Dear Hardy Families, Oct 1, 2018
As you know, our District has focused a great deal in recent years on improving school safety. In addition to the many security features in our building that were recently installed, we have continued to collaborate with the Wellesley Police Department (WPD) and other Town emergency personnel to improve our security through enhanced training for staff and students. Our staff participated in simulated active-shooter drills facilitated by the WPD last year and will again participate in active-shooter drills this year. At the same time, we have been preparing age-appropriate training for students that we are ready to begin implementing.
Before moving forward, I want to be sure our families know what this safety training will include and how we are moving forward. First, it’s important to note that we will frame this training in the context of the many other safety elements student already know well, such as fire drills and bus safety.
We also want students to know that in the case of an emergency there are times when we will stay in our classrooms (lockdown), secure the entry and move to the far side of the room. There are other times when we will want to leave the building as quickly as possible from the nearest exit. Please see the attached slides from the slideshow that we plan to use with students to explain each of these elements.
This exercise is intended to help staff and students exit the building as quickly as possible and to find a safe place in the community where they will wait for help and support. The Wellesley Police Department will be on hand to help facilitate the student training.
Students will hear that the drill is intended to help us know what to do and where to go if there is a “dangerous/unsafe situation” that requires us to leave our school immediately. There are 3 parts to the student preparation:
Our teachers will be leading discussions and showing a slideshow (attached) with their classes in preparation for the drill.
Students will practice walking to the locations prior to the drill. I will not be sharing that date with parents. I will, however, let you know immediately following the practice walk.
The students will engage in the practice “Emergency Drill”. I will not be sharing that date with parents. I will, however, let you know immediately following the practice “Emergency Drill” how everything went.
We are aware that some students will need extra support as we plan our drills and our teachers will work to minimize the anxiety that may increase for students. In the end, we feel strongly that having staff and students familiar with how to secure their classrooms and exit the building quickly into the surrounding neighborhood will enhance our safety training and awareness.
Thank you in advance for your help and support.