School Emergency/Crisis Plan Parent Information
Your children are our number one priority. We strive to keep all of our students safe throughout the school day, from the moment they board the bus until they exit the school bus at the end of the day. MCPS has worked hard to put processes in place for a number of different emergencies and these are practiced at every school regularly to ensure that any emergency is handled as smoothly as possible. This page is designed to explain your role as well as the various procedures used by our school. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school.
Emergency Contact Information
It is imperative that we be able to contact all parents during the school day in the event of an emergency or particular situation with your child. The Yellow Emergency Contact Form was sent home the first week of school for all parents to update and return to school. It is helpful to include home, work and cell phones for each parent/guardian.
In addition, all families were asked to complete a Parent Child Reunification Plan Form. This form lists family members (other than custodial parents) or friends (over the age of 18) who are permitted to pick up your child(ren) in the event of a school, local or regional emergency. If this form is not filled out and returned to school, the only person who is permitted to pick up your child(ren) is the custodial parent(s). We cannot accept phone calls authorizing permission, we must have this form on file. If you completed it last year and did not submit a new one for this school year, we will use the old version. If you ever want to change who has authority to pick up your child(ren), stop by the main office and you can review your form and make necessary changes. Proper identification will be required by all non-custodial parents who come to pick up children.
Fire Drills, Code Blue and Code Red Procedures
Fire Drills are conducted at least once per month during the school year. The first two, conducted during the first 30 days of school, are announced to the whole school. After these two announced drills, the students are not always notified of a drill. We want them to treat every drill as though it were the real thing so they are fully prepared in the event of a true emergency. Students are instructed to be silent, walk to the nearest exit and wait with the class while attendance is taken. If they are in an unsupervised area, students need to exit the building via the closest exit and notify the closest adult so that our attendance will be complete.
Code Blue is a status used to describe a situation in which there is a danger in the larger community. The outside doors are locked and teachers are to close all window shades to the outside. Typically, instruction continues and student movement around the building is closely monitored. Parents and visitors needing to enter the building during a Code Blue will be asked to show identification and state the purpose for the visit. A Code Blue can be activated by the principal of the school, local authorities such as the police or fire department or by the Superintendent (or his designee) of MCPS. When it has been determined by the authorities that the danger to our school no longer exists, the Code Blue will be canceled and the front doors will be unlocked. Parents will be notified, via a letter, that a Code Blue was activated and more information will be given.
Code Red is a status used to describe a situation in which the danger is imminent or within the school building. The doors to each classroom are locked, teachers close all window shades both to the inside hallways and to the outside and all instruction ceases. Children are to be silent in their classrooms. Attendance is taken by the teacher to ensure all students are accounted for. Parents and visitors will not be permitted in the building during a Code Red. A Code Red can be activated by the principal of the school, local authorities such as the police or fire department or by the Superintendent (or his designee) of MCPS. When it has been determined by the authorities that the danger to our school no longer exists, the Code Red will be canceled and the front doors will be unlocked. Parents will be notified, via a letter, that a Code Red was activated and more information will be given.
If either of these situations extend beyond the regular school day or prevent buses from bringing the students home, the Parent Child Reunification Plan will be activated. This plan is designed to reunite parents/guardians with their child(ren) in a timely and organized fashion. Parents will pick up children using the Gym entrance to the school. Upon entering, parents will be asked for ID and will wait in the hall while a staff member retrieves the children and brings them to the parents. No parents will be permitted beyond the sign-out counter to ensure the safety of all. Parent volunteers are trained to assist us in this process and put parents at ease.
In the event that it is necessary to evacuate the school building and not return for a significant time period, the following locations have been identified:
On-Campus Evacuation Location
(Alternate) Weis Parking lot – right side
Off-Campus Evacuation Location
Damascus High School
25921 Ridge Road
(Alternate) Damascus American Legion
10201 Lewis Dr.
Although we hope that there is never a situation that warrants using any of these procedures, we are prepared to handle an emergency situation and ensure the safety of your children.