December 18, 2012
Should an emergency or disaster situation ever arise in our area while school is in session, we want you to be aware that schools have made preparations to respond effectively to such situations. Public schools in Charleston County are built to meet stringent construction standards and they may be safer than your homein the event of a disaster.
Should we have a major disaster during school hours, your child(ren) will be cared for at our school. Charleston County School District has a detailed emergency plan which has been designed to respond to a major catastrophe.
Your preparation and cooperation is necessary in any emergency.
- Do not telephone the school. Telephone lines may be needed for emergency communication.
- In the event of a serious disaster students will be kept at school until they are picked up by an identified, responsible adult who has been as such on the child’s emergency card which is required to be filled out by parents at the beginning of every school year. Please be sure you consider the following criteria when you authorize another person to pick up your child at school:
- they are 18 years of age
- they are usually home during the day
- they could walk to the school, if necessary
- they are known to your child
- they are both aware and able to assume this responsibility.
- Some situations may make it necessary to “lock-down”the campus for safety sake. In such a situation as this no one will have access to the school or the students. This is in no way denying you the right to your child, but an attempt to resolve the situation safely and securely for all involved. Stay tuned to local radio and television stations for emergency information and instructions on school dismissal and student/parent reunification.
- Please impress upon your child(ren) the need for them to follow the direction of any school personnel in times of an emergency.
Students will be released only to parents and individuals identified on the emergency card. During an extreme emergency, students will be released at designated reunion sites located on school campuses. Please instruct your child to remain at school until you or a designee arrives. The decision to keep students at school will be based upon whether or not streets in the area are open. If this occurs, radio and television stations will be notified. In the event that a major disaster takes place where roads are impassable during the time students are being transported students will be kept on the bus and the driver will ask for assistance through radio contact with school and district personnel. Any child at home waiting to be picked up (if roads are impassable) will not be picked up and remains the responsibility of the parent or guardian.
Students already on the bus will be delivered to the school. In the event the disaster occurs in the afternoon, the driver will make every attempt to safely continue delivering students to their homes.
In case of a“hazardous release event” (chemical spill) near the school, “Shelter-in-Place”procedures will be implemented to provide in-place protection. All students and staff will immediately report to their classrooms and all efforts will be made to prevent outside air from entering classrooms during the emergency. “Shelter-in-Place” signs will be placed in classroom windows or hung outside classroom doors during a drill or actual emergency. Students arriving at school during a“Shelter-in-Place” drill or event should report to the school office. When the dangerous incident has subsided, an“All Clear” signal will be given.
Please discuss this with your child on their level of understanding. Planning ahead will help minimize concerns during an emergency. This letter is not to frighten you. I hope instead that it makes you feel more at ease to know that the school is already prepared to actin an emergency to keep the students as safe as humanly possible. Please let me know if you have questions or concerns regarding this matter.