District 47 School Crisis Planning
Should an emergency or crisis situation ever arise during the school day, it's important for parents and guardians to know that District 47 schools are prepared to respond. All D47 schools have crisis plans in place but, for security reasons, we do not publicize or share detailed plan information. Below you will find some key points related to crisis planning that we hope you will find reassuring and helpful. Also included are some “do’s” and “don’ts,” which we encourage you to review. We hope we never have to put a crisis plan in place, but in the event we do, your understanding and cooperation is greatly appreciated. This will allow us to remain focused on our number one priority -- ensuring the safety and well-being of our students and staff.
What parents should know about District 47 crisis planning:
- All D47 schools routinely practice required emergency drills and lockdowns with local first responders (police/fire). In addition, a crisis manual, which is reviewed and updated annually, is available in each classroom and reviewed annually by school administrators and staff, as well as police/fire officials.
- This spring, we will conduct a crisis tabletop exercise with school principals and crisis team representatives, local police/fire departments, representatives from the McHenry County Emergency Management Agency, SEECOM and Centegra. We look forward to this opportunity to continue to build relationships with our community partners and discuss crisis planning logistics proactively together.
- We have increased security at all schools through the Raptor visitor management system and have completed enhancements to many school entrances. We will continue to look at opportunities for enhanced building security but, for safety reasons, cannot provide specific information.
- If you see something, say something. Parents, students and community members are encouraged to contact the police and/or school immediately should they see or hear threats related to school safety. If the case of an emergency or life-threatening situation, residents should call 911. In McHenry County, concerns can also be texted to licensed mental health professionals via the free MCHELP mobile app or via the 411 Tipline by texting 847411 to CLPDTIP. Crystal Lake residents can also call Crimestoppers at 800-762-7867 or the Crystal Lake Police Department at 815-356-3620. District 47 takes all threats seriously. Upon receipt of such information, it is our standard protocol to:
- Contact the local police department (if they haven’t already been contacted) to assess the situation
- Contact the student's parent or guardian
- Work with outside agencies to evaluate the student's mental/emotional state and determine if an intervention is necessary
- Take appropriate disciplinary action
Parent Do’s and Don’ts:
- Listen to phone messages. The District sends out important notifications via phone, text, and email. Many times after a call goes out, school and district office phones get flooded with calls from parents asking what the call was about before listening to the message. Please stay on the phone and listen to the message in its entirety so that our phone lines can remain open in the event of an emergency.
- Keep your contact information (phone, email, text) up-to-date in ParentVue. Should your contact information change at any point during the year, please contact your child’s school to have it updated.
- In the event of an emergency (and assuming we have power/Internet access), an alert notification with information will be sent to parents and guardians by phone, text and/or email via the Blackboard Notification System. Updates may also be posted on District 47 social media channels and websites.
- District 47 is a member of the Emergency Closing Center (www.emergencyclosings.com), which supplies our facilities closing information to key Chicagoland media outlets. In the event of the loss of power/Internet service, please visit our instant alert notification web page to stay tuned to various media outlets.
- We realize that many students have cell phones and may reach out to parents before we are able to assess the situation and get a message out. Please know that our first priority is to ensure the safety and security of all students and staff. We will send a message out as soon possible and provide regular updates.
- Discuss the importance of following the directions of any school personnel with your child in the case of an emergency. Please also discuss these matters with your immediate family. Planning ahead will help alleviate concerns during emergencies.
- Call the school or district office. As stated above, telephone lines may be needed for emergency communication and our school administrative assistants may be tending to students or handling other important matters.
- Come to the school to pick up your child until advised to do so. In the event of a serious emergency, students will be kept at their schools or evacuation site until they are picked up by a parent/guardian or adult who has been identified as the child’s emergency contact in ParentVue (see below for tips on choosing an emergency contact). Should the decision be made to evacuate a school and/or relocate to a different site, parent reunification information will be sent to parents or guardians via Blackboard. During the student release process, we ask that parents be as patient as possible, understanding that precautions are in place for the protection of students.
Below are some factors to consider when choosing your child’s emergency contact(s). The adult must be at least 18 years of age and have a government-issued form of identification. Adults picking up students will be required to show their ID and sign a release form. It is also recommended that the trusted adult is:
- Home during the day;
- Able to get to the school quickly if necessary;
- Familiar to your child; and
- Informed and accepting of this responsibility.