Oconto Unified SCHOOL DISTRICT
Information Sheet for Parents
Q: Why does the Oconto Unified School District perform safety drills in our schools?
A: The district is bound by law and school policy to prepare students, faculty, and staff for emergencies. The goal is to be proactive and provide the skills to keep our students safe and secure in our schools. Schools are one of the safest places in our community, partly because of the efforts made to educate and prepare for emergencies.
Q: What kinds of drills are held in schools?
A: Drills for fire, severe weather, and incident action plans (ALICE) are practiced in all schools.
Q: How often do the schools practice the drills?
A: Fire drills are held monthly, severe weather drills are held twice yearly, and incident action plan drills (ALICE) are performed yearly.
Q: When are students given prior notification that a drill is taking place?
A: Students are aware that a drill is practiced early in the year, particularly at the elementary level, as teachers work to guide students through the process. Also, a drill is generally announced should a new procedure or modification to the current system be implemented.
Q: How do teachers prepare students for safety drills?
A: Teachers have discussions with the students about the drills and the fact that the drills are done to keep them safe should an emergency arise. The students have the opportunity to walk through the drills and ask questions. Teachers use age-appropriate vocabulary when talking to students about the drills to help students feel empowered but not fearful.
Q: When is prior notification of a drill not given to students?
A: After some initial practice early in the year, drills are held without prior notification to help students take the drills seriously and put the safety steps they have learned into practice. This also allows the administration to assess the effectiveness of the drills and make any needed modifications to the current system.
Q: How can parents help prepare students for safety drills?
A: Parents should talk positively to students about the drills, reiterating that the drills are done to keep everyone in the school safe. It is important to reassure children that school is a safe place and that these drills are one more effort to help them stay that way.
Q: Who should be contacted with any questions or concerns about safety drills?
A: Parents should contact the building principal with questions or concerns about the drills. The school principal will gladly work with parents to resolve any issues.
Q: What other things have the Oconto Unified School District done to promote safety in our schools?
A: Many upgrades and improvements have been made to the district’s security systems and sprinkler systems over the past few years. Additionally, the district has worked with our Oconto Police Department to train and utilize the ALICE protocol for an intruder situation. The district is committed to safety and will continue to work diligently to provide an excellent education in a safe and secure environment.