Parent's Role in an Emergency
This section outlines some of the key elements of Orleans/Niagara BOCES’s state of preparedness and your role in the event of an emergency. It is our hope that this information answers the questions you have concerning the actions and intentions with regard to your children while they are in school or traveling to or from school.
- What can we expect schools to do in an emergency?
- Communication during an Emergency
- School Delay/Closures/Early Dismissals
- BEFORE an Emergency Occurs, How Parents Can Help
- WHEN an Emergency Occurs at the school, what you should do
- After an Emergency, Release of Students to Parent/Guardian
- Visitors to School Property
- Frequently Asked Questions
Steps will be taken to:
- Instruct students and staff in emergency preparedness and in emergency procedures designed to maximize safety in an emergency situation.
- Prepare personnel to respond to an emergency according to predetermined procedures, designed to prevent injuries and minimize property losses and provide appropriate response and support when necessary.
- Communicate with students’ families about emergency preparedness measures to assist them in protecting themselves and their property.
- Communicate with parents about the school emergency management procedures so school and home can work cooperatively in the best interest of students.
Depending on the nature of the incident, the school will implement one of the following protective actions:
Evacuation – if it is unsafe for students and staff to remain inside the building, we will evacuate. If necessary, we will relocate students and staff to another safe location. We then will follow the directions given by local emergency agencies (i.e. fire or police).
Lockdown – A “lockdown” event occurs when there is an immediate hostile threat to the school. This may be an intruder, a firearms event, or an enraged non-custodial parent trying to take their child from school. A “lockdown” announcement is made and all staff and students seek immediate cover in a locked room. All school activities cease and 911 is called. All staff and students remain in “lockdown” until released by the police or an “all clear” announcement is made by school personnel.
Shelter-in-Place – A “shelter-in-place” event occurs when there is a threat in the vicinity of the school. This may be a hazardous material spill, severe weather or police action in the area. In order to ensure the safety and health of students, the school is secured and visitors are closely scrutinized or not allowed in the school at all depending on the event. Activities inside the school continue.
Communication during an Emergency
Each school has assigned, in advance, a staff member as the liaison / information specialist to work with the parents / guardians during a crisis. This individual assigned to this duty will assume responsibility for arranging the details and providing accurate, up to date information regarding the incident.
School Delay/Closures/Early Dismissals
Announcements will be made usually by 6:30 a.m. over the radio and television stations.
Things you can do:
- Listen to radio or television stations for school closures or emergency dismissals.
- Do not call the school, radio or television station.
- Talk to your children about what procedures to follow. Tell them what to do if they come home early and you are not there. Make arrangements with neighbors or give your children a number to call so they can check in.
Radio WBEN 930 AM
Television WGRZ Channel 2
WIVB Channel 4
WKBW Channel 7
- Make sure your child’s emergency information is correct. If there is any change in a student’s name, home address, mailing address, telephone number, or emergency contact numbers, please notify the school immediately. We need to maintain accurate records so that we can ensure appropriate communication with parents/guardians. Only people listed on the emergency card are allowed to pick up children from school.
- Encourage your child to carry an I.D. Card at all times.
- While they are in school, children will receive appropriate instructions if an emergency occurs.
- Keep the school nurse informed of a child's medical condition and provide emergency medical supplies and medication.
- Keep alert to activity around the schools and on school grounds. Report any suspicious activities.
WHEN an Emergency Occurs at the school, what you should do
- Tune in to the radio or television stations. Parents will be kept informed through the radio and television stations.
- Be accessible by remaining at the emergency phone numbers you provided to the school.
- Don’t call the school in emergency situations so that phone lines can remain open for emergency communication.
- Understand that if an emergency is declared, access to the school campus may be restricted. Do not remove your children from a school campus without signing them out.
- Don’t send neighbors or others not authorized to pick up children.
AFTER an Emergency, Release of Students to Parent/Guardian
Parents are allowed to pick up their children unless public safety officials restrict facility access. During any emergency, school personnel will maintain as safe and normal environment for children with the school as is possible. School is not automatically canceled in emergency situations. Remember, school may be the safest place for children to be.
Schools will not allow anyone other than a child’s custodial parents/guardians to take the child away from school. If you want a relative, friend, or care provider to pick your child up at school, you must give written permission or call the school. If you call, the principal must verify that it was the parent/guardian making the call. The individual must show identification before the school will release the student.
Visitors to School Property
To minimize disruptions of the learning environment and educational process, as well as for the safety and security of all our students and staff members, all visits must be arranged through the school office. When you visit the school, you must first go to the main office to sign in and get a visitor’s pass. When a student needs to be dismissed early (usually for medical or emergency reasons) he/she must be signed out. The student will be called down to the office to be signed out. At no time should any visitor go directly to any classroom without first registering in the office and receiving a Visitor Pass. These procedures help ensure safety for all.
Frequently Asked Questions
A full set of Frequently Asked Questions are available here.