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School Emergency Information

School Emergency Information

Our district takes proactive measures to protect the health and safety of our students, staff and visitors.   A variety of programs and procedures are in place which address safety and security, including:

  • Access to each school building is limited.  Doors are locked during the school day with the exception of one main entrance

  • Visitors to our schools must check in at the office, sign the visitor log and are then issued visitor badges.  Staff members watch for visitors to be sure they are wearing their visitor badge and will escort any visitor without a visitor badge to the office to check in

  • Our district has a crisis plan designed to protect students, staff and visitors in case of an emergency.  Each school and district facility has a crisis plan in place that addresses specific steps to be taken at that building in an emergency situation.   These plans address a variety of different emergencies and are tested and refined through drills and training exercises.  

  • District schools practice drills to ensure staff and students know what to do in a variety of emergency situations.  State law requires each school to practice 5 fire drills, 5 lockdown drills and 1 tornado drill each year

  • Police Liaison Officers from local law enforcement agencies assist at each school with promoting safety, preventing and investigating delinquent and criminal behavior, enforcing school rules and policies and teaching drug education, bully prevention and traffic safety to students and parents

  • Safe Schools Committees in Elk River, Rogers and Zimmerman meet throughout the school year to address topics related to fostering a safe and orderly learning environment for all  

  • Social workers, guidance counselors, teachers and school staff are available to talk with students who may be concerned about their own safety in school.  Crisis Flight Teams respond to schools following a crisis to provide additional support 

  • In the event of a school emergency, families can get critical information and directions by doing one of the following:

  • Check for recorded phone messages from ParentLink, the district’s emergency notification system

  • Check e-mail for instant school news and alerts

  • Visit the school and/or district website at www.elkriver.k12.mn.us

  • Tune to local television stations, KARE 11, WCCO, KSTP and Fox 9

In the event of an emergency at your child’s school, it is also important to know the following terms:

Lockdown

A lockdown takes place if an internal or external threat is identified at the school. All school doors are locked and students are contained to classrooms. No entry into or exit (with the exception of an evacuation) from the school will be allowed until an “all-clear” announcement is made. Students will NOT be released during a lockdown.

Secure Mode

Secure mode occurs when there is a threat outside the building or there are circumstances from which people need to be kept away. Access to and from the building is limited. All students and classes will remain inside. The school doors are locked and movement between rooms is controlled. Regular classroom instruction and activities will continue.

Shelter-in-Place

Students take refuge in designated areas to protect them from hazardous materials or severe weather. No entry into or exit from the school will be allowed until an “all-clear” announcement is made. Students will NOT be released during shelter-in-place.

Evacuation

In the event of certain building emergencies, students will be relocated to an evacuation assembly area. Students will be released ONLY to parents/guardians with picture ID and permission from a district official. This procedure is necessary to account for the whereabouts of all students.

When and Why Are Students and Staff Asked to Lockdown, Shelter-in-Place or Evacuate?

A school crisis can take a number of forms including an environmental event, such as a chemical spill or gas leak; a weather emergency, such as a tornado warning; or an intruder in or near the school. The nature of a school crisis dictates whether school officials will put in place a lockdown, secure mode, shelter-in-place, evacuation, or any combination of two of these protocols, as a means to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff.

In Case of a School Emergency:

Although your first reaction would be to call or rush to your child’s school, please follow the tips listed below.

  • DO tune into local TV/Radio stations or ISD 728 websites for official school news alerts.

  • DO rely only on official communication from your school or public safety officials; phone calls and/or emails.

  • DO listen for official information regarding reunification with your child.

  • DO NOT call or rush to your child’s school. Your presence could interfere with emergency responders.

  • DO NOT phone your child or school. Staff and students are discouraged from using cell phone communication for safety reasons.

Parent Responsibilities During a School Emergency and Reunification After a School Emergency:

In a school emergency, the first instinct as a parent is to pick up the telephone and start calling the school or rush up to the school and get your child/children. The truth is, this only complicates matters from a safety and security standpoint. Parents too close to an incident often hinder the rescue attempts of police and officials on the scene. The best action parents can take in an emergency is to stay close to their phone and email and to monitor local radio and TV reports for regular updates and instructions.

How Can I Be Reunited with My Child?

Parents/Guardians will be directed by school or public safety officials via phone call or email to their child’s specific location. Students will be released ONLY to parents/ guardians who are documented as emergency contacts and who present a picture ID such as a driver’s license, military ID or passport. The reunification process can be time-consuming so parents are urged to be patient.

How Can You Help?

Ensure that your child’s emergency contact information is accurate and current. The district uses the ParentLink notification system to notify parents of inclement weather and emergencies. Become familiar with your schools’ emergency communication procedures. Each school is committed to providing accurate and timely information in the event of an emergency.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact your student's building principal or Rachel Hilyar, Director of Prevention, Safety and Grants at 763-241-3400 x5003.

The safety of our students, staff and visitors is our top priority.  Students, staff and visitors are reminded to report any concerns/suspicious activity to administration and/or law enforcement.