HCCSC Leads the Way in Implementing Safety Measures

HCCSC Leads the Way in Implementing Safety Measures
Posted on 10/23/2023
Jami Craft - District Safety Coordinator

In an ever-evolving world, the need for safety measures in schools becomes increasingly evident. Principal Mrs. Craft of Roanoke Elementary has made it her mission to achieve these safety standards for HCCSC. “With school safety we have found that oftentimes schools have to be evacuated for various reasons. Sometimes they're for intruders, sometimes they're for other safety situations. So we decided we need to have a plan in place so that we know what to do and what plan to follow if we do have to evacuate a building.”

Huntington enacted its second ever drill this fall to run through a scenario and prepare for the possible situation in which a school would need to be evacuated. This was done primarily to ensure that all parents, staff, and students would know what to do if this situation ever occurred in real life.

The reunification process involves the evacuation of a school and the students’ relocation to another location where their parents will meet them and be reunited. “With our reunification process, we have students in one area, and parents in another, and we keep them separated, so that we can control and make sure that students are going with the appropriate person. So that safety piece is huge to make sure the right student is getting with the right adult.”

The idea for the drill developed from what Mrs. Craft and others in the corporation had observed in other school districts."We follow a process that originated from the I Love You Guys Foundation," Mrs. Craft said about what they had observed in other schools. “We took those things that we observed and brought them back to Huntington County and made them ours.”

Last year was the first time the process was implemented. The group chosen was fourth and fifth grade students at Roanoke. Mrs. Craft shared that each year a different school in the district will complete a full scale reunification drill so that we can continue to practice.  The process is the same for all students in all buildings, no matter the age of the student.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that in a real situation, circumstances will be much different, and the process will take much longer. “Families just need to be aware that if there is a safety situation at the school, coming to the school should not be something that they do; they should wait and get information from the school on where they should go.” Parents should make sure that their contact information is up to date with the school to ensure a smoother process.

With the intense practice and precautions put in place, HCCSC can continue to build upon safety measures in the school system.
Story by Ella Hall, Marketing & Communications Intern

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