Q: How often do schools conduct emergency drills?
A: Per state law (RCW 28A.320.125) schools are required to complete one drill per month while school is in session. All schools practice response to earthquakes, fires, shelter-in-pace incidents and violent intruders.
Q: What kind of training is provided to staff?
A: In coordination with local and state agencies, our safety and security department provides hazard-specific training to Monroe School District staff. This training includes FEMA ICS courses, violent intruder response, first aid, de-escalation, and chemical hygiene.
Q: What can I do at home to teach my children about emergency preparedness?
A: Cultivating open communication at home is a key factor in preparedness. Talk to your children about taking emergencies and drills seriously and encourage them to listen and follow directions during a critical event.
Have a plan in place at home for what your family will do during an emergency. Be specific to different hazards (fire, earthquake, burglary) and then broaden your plan to public places (in the mall, movie theater, etc).
Practice your plan, even if “practice” is nothing more than talking through what each person would do during a specific situation. This will translate into readiness anywhere, should a worst-case scenario occur.
Q: Is the safety and security training my children are receiving at school age-appropriate?
A: Our department works with each school to ensure information provided to students is age appropriate. For specifics on drills, please contact your school's building administrator.
Q: Where do I pick up my children during an emergency?
A: Different protocols are activated for different emergencies. Depending on the nature of the emergency, your child may be released through normal pickup procedures at school, through a modified pickup process, or through a reunification process at an off-site location. During an emergency, information regarding this process will be released through our School Messenger system via phone calls and text messages. To sign up to receive text messages, visit here.
Q: How do I pick up my children during an emergency? May I pick up children who are not mine?
A: This will depend on the nature of the emergency. For major events where modified pickup or reunification is activated, photo ID will be required to sign out your child AND you will need to be listed as the child’s guardian (or have written consent on-file with the school as an emergency contact).
Q: What do I do if my child heard something that raises a concern, but doesn’t want to get anyone in trouble?
A: Students are always encouraged to report an concern to any of our staff members. In addition, Monroe School district uses an anonymous reporting tool called Safe Schools Alert. This tool allows anyone to easily and anonymously report tips of threats, bullying, harassment, drugs, vandalism or any other safety concern to our administration via phone, text, email or web
Every concern that is reported in the system immediately notifies our administrators so they can investigate and take appropriate action. Reports may be filed anonymously through this system. The more information we are provided with, however, the easier it is for us to address concerns in a timely manner.
Encourage your child to immediately report concerns to a trusted adult. It is absolutely critical that our students understand that reporting a suspicious circumstance doesn’t automatically get someone in trouble. In fact, it could save a life. Breaking this ‘code of silence’ around school violence and drug use is key for success!
Q: Can you define some emergency terms for me?
A: Evacuation - During some situations, an emergency escape from the building might be necessary to relocate to a safe location. Evacuations typically involve leaving the affected area and moving in an orderly fashion to a pre-determined staging area.
Shelter-in-Place - During some situations, such as a volcanic eruption, sealing off a room may be safer than an evacuation. Shelter-in-Place typically involves shutting off HVAC units and sealing doors and windows.
MED Program - The Monroe School District has adopted the Move, Evade, Defend program in response to violent intruders.
Depending on the circumstances, moving away from a violent person might be the safest option. This may include any reasonable measure to escape a violent person.
- EVADE: Depending on the circumstances, MOVING may not be a safe option. EVADE includes lockdowns (barricading classrooms), lockouts (a threat is off-campus: closing all exterior gates, doors, and windows), and hiding as appropriate to the situation.
- DEFEND: When MOVE and EVADE are not a viable option, defending yourself might be an appropriate option if confronted by a violent intruder.
Q: Can I schedule a training/presentation for my PTA group?
A: Absolutely. Trainings and presentations are conducted upon request, and in coordination with our department's availability. To inquire, contact our Risk and Safety Manager.