School emergencies—before, during and after an incident
Schools are some of the safest places for our children. However, it’s essential that students and staff members know how to respond in the very unlikely event of a dangerous intruder or other emergency situation. It’s equally important that parents know what to do before, during and after an emergency.
What will happen at my child’s school during an emergency?
The safety of our students and staff is always our top priority. During an emergency situation, school and district officials must act quickly—under the direction of law enforcement and first responders—and follow established protocols to safeguard students, secure schools and communicate accurate information in a timely manner. In Lake Stevens School District we use ALICE, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. The variety of responses allow students and staff members to proactively react to situations to best protect themselves. Each school holds a monthly drill that allows students and staff to practice a variety of responses.
What should parents do to prepare for an emergency?
- Ensure your child’s school has accurate contact information so you can be reached in case of emergency. Keep the information current by notifying school office staff of any changes as soon as they occur. Multiple contact sources are helpful, including cell, home and work telephone numbers and email addresses. Local emergency contacts should be provided in the event you cannot be reached.
- When visiting your child’s school, follow all visitor guidelines and obey parking and traffic signs.
- Talk to your child about the kinds of drills a school conducts and the reason for those drills. Remind children the importance of staying calm and following instructions. It’s also a good idea to reinforce these lessons at home by preparing your family for emergencies.
How will parents be notified if an incident occurs?
- Parents will receive an automated phone call alerting them about the emergency.
- They will also receive a second automated phone call and email once the emergency situation has ended.
- Information will also be shared through the district’s mobile app, the website and social media channels—Facebook (lakestevensschools) and Twitter (@lssd).
During an emergency, our first priority is to protect our students and staff. When we share information, our goal is to ensure that it's timely and accurate. We oftentimes are not at liberty to share information from law enforcement, so we communicate what we can, when we can. We cannot control what others post on social media. We urge our families and community to look for an official message from the district through our official communication channels and to avoid sharing unofficial information.
What should parents do in the event of an emergency?
- Remain calm.
- As difficult as it may be don’t call or go to the school. This keeps phone lines open and reduces traffic for first responders.
- Avoid contacting your child during an emergency. Depending on the situation, this can further compromise their safety, overload cell systems, hamper the ability of first responders and cause delays in releasing official, accurate information. If your child contacts you, please remind him or her to remain calm and follow the directions of school staff.
What should parents do after an emergency?
- Be patient and wait for information.
- If an off-site family reunification is necessary, please remember that emergency pickup procedures are different than routine pickup procedures. You will need to bring your photo identification to the designated reunification site. This information will be included in the automated call, email and on the district’s communication channels.
- Only approved adults with valid photo identification will be allowed to pick up students from the reunification location.
- Provide emotional support to your child—look for changes in behavior, anxiety, sleep problems and acting out. The district can offer counseling support to students, or can recommend outside resources.