During an Evacuation: Stay Home, Stay Informed & Be Ready
CASTLE ROCK – There are a number of situations that may occur at a school that would prompt the Douglas County School District to evacuate a school building or release students early, including weather, a power or water outage, as well as a crisis at or near the school.
WHAT TO DO: AT THE SCHOOL
In the event of an emergency evacuation, students and staff are to remain calm and move in an orderly fashion to a safe location. The action and appropriate direction will be announced on the public address system.
“It is important that everybody remains calm and the kids follow the instructions that they have been given to ensure a smooth process,” explained DCSD Director of Safety and Security Rich Payne.
Specific Routes are pre-designated in advance to ensure the fastest yet efficient way to evacuate the building in an orderly fashion.
When an evacuation is announced, students are advised to leave all personal belongings behind, form a single line and then follow teacher instructions. Younger students may be asked to lock hands with the students in front and behind them, creating a buddy system in order to ensure no child is left behind. It is important that everyone be alert. Teachers or the public address system may communicate alternate routes.
Teachers play a crucial role in leading the students to a safe location and ensure the safety of every student in the building. When possible, teachers should bring their attendance sheet. After students and staff are safe, teachers must take role once again to assure every student in his or her class is accounted for and safe.
WHAT TO DO: FAMILIES
When an evacuation or any other action within the Standard Response Protocol is activated, we ask for our families’ assistance in three ways: Stay Home, Stay Informed and Be Ready.
During an emergency, the most important contribution you can make to your student’s safety may be staying home.
We know the natural instinct for a parent or guardian is to come to the school to protect their children. By doing so, however, they may endanger themselves and their children. During a crisis, law enforcement and school personnel are busy working to control the situation and your arrival may distract them from the emergency situation.
Please do not come to the school.
The Douglas County School District is committed to providing families information as soon as possible. In some situations, accurate information may take some time to verify and share.
During an emergency, DCSD will work to notify families via several communication avenues including:
- The District Website
- Voice, Text and Email Messages
- Our Mobile App
- Social Media, including DCSD’s Facebook and Twitter Page
- Local News Media
Please be sure that your contact information, including phone number and email address are updated in Parent Portal. To update information, contact your school registrar.
In some cases, students may be asked to send a text message to a parent or guardian, letting them know that they are okay or information about reunification.
Under certain circumstances, it may be necessary for families to pick up their students in a formalized, controlled release.
When this occurs, the District will inform families about where and when they can pick up their child, as well as what they will need to bring. It is important that parents are ready to act quickly.
In some cases, the student may be moved to another location, like a nearby school or community center.
When asked, parents and guardians need to come to the reunification check-in location.
Parents and guardians will be asked to fill out a reunification card and to show photo identification. It is crucial that we have an accountable exchange, in which a student is only released to an authorized parent or guardian. Please be patient. This process can take time.
Please note: Families are encouraged to send only one adult representative, rather than multiple family members.
Finally, if for any reason students have self-evacuated from a situation, it is important for them to let parents or guardians know they are safe. The families will then need to let DCSD know they are accounted for, so that the District knows they are safe. Often the District will share a number to facilitate this communication.