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ISD 728 Emergency Drills

Per MN State Statute, school emergency plans must include five school lock-down drills, five school fire drills and one tornado drill per school year.

For the safety of everyone involved and to maintain order, we respectfully ask that you would abide by the following during these drills:

• Do not come to the school campus

• Do not call the school offices (as they will be busy with the drill)

• Do not contact students or staff members via cell phone or social media (as they will be busy with the drill)

 

Why Conduct Drills?

Practice of emergency procedures through drills and training can reduce confusion, panic, and even serious injury for both staff and students.

How someone reacts during a crisis or emergency depends on how well they have been trained. Research shows how our brains react during a crisis. The cerebellum is responsible for the “fight,” “flight,” or “freeze” responses. The limbic system is responsible for emotions, and the cerebral cortex is involved with processes including language processing, planning, and logic. During times of elevated stress, such as during an emergency or crisis situation, the cerebral cortex (logic and planning) can be overtaken by the cerebellum (fight, flight, freeze) or the limbic system (emotional responses). Being trained, and practicing what steps to take in an emergency, makes it possible for the cerebral cortex to remain in control.

Furthermore, emergency exercises validate existing emergency plans, programs, policies, roles, responsibilities, and the training curriculum by :

  • Testing the capabilities of the whole school/ campus community; 

  • Helping school staff know how to assist students through a crisis situation;

  • Helping participants how to respond during a crisis will help everyone involved remain calm, understand their role and act as safely and efficiently as possible;

  • Preparing the planning team to coordinate with local agencies; 

  • Increasing the confidence of the planning team and whole school/campus community while strengthening their ability to respond effectively to an emergency.

What Should My Child Know?

Explain the purpose of drills to your child. For example, the likelihood of ever being in a building during a fire is highly unlikely, yet it is still important to do evacuation or fire drills. It is also recommended that you practice fire escape routes in your house, including how to get out of a second story.

Reassure your child that measures have been taken to maintain their safety. Using age and developmentally appropriate language, explain that teachers, administrators, police, EMS, and a vast number of other adults have planned for and trained on what to do to ensure their safety. These arrangements are practiced with the drills that schools conduct, and your child’s attention and cooperation is very important during these drills. The better they understand and participate, the better the outcome will be if a real event occurs.

Talk with your child before and after each of the initial drills to identify any special concerns or fears your child may have. It is vital to listen with empathy and provide constant reassurance of their safety at school. If you have any concerns, speak with your school’s administrators so they are aware of your child’s feelings or concerns.