Safety Week October 16-20

October 12, 2017

Dear Friends and Families of Yujin Gakuen:

Next week in our continuing effort to maintain a secure and safe school environment we will practice a series of emergency drills. Our school will be participating in a series of all school safety drills, lockdown/lockout drill, a room-clear, an earthquake and evacuation drill. These drills are intended to ensure the safety of our children in the event of a multitude of emergency situations.

On Monday, we will conduct what is called a “lock out” drill. Lock out protects staff and students from a threat outside the building when it may be more dangerous to leave the building than to stay in a secured room. Teachers are notified to lock their classroom doors and close window blinds. All students are accounted for and everyone stays secure.

The drill will begin with a voice announcement from the office to all classrooms. The announcement will state that teachers are to initiate a “lock out.” Teachers will check the hallway to ensure all children and adults are in classrooms. They will then lock and close their classroom doors. Once the drill is complete, a voice message will be sent to all classrooms announcing the lock out is over and teachers may unlock their classroom doors and resume a normal day.

On Tuesday and Friday, classrooms will practice a “room clear” drill. This drill, issued by the teacher, is used to send students away from a potential threat in the classroom. The teacher directs students to leave the classroom and go immediately to a prearranged area (another classroom). This procedure would be used if a classroom incident threatened the emotional or physical safety of students, e.g. someone becomes very ill or unconscious; an intruder enters the room; a serious conflict erupts between students.

On Thursday, we will practice an earthquake and evacuation drill. This drill is designed to keep students safe in the building in the event of an earthquake. At that time the alarm will sound and students will be directed to take cover until the quake is over. Following the earthquake drill, an alarm will sound and students will proceed with a Directed Evacuation from the building.

You will recall that last spring, Eugene School District 4J updated its school safety protocols with best practices to keep everyone as safe as possible in an emergency. These updated safety strategies, known as ALiCE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate), were recommended by law enforcement. ALiCE strategies expand on our traditional safety practices and empower staff and students with more options during a life-threatening emergency, the kind we all hope never happens.

During the week of October 25, students will have age-appropriate class discussions, practice evacuating, and talk about barricading in response to a threat. Student training will not include the active-shooter simulations that staff have participated in. Class discussions will occur on October 25th and student drills will occur on October 26th. If you are interested in viewing our materials, they will be available at our school. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Please talk with your children about the drills. Our goal, while practicing important safety procedures is to be sure all children feel safe and are not scared by the mock emergencies. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

As always, we ask parents to be our partners in safety: Talk with your son or daughter about how to be safe at home, in your neighborhood, and on the way to and from school. Be alert to potential dangers. Please notify the school if you know of an unsafe situation, and call 911 first if you believe it to be an emergency. Always check in at the front office and get a visitor badge if you will be at the school, and if you see anyone unauthorized on campus tell school staff right away. Provide the school office with your complete current contact information—if there is ever an emergency we will use email, home phones, cell phones, websites or other communication to notify you with accurate information as quickly as we can.

Families and schools are also partners in caring for our students. The district has provided the attached suggestions from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP_TalkingToChildrenAboutViolence) for talking with children about violence and for managing strong emotional reactions to traumatic events. I hope you will find these resources helpful to you.

Sincerely,

Thomas Piowaty
Kocho Sensei