Safety Procedures and Practices

What WE do at Cascadia to ensure everyone’s safety

Drills

Federal and state law requires Seattle schools to conduct the following minimum number of drills per year:

  • 3 Fire drills requiring evacuation
  • 3 Lockdown drills
  • 1 Shelter-In-Place drill
  • 1 Drop Cover and Hold (Earthquake) drill

In addition, we are required to run no less than 1 drill per month.   The following is a brief description of each:

Evacuation: In the event the building needs to be evacuated, unless otherwise notified, all occupants follow predetermined routes and exit the building, gathering at our emergency staging area located in the northeast corner of the parking lot. Attendance is taken for students, staff, volunteers, and visitors. There we remain until further instructions from administration, school security, fire or police officials.

Lockdown: A lockdown is called if there is a threat to those on our campus within or near the school boundaries. In the case of a lockdown situation, playground and hallways are evacuated into appropriate classrooms, all exterior and classroom doors are then immediately locked, blinds are pulled, lights are turned off, and all students, staff, volunteers, and visitors are hidden in stillness and silence.

Shelter-In-Place: A shelter-in-place is called if there is a threat in the near-by community, which warrants us to take precautions. In the case of a Shelter-In-Place situation, the playground is evacuated, all exterior doors are locked and the main entrance is monitored for those who need to either come or go. Classes remain in session and students, staff, volunteers, and visitors are free to work as usual inside the building.

Family Reunification: A family reunification event is one in which family members or emergency contacts are required to pick up students. This is a very structured process that requires a great deal of patience and cooperation on the part of those coming to pick up students in order to ensure the safety of all students. It is imperative that our systems are up to date with your information including who is permitted to pick up our students in case family is not able to. Also, it is imperative that adults coming to pick up students have proper identification on them at the time.

Our philosophy when running drills is to practice well. This means that the first drills of each kind are announced ahead of time so staff can clearly educate students about logistics and expectations. Thereafter, as we continue practicing throughout the year, the latter drills are unannounced to better replicate the requisite scenario.

What YOU can do at Cascadia to ensure everyone's safety

Sign in: Whenever you enter our building, please make the front office your first stop and please sign in and please do not sign out until you leave. Should you be here during a drill or during an emergency event, we need to know that you are in the building to help ensure your safety. Thank you.

Drills/Emergency Events

Earthquake: During an earthquake or earthquake drill, find the nearest surface under which to duck and cover. There are many studies and theories that suggest other actions to take. This is the action that our local police and fire departments require us to take. We ask you to do the same. Thank you.

Fire/Evacuation: In the event of a fire or fire drill, unless otherwise informed, please follow the route of the nearest class or office personnel and exit with them. Once you arrive at the emergency staging area in the north parking lot, report to the outside of the gym entrance. The office staff will be bringing, among other things, the volunteer and visitor check-in notebooks and will be taking your attendance as soon as all student attendance is reported. This accentuates the importance of signing in at the office. They will take your attendance at the gym entrance. If anyone is missing, we have a team of experts to conduct a search and rescue. Therefore, you need to be outside the gym entrance first, so we don’t send in a team to look for you. If your assistance is needed elsewhere, you will be notified. Thank you.

Lockdown: In the event of a lockdown, please get to the nearest classroom and respect the charges of the teacher. If you are in or closest to the office, the office is your destination and you will be instructed where to go. Either way, you will need to sit in the area designated by the teacher or office personnel and help maintain silence and stillness around you.

Note: During a lockdown, if you are not already in the building, you will not be allowed in the building once the doors are locked. This is likely the hardest part about being a family member wanting in to be with their child and equally as challenging for administrators who cannot let you in. The best thing for you to do is to seek shelter elsewhere in the nearby community.

Shelter-In-Place: During a shelter-in-place situation, you may move about and within the building freely and continue your work. Please refrain from leaving the building. If you absolutely need to leave, sign out at the office and exit through the monitored front entrance. In any event, the best help you can initially offer is to respect the charges given you by teachers, office staff, and/or administration. If we need your assistance in other ways, we will ask for it.

Family Reunification: In the event of a more serious crisis, there is a plan for reunifying family members with their children. Because we need to ensure that students are going home with a trusted family member or emergency contact, this is a methodical, time-consuming process and we need your cooperation and patience. Your students will be well-cared for by our emergency teams. To reunite with your children, you will be directed where to go to sign in and present your identification. There, your identity will be checked and cross-checked with the names of people permitted to remove your child/children. You will then be directed to another location to wait until your child is brought to you.

Note: This is obviously a tense time for everyone involved. The better you can maintain civility and respect and follow the instructions given to you, the safer this process will be for all.

Relocation: In the event that we need to evacuate and relocate, our relocation site is Hamilton Middle School.

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