The Wenatchee School District is committed to creating a thriving environment where all individuals flourish, are seen and valued, feel safe, and know they belong. With that goal in mind, we have partnered with the I Love U Guys Foundation, to introduce the Standard Response Protocol (SRP) to all of our facilities and grade levels. Action-based, flexible, and easy to learn the SRP is researched, data-driven, and based on current, best practices. Implemented by over 30,000 schools, agencies, and organizations across the United States, Canada, and 11 other countries, the foundation is a conduit for the work and experience of administrators, psychologists, public safety experts, families, and first responders. Supported by charitable donations, their programs are available at no cost.
The key to the Standard Response Protocol is simple, shared expectations, actions, and words. Based on five actions we take during an emergency - first responders, students, staff, and parents all share the same expectations, actions, and vocabulary. The SRP is an important part of our goal to develop facilities and operations that reinforce equitable learning and opportunities for all students by creating safe, healthy, and supportive spaces, building the safety skills of our staff, and adopting highly effective, contemporary best practices. We are confident that the SRP will position our staff, students, families, and community to respond to an emergency clearly, confidently, with bravery and determination.
Because it is not possible to mitigate completely against every hazard that poses a risk within our district, preparedness measures can help to reduce the impact of the remaining hazards by taking certain actions before an emergency event occurs. Preparedness includes plans or other preparations made to save lives and facilitate response and recovery operations.
The Wenatchee School District (WSD) Multi-Hazards Integrated Prioritized Risk Assessment (MH-IPRA) is a process that integrates the key components of safety and security risk management into a single easy to use process eliminating redundancy and producing a more efficient process. By combining the criticality, vulnerability, and risk assessments into a single methodology, WSD is able to more efficiently prioritize assets according to WSD criticality, determine their vulnerability to the multiple hazards identified, determine which assets require the most protection, and where future expenditures or programmatic change are required to minimize risk of events/attacks or lessen the severity of the outcome of an event/attack. The MH-IPRA combines and encompasses:
- Multi-Hazards Threat Assessment. An assessment to identify likely and feasible hazards/threats and analyze what could happen if that hazard occurred.
- Vulnerability Assessment. An assessment to provide a vulnerability-based analysis of mission-essential assets, resources, and personnel critical to mission success that are susceptible to the identified multi-hazards / threats.
- Criticality Assessment. An assessment to identify, classify and prioritize mission-essential assets, resources, and personnel critical to WSD and the office of Safety and Security mission success.
- Safety and Security Risk Assessment. An assessment applied to all aspects of safe schools program implementation and planning, including operational plans and decisions, development of risk mitigation
Each school/facility has a Safety Committee to help employees and administrators work together to identify safety problems, develop solutions, review incident reports and evaluate the effectiveness of the school/building safety program. Duties of the safety committee include:
Completing a bi-annual safety and health inspection of the school/facility.
- Completing monthly visual fire extinguisher inspections.
- Reviewing the safety and health inspection forms to assist in correction of identified unsafe conditions or practices.
- Reviewing and investigating any oral or written hazard reports.
- Evaluating any accident or incident that occurred since the last meeting to determine if the cause of the unsafe act or unsafe condition involved was properly identified and corrected.
- Periodically evaluating the accident and illness prevention program and developing recommendations for improvement.
- Evaluating employee safety suggestions.
- Encouraging safe work practices among co-workers.
- Provide recommendations for employee safety training.
- Promoting, publicizing, and developing advocacy for safety for all department staff
In an emergency, you are going to be stressed and under stress, your brain won’t function as you expect. Contrary to what you might imagine, people tend to react to emergencies by not reacting at all. Your brain's basic function is to search its memory for a similar event, recall your reaction to that event, and re-load that same response. Our brains have a normalcy bias. We tend to interpret information as if it is part of our everyday experience. When we encounter a new situation, especially a stressful emergency, we either substitute in the closest similar “normal” experience (which is usually wrong or mismatched) or we stop and enter into a sort of lethargy while we struggle to find recourse. Because of this, we tend to underestimate both the likelihood of an emergency and the possible effects of an emergency. It takes time for the brain to process this novel information, recognize it as life-threatening, and act. We can overcome this normalcy bias by drilling, in effect replacing our, likely mismatched, normal experience, with a pre-loaded script.
A Drill fundamentally connotes an intention to fix physical or mental habits as deeply as though they were bored in by the use of a drill; this rather graphic term stresses repetition as a means of training the mind or forming correct habits. A drill is a coordinated, supervised activity usually employed to test a single, specific operation.
The SRP is action-based, it is designed to help you recall the proper response quickly so you react faster and more confidently which in turn, reduces stress and increases performance.
Our Standard Response Protocol can broadly be divided into one Evacuation response, in which we leave the building, and four responses in which we protect ourselves within the building. The four non-evacuation responses represent a stepped increase in the level of protection sought within the building. Hold, Secure, Shelter, Lockdown.
Hold is followed by the Directive: "In Your Room or Area" and is the protocol used when hallways need to kept clear of occupants.
Hold is simply a protocol that stops movement within the school. Students and staff are directed to remain in their room or area while an emergency response is carried out within the building or on campus. No additional security measures are warranted and normal instruction or activity can continue.
A Hold drill will test the specific response of holding in your room or area and reporting attendance.
Secure is followed by the Directive: "Get Inside. Lock Outside Doors" and is the protocol used to safeguard people within the building.
Secure is a protocol that includes Hold with the additional step of increasing security measures. Exterior doors are locked, visitation is restricted and situational awareness is increased while normal activities continue.
A Secure drill will test the specific response of clearing the hallways, securing doors, suspending entry and exit, and reporting attendance.
Shelter State the Hazard and Safety Strategy for group and self-protection.
Shelter is a protocol that includes Secure with the additional step of protection from a known safety hazard, such as a problem with the air, Drop, Cover & Hold-on due to earthquake or severe weather, a safety concern on campus, or a HazMat incident. Shelter is a situational response, actions will depend on the appropriate safety strategy for the situation. Secure your doors and windows and wait for further instructions.
A Shelter drill will test the specific response of Executing the Safety Strategy which may include clearing the hallways, securing your room, turning off the HVAC system, Drop, Cover & Hold-on, and reporting attendance.
Lockdown is followed by "Locks, Lights, Out of Sight" and is the protocol used to secure individual rooms and keep occupants quiet and in place.
Lockdown is a protocol that includes Shelter with the addition of extreme protocols for immediate protection from a severe immediate threat such as an active shooter. Lockdown is designed to secure rooms and keep occupants quiet and in place but also includes the option to Run, Hide or Fight as necessary for your protection.
A lockdown drill will test the specific response of securing your room, turning off the lights, moving out of sight and remaining quiet, and reporting attendance.
Evacuate may be followed by a location, and is used to move people from one location to a different location in or out of the building.
Evacuation is a protocol for leaving the building when it is determined that it is safer outside of the building than it is inside of the building, such as in the event of a fire, gas leak, explosion, or HazMat release and staff, students and visitors can safely reach the evacuation location. A Directed Evacuation is an evacuation of part of the building or an evacuation by a specific route or to a specific location and will be directed by an announcement, not an automated alarm such as in the event of a fire. Fire alarms which include a bell or horn and flashing lights are prescibed by law. A fire alarm is really an Evacuate.
A Hold, Secure or Shelter response may be followed by an Evacuation and staff should prepare for that possibility.
An Evacuation Drill will test the specific response of leaving the building, gathering at a rally point, and reporting attendance.
Formal safety inspections are conducted by the building Safety Committees bi-annually. Observations are conducted routinely in work areas to identify and reduce physical and/or environmental hazards that may contribute to injuries and illnesses. Safety Committee representatives talk to co-workers about their safety concerns.
Any safety and health hazards or potential hazards found are documented. The results of the inspection are used to eliminate or control obvious hazards, target specific work areas for more intensive investigation, assist in revising the checklists used during periodic safety inspections, and to complete the annual review of the effectiveness of our accident prevention program.
The WSD Multi-hazards security needs assessment is a formalized vulnerability-based analysis that prioritizes identified vulnerabilities (security needs) of WSD assets, individuals, information, or functions that are susceptible to hazards identified in the multi-hazards threat assessment.
The assessment, reviewed annually at a minimum, facilitates development of a plan of action to mitigate or eliminate any deficiencies and vulnerabilities.
Safe Schools Alert allows students, parents and community members to confidentially report safety concerns, bullying, weapons, or threats of violence to school and district administration 24/7 by email, phone, text or website. Staff, at the appropriate building(s), are immediately notified of every tip and can easily track and manage incidents to resolution in the web-based system.
- A comprehensive Emergency Response and Crisis Management Plan
- Standard Response Protocol placed in all typically occupied spaces in district schools/facilities
- Handheld digital radios for administrators, main offices and key staff for communications with:
- School ADMIN and key staff.
- District Security.
- District Transportation.
- First responders.
- Emergency Notification System and a seperate Public Address System to announce an Emergency Response.
- Alarms and Alarm Monitoring.
- Fire and Bugler alarms in all facilities.
- 24/7 monitoring and dispatch.
- Electronic Access Control using proximity fobs and electronic door locks.
- Motion activated (recorded) video cameras in all facilities.
- Two District Safety and Security Officers.
- Two School Resource Officers employed through a partnership with the Wenatchee Police Department.
- Pacific Security provides night/weekend patrols, facility checks and provides 24 hour response to all district buildings.
Please note: In accordance with RCW 42.56.420 to avoid the exploitation of our safe schools plans by those who would cause harm or damage to our students, staff or facilities, we do not make detailed security information available to the public.
School staff is prepared to care for students during and after many types of emergencies and disasters. They regularly practice responding to emergencies, and the district has initiated a comprehensive planning process to assure the safety of all students and staff. In addition, school buildings are very well constructed and inspected regularly. Your child is very safe at school.
The Wenatchee School District regularly conducts emergency drills. In accordance with RCW 28A.320.125, all of our schools are required to conduct no less than one safety-related drill each month that school is in session.
Required drills include:
STAY BY YOUR PHONE/email/text and our social media/website. We will update immediately when we have accurate information. Rely on us to get you the most accurate information – we are in constant contact with first responders during a crisis.
DO NOT GO TO THE SCHOOL until directed. These situations are filled with first responders, administrators, and our critical incident team working through their carefully planned response steps. Trust the process.
DO NOT CALL YOUR CHILD’S MOBILE DEVICE. Depending on the incident, a ringing phone is a safety hazard.
In the event of a real emergency, the District will utilize the communication system known as REMIND. This system can communicate with as many as 10,000 emails, texts or phone calls per minute. Please ensure that your email and phone contact information is up to date in Skyward Family Access so you receive important, time-sensitive announcements.
These text and email announcements will provide as much information as we can about the nature of the emergency, what you should do and how the emergency does or does not impact your student. Please follow the instructions provided in these emergency notifications. Following an emergency, we will provide additional communication and support. Be ready to act on these instructions.
NOTE: Text messaging is currently an opt-in program. If you'd like to receive text message notifications, please visit with the school office staff for information about how to opt-in.
A lockdown is a method of securing the school campus when there is a dangerous intruder, emergency or event where the school campus may be at risk.
If you are notified that a school is in lockdown please do not go to the school. The doors will be secured and cannot be opened until the area has been declared safe, and visitors may interfere with emergency response and how quickly the campus can be restored to normal operations. Instructions for parents will be provided through the District's emergency notification system. If your child needs to be picked up from school, this system, public media and news outlets will also provide the details and locations for reunification.
Reunification sites are utilized anytime a school has to be evacuated and it is determined that it is not safe to return to the school. Students will be bussed or transported to the reunification site. Parents should only respond to the reunification site, do not try to pick up your child at the school campus. Depending on the reason for the evacuation, emergency personnel may be seen at the site. For your security and safety, the reunification process is very regulated. Students will only be released to parents and guardians authorized in Skyward Family Access to pick up their child. Please ensure that you have ID during an emergency and have updated your Skyward Family Access information with proper contact information for you and any friend(s) or family member(s) that may be responsible for picking up your student. Do not send relatives or friends to pick up your student unless they are listed as an emergency contact.
Please be patient, the reunification process could take several hours. However, be assured that reuniting your family is of the utmost importance to Wenatchee School District staff and we will work as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Only those people who are listed on the Registration/Emergency Card may pick-up your child from a reunification site, so it is very important that the information on these cards is up to date and accurate. If you work out of the area, you may wish to have someone you trust--who lives close to the school--listed on your child’s Registration/Emergency Card. Cards are sent home with students and returned to school at the beginning of the school year. You can make changes then, or come to the school office and tell the staff you want to update the Registration/Emergency Card.
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