How often do schools conduct emergency drills?

Schools are required to complete one drill per month while school is in session per state law. They can conduct more if they wish, but one drill per month throughout the school year is the minimum (RCW 28A.320.125). Each school must conduct each of the following drills per year (BSD Policy 3242P):

  • 3 Fire Evacuation Drills
  • 2 Earthquake Drills
  • 3 Lockdown Drills (1 Lockout Drill)
  • 1 Shelter in Place Drill
  • 1 Drill using School Mapping System

What kind of emergency training is provided to staff?

The Safety and Security Department provides hazard specific training to all Bellevue School District staff. There are currently over 15 training courses the Safety and Security Department provides, with continual additions and updated material. Courses include but are not limited to: Incident Command System, Earthquake Readiness, Active Shooter, Disaster Medical, and Search and Rescue, to name a few. The Safety and Security Department also provides an 8-hour and 16-hour Safety Academy to BSD staff multiple times a year. Safety Academies include multiple safety courses and hands on practicals for staff to practice their newly learned skills. To learn more about the Safety and Security Department’s Safety Academies, please click here.

What can I do at home to teach my child(ren) about emergencies?

Although children get training while at school through drills and district approved learning tools, talking to your kids at home is a key factor in preparedness. Making sure that your family has a plan and practicing what to do in emergencies at home will translate into readiness at school. Being able to talk to your kids about the seriousness of emergencies and listening to whoever is in charge also plays a large role while organizing and practicing preparedness during drills at school. You may find this website helpful for tips on discussing school safety with your child(ren). Other helpful sources can be found on our Front Page, under “Resources”.

Are my children getting age/grade appropriate training?

The Safety and Security department is working closely with schools and the Social Emotional Learning Department to ensure that the information being provided to students during drills is age appropriate.

Elementary level staff have access to District approved learning tools, including safety videos and comic strips, to help teach their students what to do in a variety of emergencies and explaining why they are taking the safe actions that are required in each emergency and drill scenario.

Secondary students are receiving training during a safety assembly. The training they receive is based off training given to BSD staff to ensure students and staff can work together effectively if found in an emergency.

Please talk to your children about school safety at home so that they are prepared for drills at school.

Where would I find my child in an emergency?

Depending on the nature of the emergency, your child may be released through the normal pickup procedures at their school, through modified pickup procedures at their school, or through a parent/child reunification process at an off-site location. Please do not “self-deploy” to the school during an emergency. Information will be released through the media and through district communication tools such as School Messenger to advise you of any special circumstances for release.

What is the procedure to collect my child during an emergency?

This would depend on the nature of the emergency. If modified pickup procedure or an off-site reunification is needed, you will be required to show photo ID to sign out your child. Children will only be released to those who have been listed on the Emergency Release Form. This form is filled out at the beginning of the school year and can be modified on ParentVUE.

Do not come to the school during an emergency. Information will be released through the media and through district communication tools such as School Messenger to advise you of any special circumstances for release.

For more information regarding Reunification procedures and expectations, please see our Reunification Page.

May I pick up children who are not mine during an emergency?

You will not be allowed to pick up children who are not yours unless previous written consent is on file with the school which identifies you as an emergency contact for the children in question.

What is the difference between a lockdown and a lockout?

Lockout may be initiated when there is some kind of danger in the neighborhood, but not directed at the school. It is usually initiated by police and is designed to keep the danger outside of the school. Typically, a lockout lasts only a few minutes, but in some instances may last longer. During a lockout, no one will be allowed in or out, so meetings at the school may need to be rescheduled. Lockouts are precautionary.

Lockdown is initiated when there is a threat to the campus or school. All threats are taken seriously. In the interest of student safety, lockdown may be initiated while the nature of the threat is evaluated. Staff are trained to lock classroom doors, shut off the lights, close the blinds, and to continually assess the situation. Staff and students transition to run, hide, or fight based upon the situation presented.

Do not come to the school during an emergency. Information will be released through the media and through district communication tools such as School Messenger to advise you of any special circumstances for release.

Can I schedule a training/presentation for my PTA/PTSA group?

The Safety and Security Department can help schedule trainings and presentations for PTA/PTSA groups with regards to public safety (Police, Fire, Red Cross, etc.).

What resources are available if my child is forced to stay at school due to a natural disaster?

Each school has an Emergency Supply container or room filled with necessities in the event students and staff are forced to stay at school due to a natural disaster. Each Emergency Supply room includes, but is not limited to: water, medical supplies, search and rescue equipment, staging supplies and shelter supplies. Please contact your principal regarding any school-specific safety or supply questions.

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