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Principal Letter - Safety

Principal Letter - Safety
Posted on 10/21/2019

Dear Sherwood Families,

 

I wanted to take a moment to give you some information about safety at Sherwood. It is important that you know how we address safety issues at Sherwood and to give you an idea of what might happen at Sherwood if there is an emergency, from a natural disaster to an immediate threat on campus.

 

Throughout the year, we practice a variety of safety drills on campus, such as fire drills, lockdown drills and earthquake drills.  The most important thing is for everyone to be calm and quiet during drills so that they can follow any directions that I or a teacher may give students. Students know how to quickly and quietly exit the building to the field.  They know that if they hear the fire alarm and they aren’t in their classroom (if they are walking to the office, or in the bathroom, for instance) that they go directly outside and meet their class on their line on the field.  Students know that if there is a lockdown drill and they are not in their classroom, that they go to the nearest classroom and stay there. Students know that if there is an earthquake that they drop, get under cover and hold on until the shaking stops and then follow directions to evacuate the building. We practice drills once a month (and sometimes more often!).  

 

Every day on campus, we keep all our doors locked.  Our unit doors are usually propped open so students and teachers can move from one unit to another, but the doors can be easily closed if there is an incident. Classroom doors and office doors that lead outside are always locked and interior classroom doors are locked, but propped open with a safety latch that can be flipped down to close the door in an emergency.  

 

There are also some important things we need parents to do when they come to campus:

  • Always check in at the office, even if you are just quickly “dropping something off” for your child.  We will give your child what they need, as we want to lessen interruptions during instructional time.
  • Always sign your child out at the office if you are taking your child for an early release, regardless of the time of day or how long your child has been at school (for example, you have a family emergency after your child has left for school and you come to school as they arrive on the bus - come to the office and check them out, even if school has not officially begun.)   
  • If you are on campus for any length of time during the school day, you need to sign in at the office and have a visitor sticker or badge.  If you do not have one, I have asked staff to let parents know they need to check in at the office.
  • Signing in is essential because we need to know who is on our campus at all times; if there is an earthquake or an emergency, we need to account for everyone on our campus.
  • If you are on campus when we are practicing a drill, please do as we do (cover and hold/evacuate the building etc.)  If there is a lockdown drill (or even a real lockdown), there will be a yellow cone and sign in our parking lot.  
  • If you are in the midst of coming to campus when the drill begins, Stay in your car.  Whether it’s a drill or a real event, I don’t want parents waiting in our courtyard. Stay in your car until the drill or incident is over.

 

If there is an emergency on campus, you will be getting notifications from the Edmonds School District and/or Sherwood Elementary through voice mail and/or email.  These notifications would be giving you updates on the situation and any directions about picking up your child(ren). Directions of what to do and how you pick up your children might change depending on the context of the situation, but here are some general directions:

  • If there were a natural disaster (like a major earthquake), we would evacuate the building.  A Reunification Center will be set up on campus, where you would come to pick up your child.  Do not ever take your child from campus without signing your child out.You will sign your child out at our Reunification Center which will be clearly marked on our campus.
  • Update your contact information, change contact information for your emergency contacts, and sign up for text messages.  In order to get a hold of you, we look to the information you have given us through Family Access (phone numbers, email, address etc.).  It is essential that we have the most updated way to get a hold of you. Additionally, we can’t release your child to someone who is not on your emergency contact list.  If there is an earthquake, who would you call to come pick up your child if you were not able to get to Sherwood?  Think about neighbors and friends, as well as family members.  It is a good idea to have a number of people on your list who can pick up your child.  Here is the link for you to update your information: Skylert.  
  • If you want to add a new emergency contact, please come to school and talk with our office staff, Joni Goettel and Mary Lu Carlson. Our office number is 425-431-3525.  
  • If there were an immediate threat directly on our campus, do not come to Sherwood.  Most likely our campus and the blocks around it would be closed off and you would not be able to get here. You would get information and updates through phone calls, text messages and/or emails.  Please wait for the directions that you get from the school district or Sherwood.

 

I know that if something happens, your first response will be to come directly to school - that is certainly our instinct as parents!  Please know that we will do everything we can to keep all of our students safe at Sherwood and that the best thing for you to do (and the hardest) is to wait for directions and information from Sherwood and/or Edmonds School District.

 

On a similar note, there are times that you may see police cars, an ambulance or a fire truck at Sherwood.  For most of these scenarios, these incidents will be confidential and I will only communicate details to those who most need to know.  The way that I talk to students about these incidents is this: I say that I can’t tell them about who was involved because it is private or confidential information. I also say that if an adult or child is hurt or sick, I’m not a doctor, so I have to call one and the quickest way to do that is to call 911.  I assure them that most of the time, these things are not huge emergencies; it is just that my job is to be a principal, not a doctor, so sometimes I have to call other people to help!

 

If you would like to talk further or have other questions, please feel free to make an appointment to come by and talk.  I am happy to answer questions in order to help you understand what we do at Sherwood to keep all our children safe.  Thank you for taking the time to read this and for working with us as we keep all our students safe.  

 

Sincerely,

 

Christi Kessler

Principal, Sherwood Elementary

kesslerc@edmonds.wednet.edu

 

 

Summary of What Families Need to Do Support Safety Procedures at Sherwood:

 

  • Always check in at the office.Get a visitor’s badge if you are volunteering.
  • Always sign your child out at the office if you are taking your child for an early release.
  • If you are on campus for any length of time during the school day, you need to sign in at the office and have a visitor sticker or badge, we need to know who is on our campus at all times.
  • If you are on campus when we are practicing a drill, please do as we do. Stay in your car if there is a lockdown drill or incident.
  • Do not ever take your child from campus without signing out your child, whether or not there is an emergency.
  • Update your contact information for your emergency contacts and sign up for text messages. Remember, we cannot release your child to someone who is not on your emergency contact list:  Call (425-431-3525) or come to the office to add someone to your emergency contact and sign up for emergency text messages: Skylert.
  • If there were an immediate threat directly on our campus, do not come to Sherwood; please wait for directions and information from Sherwood and/or the Edmonds School District.
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