Posted by: Joshua Ottow, Assistant Principal, Yarmouth High School
My name is Josh Ottow, and we am a partner principal during Yarmouth High School in Maine. Yarmouth is a suburban city of approximately 8,000 residents and 1,400 students, with 500 students during a high school. we offer on a organisation of administrators that helps devise for confidence and puncture preparedness in a district. Currently, we have an puncture government custom that relates to all schools, and has additional specific information and skeleton for particular schools.
We feel that Yarmouth High School is already a protected school, in that we encourage a guileless and deferential propagandize culture, where certain relations between students and teachers are of a pinnacle importance. For example, we do not have thatch on a lockers, bells between classes, or gymnasium passes. It’s vicious to us to supplement measures that make a propagandize some-more prepared for emergencies but losing that guileless culture.
This can be a plea because, in a eyes, of students, things like sealed doors, buzz-in systems, cameras in a parking lot, and lockdown drills can feel like we are presumption a misfortune in them, as against to guileless them to do a right thing.
At Yarmouth High School, a centerpiece of a puncture preparedness is carrying a clever Advisor/Advisee program. We trust in a inherited strength and intensity of a tiny organisation of students operative together with an advising adult for 4 years. A student’s confidant is a chairman to rest on for advice, information, and genuine assistance and support in moments of distress. Each teacher’s organisation of advisees comprises a singular multiple of students, who competence not differently have turn friends. We see this as an event for students to offer support and accept support from a organisation that will be a consistent in students’ life for 4 years during Yarmouth High School. Because of a joining to this program, we knew that it would be vicious to a puncture preparedness doing efforts.
Over a past year we spent substantial time in a Advisor/Advisee groups, articulate about new puncture preparedness measures. The pivotal is doing so in a context of gripping a propagandize enlightenment total and creation a propagandize a safer place. One proceed we proceed this is by contracting contention questions in a Advisor/Advisee groups to kindle conversation, build bargain within a tyro body, and give students an event to share their opinions and concerns. Example questions include:
- What creates Yarmouth High School a secure place?
- What creates a enlightenment of Yarmouth High School unique?
- Do we feel protected during Yarmouth High School?
- Do we know what we would do in an puncture during school? Do we feel prepared?
- What can we, as a school, do to safeguard that we encourage and say a positive, trusting, and deferential enlightenment AND have a some-more secure school?
Teachers are suggested to be supportive to intensity stress-level boost and romantic reactions surrounding these discussions, and are wakeful that tyro reactions might change widely, and everyone’s opinion should be given a due. Our wish is that this review is honest and impactful for students as they combat with these tough issues. We are also anticipating that this review spills into “dinner time” speak with their relatives during home. Parents are always invited to play a contributing purpose in these puncture preparedness skeleton around community-based forums, where they can demonstrate their opinions, make requests, and give suggestions.
Another process that we use to residence puncture preparedness is collecting approach feedback from students. For example, we ask students (through their Advisor/Advisee groups) for feedback on a response devise and suggestions for destiny protocols any time we reason a lockdown drill. Advisors are given a detailed, play-by-play lockdown cavalcade beam that they go over with their advisees after any drill. Sometimes, we get good suggestions from a students that we might not have suspicion about otherwise.
For example, during a new lockdown cavalcade we asked students to palm over their phones to their teacher. One tyro asked his Advisor since we did that, and he was told that one reason was to minimize light and sound entrance from a classroom. In response, he suggested that teachers should also tighten a lids of their laptops, since his clergyman had his laptop open during a lockdown and it was emitting light. This was not something we had specified in a devise and might not have suspicion to supplement if this tyro hadn’t brought it up. Advisors have entrance to a common online request where they can note these suggestions, and afterwards we speak about a responses and potentially reworking a skeleton during a school-wide expertise meeting.
Our puncture preparedness efforts in a past several months, from new skeleton and new apparatus to authentic and honest discussions among students and staff, have shown me that involving students and being open with them about how preparedness measures could impact propagandize enlightenment is a best proceed to safeguard a protected and certain school.
Editor’s Note: The views voiced in this blog post do not indispensably paint a central views of FEMA, a Department of Homeland Security, or a United States Government. We are providing links to third celebration sites and organizations for your reference. FEMA does not validate any non-government entities, organizations or services.