With much discussion about the importance of schools conducting a variety of drills to prepare students, teachers and administrators for emergency situations, Saline Area Schools continues to take this responsibility very seriously. During the 2012-13 school year, we have conducted a total of 46 evacuation, lockdown and severe weather drills throughout the district with another 26 scheduled between now and the conclusion of the school year.
In an effort to further refine our safety protocols, Saline Area Schools has created a School Safety Committee that is co-chaired by Alternative High School Principal Carol Melcher (City of Saline campuses) and High School Assistant Principal Marie Schluter (Pittsfield Township campuses). This committee has reached out to and partnered with public safety representatives from the Pittsfield Department of Public Safety and Fire as well as the Saline Police and Fire Departments.
In April and May, the safety committee will be conducting spontaneous drills in each school building where neither the staff nor administration will be notified prior to the drill. The intent of these drills is to create life-like scenarios where complex issues, (such as blocked entries and/or multiple challenges) are presented. Post-drill debriefings will be conducted to promote enhanced understanding and opportunities to learn.
When asked about the district’s drill schedule and safety committee, HS Assistant Principal Marie Schluter said, “We are committed to continuously assess, review, plan, and prepare to keep students and staff safe at all times. We strive to ensure the optimum level of safety in our schools. Our partners in the local law enforcement and fire departments have been vital to the continued development of our security plans and will continue to play an instrumental role in this ongoing process. We are deeply appreciative of the collaboration generated by these partnerships and are committed to maintaining school safety as a primary focus at all times.”
The Saline Area Schools icomprises 5,250 students with 325 certified staff. Saline was recently named the “Best Place to Raise Kids in Michigan by Bloomberg Businessweek. Its website is www.salineareaschools.org.
(This news release was issued by Saline Area Schools)