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Duck, Cover, Hold On... and other emergency drills

February 15, 2017
By Don Kok, Interim Elementary Principal

The health and safety of our students and staff are extremely important to us at Calvin Christian School.  Therefore, the school holds periodic emergency drills to help prepare for the unexpected.  

The three major drills are fire, lockdown, and earthquake (“Duck, Cover, and Hold On!”).  Prior to the beginning of each school year, staff members review emergency procedures.  The school holds drills early in the school year, and then reinforces those procedures during the remainder of the year.  The preparation for these drills will be different based on the maturity levels and ages of our students.  

Children in preschool or kindergarten may never have experienced the earsplitting sound of a fire alarm, so there needs to be appropriate explanation and preparation so understanding overcomes fear.  On the other end of the spectrum, older students have experienced numerous drills over their tenure at the school, so they need to be reminded to take the drills seriously.  

Parents can help by reassuring their children that emergency procedures are meant to keep them safe, and following directions at whatever age is imperative.

Every drill is a learning process.  After any given procedure, there is an opportunity to debrief.  This may be one of the most important aspects of the experience.  What went well?  What could have been done better? How did students respond?  Calvin Christian School has a “Crisis Management Team” that meets to review all emergency procedures, assign or reassign responsibilities, and make modifications to the school’s plans based on feedback.  

Unfortunately, the reality is that no venue is absolutely safe.  No school is absolutely safe.  No home is absolutely safe.  However, every effort is made to ensure that our students and staff are as safe as humanly possible while they are under our care.  We take that responsibility very seriously.