The La Center School District is committed to having current safe school plans and procedures in place to maximize safety for all students and staff. A commitment to safety enables teaching and learning. The District and its schools shall develop comprehensive all-hazard emergency operations plans that address prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery strategies.
District and school plans shall:
- Include required school safety policies and procedures;
- Include provisions for the special needs of staff and students;
- Consider community use of school facilities in emergencies;
- Be annually reviewed with emergency response agencies;
- Conduct inventory of all hazardous materials;
- Collaborate with community agencies to update emergency first aid procedures, including training, use, funding, and placement of automated external defibrillators (AEDs);
- Identify school transportation procedures for evacuation;
- Provide information to all staff on the use of emergency supplies and alert procedures;
- Annually record and report information and activities required in subsection 28A.320.125.
Drills are an essential component of safety planning. Drills teach students and staff basic functional responses to potential threats and hazards. The four functional responses are adaptable and can be applied to a variety of situations. Additionally, some threats or hazards may require the use of more than one basic functional response. Therefore, each school in the district will conduct at least one safety-related drill per month, including summer months when school is in session with students. Drill planning and implementation shall consider and accommodate the needs of all students.
Basic Functional Drills
The basic functional responses include shelter-in-place, lockdowns, evacuations, and earthquakes (drop-cover-hold on):
Shelter in place is designed to limit the exposure of students and staff to hazardous materials, such as chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants that are released into the environment by isolating the inside environment from the outside. Staff and students will receive instruction so that they will be able to remain inside and take the steps necessary to eliminate or minimize the health and safety hazard.
Lockdowns are meant to isolate students and staff from threats of violence, such as suspicious trespassers, armed intruders, and other threats that may occur in a school or in the vicinity of a school. Staff and students will receive instruction so that in the event of the breach of security of a school building or campus, staff, students and visitors will be able to take positions in secure enclosures.
When an emergency within a school or its surrounding area necessitates evacuation and/or total or partial closure of the schools within the district, staff will be responsible for aiding in the safe evacuation of the students within the endangered school or its surrounding area.
Staff and students will receive instruction so that in the event the school or district needs to be evacuated due to threats, such as fires, oil train spills, earthquakes, etc., they will be able to leave the building in the shortest time possible, and take the safest route possible to a designated reunification site.
Schools in mapped tsunami or mapped lahar hazard zones, will plan and participate in one pedestrian evacuation drill annually.
- Earthquakes: Drop-Cover-Hold on
The board recognizes the importance of protecting staff, students and facilities in the event of an earthquake. Facilities shall be designed and maintained in a manner that recognizes the potential danger from such an occurrence. Likewise, staff must be prepared to take necessary action to protect students and staff from harm.
“Drop – cover – hold on” is the basic functional earthquake response. The superintendent shall establish guidelines and the action for building principals to take should an earthquake occur while school is in session.
In addition to the above four functional response drills, the District shall, at a minimum, also develop response plans for the following:
The board recognizes that a pandemic outbreak is a serious threat that could affect students, staff and the community. The superintendent or a designee will serve as a liaison between the school district and local health officials. The district liaison, in consultation with local health officials, will ensure that a pandemic/epidemic plan exists in the district and establish procedures to provide for staff and student safety during such an emergency.
When an emergency within a school or its surrounding area necessitates evacuation and/or total or partial closure of the schools within the district, staff shall be responsible for aiding in the safe evacuation of the students within the endangered school or its surrounding area.
The superintendent shall establish procedures for action in the event that any threat is received toward the school by telephone, letter, orally or by other means.
Emergency School Closure or Evacuation (Modified Shelter-in-Place)
When weather conditions or other circumstances make it unsafe to operate schools, the superintendent is directed to determine whether schools should be started late, closed for the day or transportation will be provided only on emergency routes. Those decisions will be communicated through community media resources pursuant to a plan developed by the superintendent or designee.
All safety plans and drills shall include protocols for both internal and external communications, as well as procedures for drill documentation. Evacuation plans shall also include reunification plans.
The superintendent shall establish procedures for the emergency closure of a building or department.
Cross References: 4310 – District Relationships with Law Enforcement and other Government Agencies
RCW 19.27.110 International fire code – Administration and enforcement by counties, other political subdivisions and municipal corporations – Fees
RCW 28A.320.125 Safe School Plans – Requirements – Duties of school districts, schools and educational service districts – Reports – Drills – Rules
Management Resources: 2021 – February Issue
2017 – July Issue
June 2008 OSPI School Safety Planning Manual
2013 – June Issue
Policy News, August 2008 School Safety Plans
Policy News, October 2006 Pandemic Flu Planning for School Districts
Policy News, February 1999 Fire drills required monthly
La Center School District
Adoption Date: March 27, 2007; Revised March 27, 2019; April 26,2022