Meeting on Emergency Evacuation Procedures
December 17, 2018
8:30am in the Cafeteria
Held By Ms. Rosa Amato
On 12/13, a bomb threat email was sent that suggested there might be harm done to our school. Bridget Nash, AP, is the leader of our building response team but she was not at school that day. Ms. Rosa Amato, principal, and Maura O’Grady, dean of students, were notified.
Ms. Rosa texted the school’s NYPD Communications Officer who arrived in minutes. The parent who received the email had also called 911 so other police arrived as well.
The main building has a PA system up and running and an announcement was made to evacuate immediately using fire drill protocol. The PA system is not yet hooked up in the early childhood building and so the fire alarm there was pulled.
Kids were all over the building. They were in their classrooms but also in the gym and on the stage and in the yard, etc. Every door was used to evacuate the buildings.
In an emergency, nobody stops to get coats shoes, etc. The priority is to get everybody out immediately. Ms. Rosa A exits the building last.
460 students and 126 adult staff members were safely and calmly evacuated within 3 minutes.
We have 3 relocation sites. The primary is PS 32. Next are PS 321 and PS 58. After that (though it is extremely unlikely that this would happen), kids would evacuate to Verizon or Whole Foods. The senior field council green lights the relocation.
All students and staff walked to PS 32 and were put in the auditorium or the gym.
A separate plan exists for vulnerable adults and students in our building who can’t make the walk to another site.
Protocol states that:
- Communication does not go out to families until every student is relocated and counted.
- No students are dismissed until a final head count takes place.
At PS 32:
- Parents/caretakers of walkers filled out a form to pick up their child. A runner got the child and signed off that the child was dismissed.
- Bussing was moved to PS 32. 105 students went home on buses.
- 86 students were walked back to school for After School/Enrichment.
A PTA EB member was at PS 372 telling parents/caregivers that all students had been evacuated to PS 32.
The next day, Ms. Rosa and our school counselor visited every classroom to talk to students. When needed, students were referred to speak with the counselor.
Things to consider for future:
- When possible, an adult staff member may be able (in some cases) to make a quick sweep for coats from the classroom.
- A small think tank will be meeting to consider ways to communicate emergencies to families in addition to Konstella. That said, Konstella is our current system and all parents should be signed up so that they can receive important communications.
- If people know of a good system that works at another school, please pass the idea along to our administration.
- A list of parent volunteers who live very close to school may be compiled so that, in case of emergency, those people can be at our school site alerting families.