As a school, we are required to provide a safe physical and emotional environment for all students. This includes establishing emergency plans for events like fire evacuations and lockdowns. Each term we carry out a drill so that our staff and students are educated on what to do in an emergency.
Today, at the conclusion of morning tea, we held an external lockdown drill. To minimise stress and to ensure it was carried out well, all staff and students were informed before it occurred. The outcome was that the lockdown drill was carried out as planned, safety procedures were followed and all went smoothly.
I want to take this opportunity to communicate with our parent community the procedures and expectations around lockdowns. Lockdowns (or reverse evacuations) will be called when there is a situation that could result in harm or danger for members of our school community. We have a lockdown procedure that staff follow, however, this document is not made public. In order to keep stress to a minimum in the unlikely event of us going into lockdown at school, the following information is important for parents/caregivers and whanau:
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me.
- Your child will be supervised by an adult for the entire lockdown period.
- The school will communicate as much as possible. There needs to be an understanding that in a lockdown, communication may be irregular or limited.
- Messages coming into school may not be responded to immediately.
- It can create a distressing situation for your child if parents, caregivers, or whanau come onto the school site in a lockdown, as we are unable to release them into your care while the lockdown is in force. You will not be allowed to enter any of the school buildings until the lockdown is over. It is most helpful for you to wait at home/work until we advise the lockdown is over.
- At the conclusion of the lockdown, children will be released to adults who are
listed as a contact for them. Express permission by the parent or caregiver
must be given for any other adult to collect them. Emails may be sent to the
office, or to the child’s teacher with this permission - see our school website
for contact information. Remember to update contact details at school regularly.
- If the NZ Police are on-site at our school they are in charge of the lockdown
and we will be following their instruction. If the police are involved, they will
determine when the lockdown is over.
- Lockdown is actioned by school staff, however sometimes we will be directed to go
into lockdown by the NZ Police or the Ministry of Education.
- Remember our staff are doing their job, and in a genuine
lockdown, they will be responding as best they can to maintain the physical and emotional wellbeing of your child.