Keeping Children Safe

The Jennings School District makes every effort to ensure that schools and facilities are safe and secure environments for students, staff, and visitors.  The district has a comprehensive critical incident response plan that identifies planning, response, and recovery measures necessary to fulfill this responsibility.  Jennings places great importance on school and district staff knowing their responsibilities during a school emergency.

District training includes an annual review of the district's plan and annual training for principals and staff.  School fire inspections, safety and security audits, and safety drills for students and staff are routinely conducted.  Emergency communications systems are tested regularly and each school is equipped with emergency weather warning systems.

Please see below for more detailed information regarding Jennings' emergency procedures.

Lock-down:  A lock-down occurs when there is an immediate hostile threat to a school.  This may involve a weapon on campus, an intruder or any event in which students and staff members may be endangered.  A lock-down announcement is made in plain language so that all staff members and students seek immediate cover in a locked room.  All school activities cease and 911 is called.  All staff members and students remain in lock-down until released by law enforcement.

Lockout:  A lockout allows no unauthorized person(s) into the building.  All exterior doors are locked, and the main entrance is monitored by administrators, security or the school resource officer (SRO).  This procedure allows the school to continue with the normal school day but curtails outside activity.  It is most commonly used when an incident is occurring outside a school building, on or off school property.  Depending on the specific incident, students may be required to remain in school for an extended period of time.

Shelter in Place:  Shelter-in-place is a temporary measure (minutes or hours, not days) designed to use a school and its indoor atmosphere to separate students and the staff from a hazardous outdoor environment.

A shelter-in-place occurs when there is a threat in the vicinity of a school.  This may be weather related, a hazardous material spill or a release of a dangerous chemical.  In order to ensure the safety and health of the students and the staff, the school campus is secured and no visitors are allowed until local authorities notify the school that the situation is safe.  Depending on the specific incident, students may be required to remain in school for an extended period of time.  It is the school district's goal to return children to their parent/guardian as soon as it is safe to do so.  Public safety officials will make the decision on when that will be.

Students will not be released to parents during a shelter-in-place.  School personnel have been instructed not to open exterior doors during this time.  Once authorities have established that the environment is safe, students may be released.
Students Requiring Medication:  In the event an evacuation of a school becomes necessary, all medications currently at the school will be moved to the evacuation site.  Parents should ensure the schools have an appropriate amount of medication on hand as well as instructions for the use of the medication.

Field Trips:  In the event of a critical incident, field trips will be cancelled at the discretion of the principal in consultation with district staff members.
Student Access to News:  The school staff will limit the use of television and radio broadcasts in classrooms to avoid over exposure to media reports.  Principals will use discretion in determining the appropriateness of media broadcasts.

Evacuation of Schools:  Schools will not automatically be cancelled in a crisis/emergency situation.  Schools may be the safest place for students. The district will work to ensure that students are safe inside schools until the threat has passed.  Parents will be informed of evacuations through our communications system and the local media.

Student Release to Parents:  Parents will not be permitted to pick up their children during a shelter-in-place, lock-down or lockout until released by law enforcement.  This restricted access will be done only when absolutely necessary and with the best interest of the students and the staff in mind.

During such an event, students will only be released to those individuals authorized on the school emergency card or who possess written permission from a parent or guardian.  Everyone picking up students will be required to present proper identification for students to be released.