Bobcaygeon Public School Emergency Response Plan Information for Our Learning Community Members

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Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) and Bobcaygeon Public School are committed to providing a safe environment for all members of our school community.  Although infrequent, the possibility of a major threatening incident in our school is a reality.  The level of preparedness to deal with such an incident by the school staff, students, police and parents/guardians will have a major impact on the outcome of the incident.  Our goal is to ensure the safety of all of our community members in a coordinated, effective and expedient way.[1]

 

Below are some frequently asked questions by parents and guardians:

  1.  How does Bobcaygeon PS handle an emergency situation?

Every school in the TLDSB has an Emergency Response Plan which is based on the TLDSB Lockdown Emergency Response Plan (OP-6450).  Each school has a set of unique circumstances which necessitates specific items to be included.  A copy of our Emergency Response Plan is located in the School Office, Staff Room and the Custodian Office.   Our School Emergency Response Plan includes the following:

  • Terms and Definitions
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Communications with Parents/Guardians
  • Training and Drills (a minimum of 3 drills required to be held per school year including at least one during non-instructional time)
  • Procedures for Responding to a Threatening Incident e.g., checklists, reference guides
  • Maintenance of a Portable Emergency Response Kit that contains key information and supplies
  • Emergency Procedures Quick Reference Flip Charts located in each room in the building and in each Occasional Teacher Binder

What is a Lockdown? [2] 

A Lockdown is a response to an emergency situation inside a school or an emergency situation on or very near to school property, wherein the evacuation of the school building is not safe.  During a lockdown, steps are taken to isolate students, staff and visitors from the emergency situation by having everyone remain in designated locations inside the school building.  In all Lockdown situations, school staff establishes communication with the police by calling 9-1-1.

Much the same way as schools practice fire drills, Lockdown drills are also practiced in an age appropriate manner.  As part of the TLDSB Lockdown Emergency Response Plan drills are required to be held a minimum of three (3) times per school year as indicated above.

During a Lockdown, Hold and Secure or Shelter in Place, students are not encouraged to use electronic devices, such as cellular phones, as their use may impede the ability of the police and school staff to respond to the situation at hand.  It may also result in the dissemination of inaccurate information.  In the event of an emergency at our school, the TLDSB will inform parents by using a number of communication forums including but not limited to:

  • The TLDSB and Bobcaygeon PS websites
  • The media

What is Hold and Secure?[3]

Hold and Secure is a term used when it is desirable to secure the school due to an ongoing situation outside and not necessarily related to the school (e.g., a bank robbery occurring downtown).  Awareness of such an event would be brought to the school by local Law Enforcement.  In this situation, the school continues to function normally, with the exterior doors being locked until such a time as the administrator of the school becomes aware through communication with Law Enforcement that the situation is resolved.

What is Shelter in Place?

Shelter in Place is a term used for an environmental or weather-related situation, where it is necessary to keep all occupants within the school, to protect them from an external situation (e.g., chemical spill in the community, blackouts, explosions, or extreme weather conditions). 

What will the Bobcaygeon Public School do if an emergency occurs during school hours? 

The specific actions to be taken will depend on the specifics of the situation.  Any decisions are dependent on several factors including the level of threat and the advice/directive of local, provincial or federal agencies.  The safety of students, staff, and visitors will always be the primary concern in any decision. 

Am I allowed to call my child? 

During a Lockdown, Hold and Secure or Shelter in Place, students are not encouraged to use electronic devices, such as cellular phones, as their use may impede the ability of the police and school staff to respond to the situation at hand.  It may also result in the dissemination of inaccurate information.  School phone lines need to be kept clear in order that important information can be shared between the school, school board and local, provincial and federal agencies.  Please do not call your child directly or call the school during a Lockdown, Hold and Secure or Shelter in Place.  In the event of an emergency at our school, the TLDSB will inform parents by using a number of communication forums including but not limited to:

  • The TLDSB and Bobcaygeon PS websites
  • The media

Am I allowed to pick up my child? 

In the case of an emergency, the school’s intent is to ensure that students are safe inside their schools until there is no longer a threat to their safety.  Parents will be informed and reunited with their children as soon as it is safe to do so.  Although some parents may wish to pick up their child during an emergency, allowing anyone to enter or exit the building during an emergency situation could expose the students, staff and visitors inside the school to further danger. 

What is the plan to reunite parents and children? 

In the case that the students are still in our building following the conclusion of an emergency response, students will be reunited with parents at the school.  If public safety officials require a school to be evacuated, students, staff and visitors will be safely directed to the designated evacuation site.  Parents will be informed of this evacuation/reunification location using a number of communication forums, including but not limited to:

  • The TLDSB and Bobcaygeon PS websites
  • The media

Who can pick up my child(ren)? 

Child(ren) will not be released to individuals who are not authorized to do so on the student’s emergency contact information or do not have written parent consent.  Parents and guardians are asked to ensure that all contact information, including emergency contact information, on file at the school is accurate and up to date at all times.

What if my child is on the bus at the time of a crisis? 

Our Transportation Department will be in contact with the Board and the School for instructions in the event of a crisis while the students are in transport.  They will communicate directly with our transportation providers.  Bus drivers will be given an alternate safe drop off location if necessary.  The Board will inform parents of this location by using a number of communication forums, including but not limited to:

  • The TLDSB and Bobcaygeon PS websites
  • The media

What if my child is on a field trip at the time of an emergency? 

School Administration will communicate with any staff supervisors of classes that may be off-site at the time of the occurrence.  Staff and students will not return to the school until it has been cleared by the Administration to do so.  Administration will report to TLDSB Staff the nature of the trip, location and students involved. 

What about my child’s medication? 

If your child takes medication regularly, you should make sure the school has an appropriate amount of additional medication on hand.  In the event of an Emergency Response, Medical Services personnel and Emergency Response personnel will be notified of any specific medical needs.  Students who require emergency puffers or Epi Pens, should have the medicine on their person in an appropriate bag/container e.g., waist pouch.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at the school.

Sincerely,

Jane Austin

Principal

 

[1] Trillium Lakelands DSB, Emergency Response Plan, p. 1

 

[2] Halton District School Board, Threats to School Safety Procedures Frequently Asked Questions by Parents, p. 2

[3] Trillium Lakelands DSB, Emergency Response Plan, pp. 2-3