Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Safety and Security at PCE

Dear Parents,
It has been such a busy start to the year!  In the midst of getting everything ready for the children academically, I forgot to update you on the security measures we have in place!
We will continue to keep our front door locked and you will have to be “buzzed” into the building.  We are asking that all parents please help us by ensuring that the door closes behind you when you enter or exit the building and be aware of allowing other adults entering the building with you.  Please also remember to check in with the office anytime you are in the building, we know that this is an extra step but the safety of our students is top priority for us!
We have also had some upgrades to our general security at PCE, including increased "visibility" of our supervising adults.  Adults that are outside supervising children will have a very bright orange vest on so children will know who to go to for help.  They will also be equipped with Walkie-Talkies that will call directly into the office if assistance is needed.

We will conduct at least one safety drill a month throughout the year.  Our drills consist of fire, severe weather, lock-down and lock-out drills.  
The difference between lock-out and lock-down drills:
Lock-out:  this takes place when there is a "threat" outside of the building.  For example: a gas leak, police activity or a wild animal sighting.  This will include all children coming inside and it will be business as normal until all is clear outside the building.
Lock-down: this takes place when there is a "threat" inside the building.  We will announce Locks, Lights, Out of Sight!  Teachers will lock their doors, turn out their lights, and all children will be gathered together away from doors and windows so they cannot be seen.
Teachers will be aware when we practice ANY drill.  They will review rules and procedures ahead of time and prepare the children for all types of drills.  When the actual drill takes place we will clearly state that it is time to practice the "type of" safety drill.  When we practice drills there will be no "reenactments" or "actors" pretending to be bad guys.  Our drills are not intended to scare our children but rather to prepare them for emergencies.  
Other safety procedures we want to remind everyone about are morning and afternoon drop-off and pick-up. 
·       There is NO SUPERVISION on the playground before school---PLEASE do not encourage your children to play on the playground before school.  Walkers, bike riders and car riders can go to either the front door or the "bus loop" door and wait for the bell.  Those doors will be opened at 8:30 for student arrival.
·       Morning Drop-Off:
o   Parents using the drop-off in the morning must drop their child off along the curb.  This area is two lanes wide so that parents can stop along the curb and then pull out into the left lane when exiting.  Students should only exit the car on the passenger side.  Parents using this area should always drive as far forward in the lane as possible before stopping. 
·       Afternoon Pick-Up:
o   When picking students up in this area, parents SHOULD NOT double park NOR leave the car unattended.  Students should, again, only enter the car on the passenger side from the curb.  There is to be NO PARKING in the drop off lane as it is an emergency vehicle access lane.
o   Please remember to pull all the way up in the drop-off zone to pick up your children.  It is a safety concern for our teachers and our students to cut in the line, or to pull in against traffic flow.  We know that the line can sometimes be long but the safety of our children is worth the wait!
·       We are also encouraging our students to only use the crosswalks when crossing from the parking lot; please do not walk across the rocks in order to take a “shortcut” to the main school sidewalk.  Please help us by setting this example when arriving or leaving the school parking lot.  We also do not want children crossing the parking lot by themselves, please make sure that an adult sees them and can cross them safely.
Keeping our children safe, healthy and happy is very important to every staff member of PCE!!  Please let us know if you ever have any questions or concerns!
Carrie Rotherham
Principal, PCE

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