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The safety and security of all Bellingham Public School students and staff is our highest priority. All district staff members receive training in a variety of emergency scenarios.

 

What is an emergency?

An emergency is a sudden, unexpected, or dangerous situation that requires immediate action.  The response to any situation depends on the potential impact it may have on the people or facilities involved.  When parents hear news of a situation at a school, their first reaction may be to rush to the site to pick up their child.  We understand that reaction, however, when numerous parents arrive at the same time, growing demands on access to the school and students can negatively impact the access or response from law enforcement and supporting agencies.  Bellingham Schools will communicate as frequently as possible with parents to keep them informed during an emergency situation.  Here are some tips for parents when an emergency occurs on or near a BPS campus.

  • Check the district website for updated information.
  • In case of evacuation, wait for communication from the school or district to which location your child’s campus will evacuate.

In the event of an emergency, the action and appropriate direction will be called on the school intercom. Please take a moment to review the actions listed below. Students and staff will be trained and the school will practice these actions through drills over the course of the school year.

We encourage all parents/guardians to speak with their children about what to do in the event of an emergency or safety situation.  This would include the best way to communicate and who or where to meet in the event that an incident occurs before or after school, or as they are going to or coming from school.

Safety Update

A Safety Update is communicated to inform campus communities about issues near or at school sites.  These issues may not rise to an emergency response level but do require community knowledge.  Bellingham Public Schools will continue to update the community as additional information is available.

 

Lockdown

Doors Locked, Voices Off, Out of Sight

A Lockdown is initiated when there may be an immediate threat or hazard near or on the school campus. Students and staff are moved (or remain) in classrooms, sit away from sight line of the doors or windows, and doors and windows are locked and covered.  Classroom activities cease until the incident concludes.  The office will be closed and phones will not be answered.

STUDENTS:

  • Move away from sight
  • Maintain silence
  • Listen to directions from teacher or staff

TEACHERS:

  • Ensure all interior doors are locked
  • Cover windows, maintain silence
  • Ensure no movement inside & outside of buildings
  • Move away from sight
  • Secure ALL persons in a room (includes office staff and security personnel)
  • Take attendance and account for students

Lockout

A Lockout is initiated when there may be a danger outside of the buildings or off campus.  Students and staff are moved (or remain) in classrooms and perimeter doors remain locked, including the front office.  Classroom instruction continues as normal, and necessary movement can occur within a building. Law enforcement will typically notify administration when the All Clear can be given.

STUDENTS:

  • If outside, return to classroom
  • Listen to directions from teacher or staff

TEACHERS:

  • If outside, all students and staff return to classrooms
  • Increased situational awareness
  • Instruction as usual
  • Take attendance and account for students​

Evacuation

An Evacuation is initiated when there are conditions inside the school building that could be unsafe, such as no water, no electricity, or fire.  It might apply to the entire campus or to individual campus buildings.  Students and staff evacuate the buildings to an outside location and assemble at predetermined locations.  An off-site evacuation may be necessary depending on the incident. School district officials will coordinate bussing of students to an off-campus location. Information on student reunification will be sent out by the district automated phone, text, or email system.

STUDENTS:

  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Form a single file line while quietly evacuating
  • Listen to directions from teacher or staff
  • Be prepared for alternatives during response.

TEACHERS:

  • Take class roster sheet and emergency bucket
  • Lead students to designated assembly area
  • Take attendance and account for students​

 

Shelter in Place

Shelter in Place is initiated when students and staff need to be inside the building for safety, protection from dangers outside of the building, or for unsafe conditions in the immediate vicinity of the school, such as hazardous material releases.  It may also be initiated when there is an unsafe situation in an isolated area of the campus and movement needs to be controlled until the situation has been resolved.  During Shelter in Place, students and staff may be moved to a central part of the building and air systems be shut off if hazardous conditions are present outside. Necessary movement can occur within a building, but may be limited as needed.

STUDENTS:

  • If outside, return to classroom
  • Listen to directions from teacher or staff

TEACHERS:

  • If outside, all students and staff return to classrooms
  • Increased situational awareness
  • Instruction as usual
  • Take attendance and account for students​

If you have questions about emergency procedures in our schools, please contact the school Principal.

 

To report information regarding threats, rumors, criminal activity, etc. you can use our Safe Schools Alert line (844) 310-9560 or bellinghamschools.org/safe.