Back to School for Reading, Writing, and Emergency Preparedness

Back to school preparation isn’t just about the core curriculum anymore. Before the school year even begins, many teachers and staff have already been training and prepping to drill students in emergency response scenarios.

Times Change, So Do the Drills

Current school emergency drills go well beyond filing out in an orderly fashion and covering one’s head under a desk or in a designated hall area. Unique drills are established, practiced, and tested for various situations and scenarios.

Natural and Unnatural Disasters

Most schools are already well-prepared for natural disasters such as fires, tornados, or earthquakes, but as threats from unnatural disasters increase, school systems are learning from Federal and state guidance how to best respond to bomb threats, active shooters, and more.

Move or Shelter in Place

Not only do the school systems adapt Federal and state guidance to scenarios involving children in a school environment, they also adapt for balance between unique conditions and consistency. A consistently appropriate response is critical for smooth operations and optimum safety, but every facility and community is different.

Training and Documentation

Each scenario must consider the unique conditions and environments in the school system while establishing response consistency. Students need to know what response is appropriate for each scenario. To help both the students and those who teach emergency response to the students, training materials and documentation such as flip charts and videos are created to reinforce learning before, during, and after drills.

Have a Plan. Follow the Plan. Repeat.

Having a plan and teaching students to follow the plan helps school systems maintain safety as much as possible. The more students and school systems plan, drill, and learn, the easier it will be to encourage a practiced response and remain relatively calm in scary situations. Practice may or may not “make perfect”, but emergency preparedness and drills in the schools certainly are making many feel much more secure.