The safety and security of our students is of utmost importance to us. Please remember that, in the event of a campus evacuation, parents would be notified through the School Messenger system. As a result, it is very important that you keep your contact information up-to-date. In the case of an emergency, please follow all directions from the school. For example, if the school is in lockdown, please do not call the school or arrive to pick up your child. Parents who attempt to come to the school during a crisis can prevent first responders from arriving on the scene in a timely fashion and will complicate an already difficult situation. Therefore, it is imperative that parents wait for further guidance from school staff, as the safety and security of our students would be foremost in our decision-making in an emergency situation.
The mission of MISD in an emergency/disaster is to protect lives, mitigate the effects of the situation, fully prepare for various types of situations, respond quickly and effectively to emergencies, and aid in recovery from these situations.
The following items are an integral part of our Emergency Operations Plan:
- Consistent and ongoing communication and collaboration with local police and fire departments, including opportunities for these entities to train and perform drills on MISD facilities
- Strong partnerships with local police departments in the cities of Hewitt and Woodway
- Clear and accurate surveillance security cameras both inside and outside the buildings
- Secure visitor access procedures, including visual facial identification and ID screening of arriving individuals
- Emergency alert systems
- Increased presence of trained police officers, with enhanced response time
- Primary, alternate and handicap evacuation routes
- Pre-determined evacuation sites off campus
- Ongoing training for staff
- Procedures for staff and students for emergency situations, severe weather, fire, lock-downs
- Consistent schedule of practice drills including evacuation, reverse evacuation, lock down, shelter-in-place, and severe weather drills
- Administrator knowledge of utility access and shut-off points
- Safety “go bags” in each classroom with basic first aid supplies, class rosters, flashlight, etc.
- Administrators trained in FEMA’s National Incident Management System
- Implementation of the Incident Command System until relieved by first responders
- Assessment of hazards, with plans to reduce the probability of hazards causing an emergency situation, or lessen the consequences of unavoidable emergencies.
- Ongoing safety and security audits
- Regularly scheduled meetings with two committees tasked with school safety and security: Emergency Operations Planning Team and the School safety and Security Committee (Both committees have trained police officers to provide expertise and knowledge on best practices.)
Tragic lessons in Newtown, Connecticut and Columbine, Colorado have prompted the U.S. Department of Education to recommend additional options for staff members to consider when protecting students from harm. Teachers and staff are being asked to take a more assertive role in keeping their students safe and surviving the unlikely event of an "active shooter" situation on campus by considering such options as run away, hide, or fight.
“Employing some or all of these tactics requires all parties to the issues of school safety - school administrators at all levels, parents, teachers and other community members - to give careful consideration to a basic conundrum: Freedom and safety are mutually exclusive. Whatever makes a school setting more free, will at the same time, make it more dangerous to its students, teachers and administrative personnel. And equally obvious, whatever makes the school safer will impinge upon that freedom” (Semone & Sokoloff, Sept. 2013, How Safe are Your Schools? National Association of School Superintendents). MISD thanks you for your support of our security measures as we all work together to ensure our students are educated in a safe environment.