3432 Emergencies

The Franklin Pierce School District is committed to having current safe school plans and procedures in place to maximize safety for all students and staff. A commitment to safety enables teaching and learning. The district and its schools shall develop comprehensive all-hazard emergency operations plans that address prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery strategies.
District and school plans shall:
  • Include required school safety policies and procedures;
  • Address emergency mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery;
  • Include provisions for assisting and communicating with students and staff, including those with special needs or disabilities;
  • Include a family-student reunification plan, including procedures for communicating the reunification plan to staff, students, families, and emergency responders;
  • Use the training guidance provided by the Washington emergency management division of the state military department in collaboration with the state school safety center in the office of the superintendent of public instruction, established under RCW 28A.300.630, and the school safety and student well-being committee, established under RCW 28A.300.635.
  • Require the building principal to be certified on the incident command system;
  • Consider how school facilities may be used as a community asset in the event of a community-wide emergency; and
  • Set guidelines for requesting city or county law enforcement agencies, local fire departments, emergency service providers, and county emergency management agencies to meet with the district and participate in safety-related drills.
To the extent that funds are available, the district will do the following annually:
  • Review and update the safe school plans in collaboration with emergency response agencies;
  • Conduct inventory of all hazardous materials;
  • Identify all staff members who are trained on the national incident management system, trained on the incident command system, or are certified on the incident command system;
  • Identify school transportation procedures for evacuation to include bus staging areas, evacuation routes, communication systems, parent-student reunification sites, and secondary transportation agreements; and
  • Provide information to all staff on the use of emergency supplies and alert procedures.
Drills are an essential component of safety planning. Drills teach students and staff basic functional responses to potential threats and hazards. The four functional responses are adaptable and can be applied to a variety of situations. Additionally, some threats or hazards may require the use of more than one basic functional response. Therefore, each school in the district will conduct at least one safety-related drill per month, including summer months when school is in session with students. Drill planning and implementation shall consider and accommodate the needs of all students.
Basic Functional Drills
The basic functional responses include shelter-in-place, lockdowns, evacuations, and earthquakes (drop-cover-hold on):
  • Shelter-in-Place
Shelter-in-place is designed to limit the exposure of students and staff to hazardous materials, such as chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants that are released into the environment by isolating the inside environment from the outside. Staff and students will receive instruction so that they will be able to remain inside and take the steps necessary to eliminate or minimize the health and safety hazard.
  • Lockdowns
Lockdowns are meant to isolate students and staff from threats of violence, such as suspicious trespassers, armed intruders, and other threats that may occur in a school or in the vicinity of a school. Staff and students will receive instruction so that in the event of the breach of security of a school building or campus, staff, students, and visitors will be able to take positions in secure enclosures. Lockdown drills will not include simulations of or reenactments of active shooter scenarios that are not trauma-informed ad age and developmentally appropriate.
  • Evacuations
When an emergency within a school or its surrounding area necessitates evacuation and/or total or partial closure of the schools within the district, staff will be responsible for aiding in the safe evacuation of the students within the endangered school or its surrounding area.
Staff and students will receive instruction so that in the event the school or district needs to be evacuated due to threats, such as fires, oil train spills, earthquakes, etc., they will be able to leave the building in the shortest time possible and take the safest route possible to a designated reunification site.
Schools in mapped tsunami or mapped lahar hazard zones, will plan and participate in one pedestrian evacuation drill annually.
  • Earthquakes: Drop – Cover – Hold On
The Board recognizes the importance of protecting staff, students, and facilities in the event of an earthquake. Facilities will be designed and maintained in a manner that recognizes the potential danger from such an occurrence. Likewise, staff must be prepared to take necessary action to protect students and staff from harm.
“Drop – cover – hold on” is the basic functional earthquake response. The superintendent will establish guidelines and the action for building principals to take should an earthquake occur while school is in session.
Additional Drills
In addition to the above four functional response drills, the district shall, at a minimum, also develop response plans for the following:
  • Pandemic/Epidemic
The Board recognizes that a pandemic outbreak is a serious threat that could affect students, staff, and the community. The superintendent or a designee will serve as a liaison between the school district and local health officials. The district liaison, in consultation with local health officials, will ensure that a pandemic/epidemic plan exists in the district and establish procedures to provide for staff and student safety during such an emergency.
When an emergency within a school or its surrounding area necessitates evacuation and/or total or partial closure of the schools within the district, staff will be responsible for aiding in the safe evacuation of the students within the endangered school or its surrounding area.
  • Bomb Threats
The superintendent will establish procedures for action in the event that any threat is received toward the school by telephone, letter, orally, or by other means.
  • Emergency School Closure or Evacuation (Modified Shelter-in-Place)
When weather conditions or other circumstances make it unsafe to operate schools the superintendent is directed to determine whether schools should be started late, closed for the day, or transportation will be provided only on emergency routes. Those decisions will be communicated through community media resources pursuant to a plan developed by the superintendent or designee.
The superintendent will establish procedures for the emergency closure of a building or department.
All safety plans and drills shall include protocols for both internal and external communications, as well as procedures for drill documentation. Evacuation plans shall also include reunification plans. Schools shall document the dates and time of such drills. Each school will maintain the record of time and type of drill in the school office.
Legal References:    
RCW 19.27.110  International fire code — Administration and enforcement by counties, other political subdivisions and municipal corporations — Fees     
RCW 28A.320.125  Safe school plans — Requirements — Duties of school districts, schools, and educational service districts — Reports — Drills — Rules
Adoption Date: 4/12/77
Franklin Pierce Schools
Revised: 9/11/01; 11/18/08; 11/12/13; 5/25/21; 8/15/23
Classification: Essential