducted to help staff and students alike be as ready as possible for all emergencies.
External Threat (Lockout): During a lockout 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
- A mass notification system installed in all schools for emergency notification and critical communication during a time of crisis
- Raptor ID system in all schools which checks visitors against national sexual offender databases and produces visitor badges with photos
- Electronic “key cards” at all buildings for access control
- Emergency procedures posted in all offices and classrooms
- Fire alarm systems installed in all schools
- Safe2Say Something Anonymous Reporting System
- Two-way radio communications in each building
- Individual building safety committees
- Monthly fire drills and other regularly scheduled safety drills in partnership with local first responders
- Monthly school safety meetings with the MCIU and their school safety specialists
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.
Stranger Alert Procedures
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:
School Resource Officer
The Wissahickon School District is supported by a full-time School Resource Officer from the Lower Gwynedd Police Department. The office is located in the high school, but the School Resource Officer is a familiar face in all schools, providing education, guidance and support to all students and serving 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.”
Beth Sanborn, School Resource Officer