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School Safety

Accomack County Public School system is committed to providing a safe learning environment for students, staff, and visitors. We work closely with the state and local safety officials -- police, fire, emergency medical services, and public health -- to ensure our schools are prepared for an emergency. Together, we have developed a resource document Guidelines for Safe Schools that covers a wide variety of emergencies. This guide serves to assists administers, staff, and other public safety partners to be able to respond expediently if a crisis occurs.

Please report any safety concerns you may have to your child's school principal.

 

School Safety

The Accomack County Public School Division assures parents/guardians that safety measures are in place for staff and students. The school safety team works diligently to ensure our division-wide emergency plans are current and that all staff members are prepared to respond to a variety of school emergencies. Every one of our schools has numerous safety measures in place. Some of the safety measures include:

  • Each school has a Crisis Response Team.
  • All exterior doors are locked and under surveillance. Visitors must be "buzzed in" upon arrival.
  • All visitors must sign-in and wear a visitors' I.D. badge.
  • Surveillance cameras are located throughout the school buildings.
  • Every school has an emergency radio to receive updates on weather situations.
  • Each school has two-way radios to assist in emergency situations.
  • A crisis management plan has been developed for all bus drivers. Bus drivers have practiced the alternative drills.
  • Every school bus has two-way communication with the School Board Office and the bus garage.
  • Every school bus is equipped with a surveillance camera. Also, each bus has a VHF radio that is connected to the School Board Office and the Bus Garage, and can also be monitored by 911.

 

Communication During a School Emergency

During an emergency situation, it is critical that parents/guardians receive important information and directions from school officials before going to the school or scene of the emergency. Accurate and timely information will be released to the parents, the public, and the media during any school emergency.

Should an emergency occur, a parent may obtain information and directions by one of the following:

  • Listening to the local radio station (WESR 103.3, WVES 99.9, WKHW 106.5)
  • Watching the local television stations (3 WTKR, 10 WAVY, 13 WVEC, 16 WBOC)
  • Subscribing to the Accomack County Public School instant messaging service

 

Facts and Terms Every Parent Should Know

If an emergency should occur at your child's school, it is important that you are familiar with these terms.

Internal Lockdown
During an internal lockdown all school doors are locked and students are confided to their classrooms. No entry to or exit from the school is permitted. External lockdown is used if there is a threat or possible threat inside the school, on the school grounds, or in close proximity to the school.

Evacuation
Every school practices emergency drills throughout the school year so that students and staff are aware of the procedures for evacuation. If a situation occurs that requires students to be relocated, the school administration will direct the parents/guardians to the specific location. A student will only be released to an adult who is documented as an emergency contact.

 

Emotional Support for Students and Staff During Times of Crisis

It is important that our students feel safe in our schools, especially after a crisis has occurred. The school division provides counseling services to all staff and students. These services are provided by certified school counselors and school psychologists.

If a situation occurs in school or during a school-related activity, which causes students to be emotionally affected, the school divisions crisis response team will provide additional services to help them with the event.

 

As a Parent, How Can You Prepare for a School Emergency?

As a parent, there are two simple steps to prepare for a school emergency:

  1. Provide accurate emergency contact information to your child's school and notify the school if it changes.
  2. Subscribe to the "instant messaging service" that sends up-to-date information on school closings, late openings, early dismissans, and unforseen emergencies.

 

Instant Messaging Service

Accomack County Public School system has contracted with a service to deliver pre-recorded warning messages to all parents and staff members. The messages notify parents of emergencies, late openings, early dismissals, and school closings. When such an event occurs, you will receive a phone call from the School Board Office. The number on your caller ID will be (757) 787-5754.

All staff and students are provided this service free of charge. You may obtain an application from the secretary of your child's school. If you have any other questions, please call Jeanne Lawrence, School Safety Analyst, at (757) 787-4649.