What to Do During a School Emergency
In an emergency situation, your first reaction may be to call or come to the school. While this is a natural response, it may interfere with emergency response agencies that are addressing the situation. We ask that instead of going to the school, you rely on district emergency resources for information:
- @SpringfieldPS on Twitter
- @SpringfieldPS on Facebook
- Emergency text messages
- Emergency voice messages
- Local TV and radio stations
During an emergency situation, school officials must act quickly to secure schools, safeguard students and staff, and communicate promptly. Parents can help by being prepared before an emergency happens. Here are a few critical things you can do:
- Give schools accurate contact information.
- Talk to your children about what to do, reinforce the importance of following instructions and assure them that you will be able to find them after the emergency.
- Provide names and contact information for people authorized to pick up your children.
- Notify school officials if you see something suspicious.
Lockdown: Secures the building and safely shelters all students, staff and visitors inside the school building.
Lockout: Keeps students in the school, prevents entrance to the school, but allows the school day to continue within the building. Generally a lockout occurs in response to a nearby situation, off-campus and unrelated to the school.
Evacuation: Requires students, staff, and visitors to exit an unsafe school building.
It is understandable that parents will want to get in touch with their children in the event of an emergency. However, trying to call your student's cell phone may prevent them from hearing important information. Students will be able to use cell phones if they need immediate assistance and once they are safe. Please avoid calling the school during an emergency – the school staff will be dealing with the situation and may not be able to answer the phone. Parents should use district emergency channels to get information during an emergency.
Finding Your Child After an Emergency
Springfield Public Schools has a robust reunification plan that will ensure you are reunited with your student as soon as possible following any incident. Families will be informed through district emergency channels when and where to be reunited with their children.
In the event of a weather-related or emergency school closure or event, information will be communicated via some or all of the following channels. Please read about these tools so you can sign up where necessary to ensure you receive urgent communications when needed:
In the event of a serious emergency or significant unexpected change in the school day, the district will initiate its emergency automated calling system to notify parents. All phone numbers on record in our student information database for each parent and guardian will be called.
District Social Media Channels
Messages of a less urgent nature or simply providing updated information may be posted to the district or school social media accounts under the hashtag #safeSPS.
Email and Text Messages
Occasionally, an incident or disruption to the school day may occur that does not require immediate notification. The district or individual schools may share basic information via text or email messaging. It is important to ensure that your current contact information is on file at your child's school.
In case of weather-related closures, the district will notify media outlets through FlashAlert. Families and community members can sign up through the free service to receive the same notifications. Decisions regarding weather-related delays or closures are typically announced by 6:30 a.m. the morning of the change.