School Emergencies - The Parent's Role
Providing a safe place for students to learn and grow is one of the most important responsibilities of any school system. Along with school officials, teachers and staff, school families play a critical role in preventing and responding to school emergencies.
When a crisis occurs, Northville Public Schools officials follow detailed emergency response protocols — developed, practiced and refined in partnership with local police and fire officials — aimed at keeping students and staff safe during an emergency situation.
The following is important information for families with students in the school district’s preschool, elementary, middle and high school programs.
The Role of Parents in Keeping Schools Safe
Parents and community members play an important role in keeping our schools safe. You can be our eyes and ears by reporting any issues, concerns or rumors related to safety to school or law enforcement officials.
You also can help by following all security measures when you visit one of our school buildings. This includes signing in at the school office and wearing a visitor’s badge at all times while in the building.
Inclement Weather / "Snow Day" Protocol
The safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and families is paramount in any decision to close schools. When a “snow day” or “inclement weather day” is called, it is done as early as possible (before 5:30 a.m. and often earlier, including the night before in some cases). The decision is made after much deliberation among district officials who monitor road and building conditions throughout the night in consultation with other area school superintendents and with expert advice from a national meteorologist who can help predict a storm’s path as much as 48 hours before it reaches our area. The weather conditions and issues taken into consideration in closing schools, along with notification information and resources are detailed here:
Inclement Weather / School Cancellation Protocol
West Oakland-Wayne (WOW) Safe Schools Consortium
Northville Public Schools is part of a six school district consortium awarded a $569,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education in September 2007 to help enhance and fortify readiness and emergency response management plans in their schools. Other participating school districts include South Lyon, West Bloomfield, Huron Valley, Plymouth Canton and Walled Lake.
To date, all of the components of the WOW Safe Schools Consortium grant are in place in Northville Public Schools.
School Emergency Response Protocols
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 safety alert, enhanced lockdown, shelter-in-place, evacuation, or any combination of these protocols, as a means to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff.
The Role of Parents in an Emergency
In a school emergency, the first instinct as a parent is to pick up the telephone and start calling the school or to rush up to the school and get your 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 the police and fire officials on the scene.
The best action parents can take in an emergency is to stay close to their phone and e-mail and to monitor local radio and TV reports for regular updates and instructions.