At Primrose, we are committed to the safety and security of every student in our care. That’s why in addition to incorporating important safety lessons into our curriculum, we also have a Safe School Plan that is implemented in every Primrose school.
If you read our last blog post, you know that whether your child’s early education provider, daycare or school is prepared for emergencies is dependent on much more than regularly practicing fire drills and updating contact information. The Primrose Safe School Plan outlines processes and procedures for managing a variety of emergency situations, ensuring all Primrose staff members are prepared to protect the children in their care no matter the circumstances.
Following are the different layers of our Safe School Plan, starting with school design all the way through ongoing updates:
- School Structure and Design: We start thinking about emergency preparedness in the initial construction of our schools. Classrooms, offices and other rooms are specifically designed to protect children and staff in case of an emergency.
- Staff and Teacher Training: All Primrose staff are CPR certified and complete safety training courses and drills before working in a Primrose classroom. School staff also participate in ongoing safety training. These important steps ensure they are properly prepared for emergency situations and comfortable with executing the Safe School Plan.
- School Emergency Response Team: A School Emergency Response Team is created at the school level to evaluate emergency drills and other safety aspects. A complete risk assessment is also conducted at each school.
- Safety Protocols for Different Scenarios: The Safe School Plan has comprehensive protocols in place for several different emergency scenarios, including lockdowns, weather threats, fires and medical emergencies, among others. Each school creates its own communication plan for how it will contact parents and others in the event of an emergency. All plans are shared with local emergency responders with detailed information, such as evacuation routes and where all fire extinguishers are located on school grounds.
- Regularly Practiced Drills: The Safe School Plan is not simply placed in a file at each school only to be referenced on the day of an emergency. Drills for different emergencies are practiced regularly so that staff and students know what to expect and where to go in case of emergency. Primary evacuations, when we leave the building, as well as secondary evacuations, when we leave school grounds, are practiced. In addition, schools in urban locations have evacuation plans tailored to their surroundings.
- Continuous Updates: The Safe School Plan is continuously updated to ensure all students are fully protected and all staff are prepared for any emergency. In 2016, we will be rolling out some new updates, which include having disaster supplies kits on hand in schools and procedures for deadly diseases following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The updated plan will also contain reunification and recovery plans for each school.
Over the last several weeks, you may have seen Primrose take a deeper focus on safety and emergency preparedness in blog posts, videos or other materials. That’s because we are working with our national partner, Save the Children®, on a nine-week series to help better prepare families for emergencies. For more information about the Get Ready. Get Safe. series and tips for keeping your family prepared, follow this link.
While the Get Ready. Get Safe. series comes to close at the end of this month, Primrose Schools’ dedication to the health and safety of the students we serve is constant. We are proud of our Safe School Plan and encourage parents to take a tour of their local Primrose school to learn about all of the great ways we help create a brighter future for children.