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From the Desk of Mr. Patrick McKernan: Crisis Drills




Thursday, October 15, 2018

The Kansas State Legislature passed a new law that took effect on July 1, 2018, with a new and stricter emphasis on “crisis drills”.  Every school in Kansas MUST conduct 16 emergency preparedness drills, including nine crisis drills that cover intruder responses and lockdown procedures.

The requirements include:

·         Four (4) fire drills – one each quarter

·         Three (3) tornado drills – 1 in the Fall, 2 in the Spring with one being on the state drill date and time.

·         Nine (9) Crisis drills – one each month starting in September

In previous years, we were required to only do a monthly fire drill and 3 tornado drills.  So this will be a change for our staff and students.

While most people think of a lockdown drill as an intruder or armed gunman in the building, that is not always the case.  There are many ways and many scenarios where a crisis drill can be practiced.

USD 429 will start our Crisis Drills in September and have tentatively planned the following “scenarios”: We may change the order “scenarios” depending on timing and training of staff.

September – Bus Evacuation Drill - (We need to have the students exit the building and drill on getting on the bus safely and exiting the bus safely.)

October – Evacuation off site (there is a significant gas leak within the building, we will walk to designated area off site.  (The Catholic Church parking lot and baseball field)

November – Lockout - (the police are looking for a convict who was seen in the area around the school)

           December – Evacuation off site (a bomb threat was made to the school building)

January – Shelter in Place – (an ammonia tanker wrecked and is leaking upwind to the school)

February – Soft lockdown and blind windows (an angry non-custodial parent has threatened to come to school and take their child)

March – soft lockdown and/or evacuation on site (a teacher dies of a heart attack during lunch in front of students).

          April – Hard lockdown (a person with a gun enters the building)

          May – Evacuation on or off-site – a lightning strikes the building and there is no power

While we are not advertising exactly what day and time each drill will occur each month, we WILL let parents know when we have such a drill.  We will remind parents what will happen during the lockdown drill and if there are students absent from school for an appointment or other reason, we will ask they not come to school during that time.  While we want to be transparent as to what will happen, we also need to be as realistic as possible.

When the school building evacuates, we may or may not load our students on buses and take them to the designated areas.

We realize this is out of our comfort zone, as both parents AND school staff.  However, it is always best to be prepared in the event of an emergency and there is no better preparedness than to practice these drills.

Thank you for your cooperation and help in explaining these drills to your children.