Evacuation Plans

  • Throughout this document, when a position (e.g. Superintendent) is stated, it should be interpreted to include “or designee” when appropriate.

    1. The Superintendent (or designee) will manage district response to any emergency. She/he will be on site unless a command site is identified at a different location.
    2. The School principal (or other designated administrator) will manage school-based decision and logistics.
    3. The decision to evacuate a school will be made by the Superintendent in collaboration with the Sudbury Police and the School principal. In the absence of any one of these parties, the remaining party(ies) will make the decision.
    4. The evacuation protocol as defined in the district’s confidential emergency response plan will be followed.
    5. Buses for evacuation.
      1. The decisions to reroute buses to complete a school evacuation will be made and coordinated by the Finance Director (or designee). The Sudbury Police will collaborate and provide traffic and logistics support as needed.
      2. A plan will be developed in collaboration with the bus company, that provides how buses will be rerouted, how many and which buses will be deployed to a school for an evacuation, and how the remaining bus fleet will be deployed across the district.
        1. The bus dispatcher/supervisor will project the estimated time required to conduct the re-routing and evacuation, as well as the implications on the other parts of the transportation system.
        2. This information will be communicated from the Finance Director to the Superintendent and School principals
      3. Principals will call the bus garage if all students are dismissed to parents and a bus is not needed.
      4. Bus routes will not be combined for dismissal of students in most cases, even if the number of students is small. This enables the shortest time required on a bus and ensures better awareness and control of students’ whereabouts.
      5. The Finance Director will ensure that CASE and METCO transportation is included in all notification and evacuation plans.
    6. If it is determined by Police or other agencies, that parents and others must be restricted from a school site during an emergency, a staging area will be announced and the Assistant Superintendent will manage the staging area and the communication to and from individuals at this site. Sudbury Police will provide staff to support the orderly management of this site.
    7. During an emergency dismissal, school personnel will ensure students are ‘handed-off’ only to a parent.
      1. Exceptions will be made with prior written approval (not including names listed on a student’s emergency card) or following a verbal communication between the parent and an authorized staff member.
      2. ID will not be required of the parent to accept their child(ren) providing school staff can attest to visual identification, knowledge of parents and family and student assurance that the person is his/her parent. If staff cannot attest to the recognition or knowledge of the parent at pickup, ID will be required.
      3. Students typically dismissed to SED will be dismissed only to a parent as indicated above unless SED is able to provide service at the evacuation site and the principal deems it appropriate.
    8. Students cannot use personal cell phones at any time during a lock down. Cell phone use may be permitted when calling home is recommended or permitted by school staff.
    9. Following any emergency, the counseling staff and social worker will determine if, and the nature of, information for parents to use when talking with or supporting their children at home. The School and Family Social Worker will coordinate this assessment and ensure information is distributed.

    External Communications

    1. The Superintendent of schools (or designee) is the District’s Communication Officer in the event of an emergency. It is her/his responsibility to direct, manage and ensure that communication is provided to the parents and other key stakeholders through the communication protocol that follows:
    2. Primary, active channels:
      1. Email blast through the Blackboard system:
        1. Email blasts will be sent to all parents as soon as possible informing them of the emergency, what action is being taken, what parent expectations are requested, and time that a follow-up communication might be received.
        2. Follow-up email blast will be sent to update as appropriate or inform of the end-of-incident. iii. Email blasts will be sent to the following lists: District 10-11, SALT, SPS Staff, School Committee, Key Town Persons, Town Committees, and Newspapers.
        3. Email blasts specific to a school will also be sent by the principal when feasible and appropriate.
        4. Multiple staff members at each school and central office will be trained on the “script” for messages and how to use the Constant Contact system in the case of an emergency.
        5. All emergency email blast will begin with URGENT: in the subject line.
      2. Rapid phone calls through the Blackboard system:
        1. The Blackboard rapid calling system will be made fully operational with active phone numbers of all citizens and parents. There is the capacity for 3 phone numbers per family
        2. This system will be used for emergency and time sensitive calls only
        3. Messages will be brief, follow a script of information to be included which may include redirecting the receiver to a website for more detailed information
        4. Calls will be programmed for an individual school or for district-wide distribution list.
        5. Administrators and other designees will be trained to operate the system and make the calls.
        6. Trained administrators will be empowered to utilize the system when s/he deems appropriate.
        7. Text messages will be possible to mobile numbers and may be used for redundancy purposes, if appropriate.
      3. Websites: Information from the email blasts and rapid phone call system will be transmitted to the school, town and police web site managers. This information along with more detailed instructions, if available, will be posted and updated periodically.
      4. Recorded Line message: If time and logistics permit, a brief message will be recorded on each of the schools’ closing/inclement weather line as well as the district message line by the school or central office secretary. This will be a supplementary source and it should be noted that this channel is often not available due to an overload of the phone system.
    3. The following communication channels are not considered part of the district or schools’ emergency notification system. They may be used for regular school or classroom information, but not relied upon in an emergency:
      1. Classroom email lists: teachers do not have time to implement; if used from a central site, these will likely be bounced back by the system.
      2. Room Phone Chains: are too slow to implement, too hard to control message.

    Internal Communication

    1. The Superintendent (or designee) will direct information to be provided immediately to all School principals even if the emergency will not directly impact their schools or operations.
    2. All communications and updates will be sent to all schools.
      1. A phone call will be made to each School principal putting them on-notice of the issue with a brief directive for action if necessary.
      2. Each principal will assure they have a functioning cell phone on their person at all times or be available to be contacted by Superintendent if cell phones are not operational in the school.
      3. Principals will ensure that their staff will be informed of developments to the extent known and releasable.
    3. All communications and updates will be sent to town manager, fire and police offices.
      1. These managers will direct communication of information to other staff, elected officials, etc. as required.
    4. The Human Resource Director will be the emergency manager at Central Office in the absence of Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent and Finance Director. The HR Director will keep central office staff informed of developments and appropriate messages to share with callers or other staff.
      1. Administrative Assistants in the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent offices will remain in the office until the emergency has ended. They are to facilitate communication of approved messages to the extent available. They will have cell phones available for administrative use only. The AA’s will keep the School Committee Chair informed and updated throughout the emergency.
      2. HR, special education, and business office staff will also be dedicated for communications, phone monitoring, but may also be deployed to a school site to support operations or enhance communication on site.
    5. HR Director will communicate with the Sudbury Extended Day leaders, who will communicate with their staff on school sites.

    Next Steps for SPS Staff

    1. Operationalize Blackboard phone call system.
    2. Provide process to notify parents of the need and importance to update email addresses in Blackboard and phone numbers in Aspeen (student data management system) for Blackboard system.
    3. Create templates for messages and press releases for use in emergencies.
    4. Distribute revised communication flow chart internally.
    5. Test the district’s communication system as soon as system is readied.
    6. Test communication system when a Lock Down practice is conducted.
    7. Schools to revise Lock Down procedures based on what was learned.
    8. Assure all schools and district staff are using SPS Blackboard system to create the most complete contact list possible.
    9. Ensure that all staff have current emergency plans.