Emergency Closures

Anything that makes the buildings uninhabitable constitutes a reason for an emergency closing, including but not limited to utility failure, fire, natural or man-made disaster, unsafe indoor temperatures or any other dangerous environmental condition.

Parents will be notified by telephone of a same-day closure and by email and phone of a long term closure.

A report will be made to OSSE/PQD Program Monitor through an Unusual Incident Report Form. The director or acting director will report the incident to all appropriate Government Agencies. The phone number, fax number and address are listed in the section “Reporting of Unusual Incidents.” A report will be submitted within 24 hours.

Documentation of incidents will be maintained in the director’s files. Staff and parents are informed of these policies and procedures through the parent handbook and procedures manual.

SNOWY WEATHER

If the Federal government or D.C. Public Schools close because of snow, call all the parents and tell them that the school is closed and that they are to come and pick up their children as soon as possible. Let the staff go as the children leave.

EMERGENCY PLAN AND PROCEDURES

If a threatening event occurs, the first step in any decision making process would be to find out EXACTLY what the situation is from a reliable source. The news is not available (or appropriate) in the classroom, so some source (perhaps a parent) would have to let us know what was occurring. The director (or acting director – see “decision making process”) will evaluate all available information and make an initial plan to mitigate immediate threat to the children and staff. Notice will be given to parents that school is closing and the following procedures will be put in place:

DECISION MAKING PROCESS
After it is determined that there is a threat to be handled, a hierarchy of decision makers needs to be followed. It would be as follows:

1. Director
2. Lead Teacher
3. Senior Assistant Teacher
4. Assistant Teacher
5. Aides

The decision of hierarchy between employees in the same position is made by comparing years of experience at SFF, i.e., seniority. All efforts will be made to contact the director to involve him in the decision-making process.

EMERGENCY PROCEDURE
Child and teacher safety is our primary concern. In most cases, staying indoors in familiar territory equipped for children, is the best plan. If it is deemed unsafe for teachers and children to remain in their classrooms, a safe location will be selected as follows:

Shelter in Place – In the case that the classroom is considered unsafe, the Pilgrims teachers will transfer the children to the downstairs Fellowship Hall where emergency supplies will be stored in the locked storage space. The classroom emergency bags (including parent emergency contact numbers) will be taken, along with the cordless phones and teachers’ cell phones. This location is known to the children and is next to bathrooms and water with very little window exposure.

Relocating – The use of wagons was suggested to move the toddlers. Staff will gather medications, emergency medical treatment forms, and supplies listed below before leaving school.

Leave the campus should it be considered unsafe.

St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, at 1830 Conn. Ave. NW, has agreed that we could stay there while waiting for children to be picked up. They have a similar agreement with a pre-school behind them but have said that there is plenty of space. Phone number is 202-232-2995. Staff will gather medications before leaving school.

EMERGENCY SUPPLIES
Emergency supply lists have been made for:

  • Supplies to be stored in the “safe place” on campus, and
  • Supplies to be taken with us should we need to leave the grounds. List is separate.

COMMUNICATION
Our power sources may be shut down, precluding some communication options. Cell phone and local telephone networks can become overloaded in a crisis. Every effort will be made to keep parents informed rapidly as to what we are doing and where we are to be found. The director and administrative assistant will implement the communication plan.

Telephone – Director will call each family’s home, work, and cell (if available) numbers, talking in person or leaving a message until at least one call has been made to each family. Communication will continue as long as we are able to attend to the overriding obligation to keep the children safe and the communications infrastructure is operating.

School voicemail will be updated. (Instructions near each office phone)

Email – brief messages will be sent to our entire email list by the director or administrative assistant.

Signs on each of the main doors would be a main source of information to parents.

UNFOLDING EVENTS
The director will continue to evaluate information provided by radio and Internet and follow the public emergency broadcast system guidance, if available, to be able to respond to events as they unfold.

STAFF DEPARTURE
The person in charge (see hierarchy) will determine when and if employees can begin to leave before all children have left, as children are picked up or otherwise taken care of, or if other emergency situations arise.

UTILITY FAILURE

In the event of an on-going utility failure, School for Friends will be closed.

TORNADO WARNING

In the event of a tornado warning, teachers and children will shelter in place.

A report will be made to OSSE/PQD Program Monitor through an Unusual Incident Report Form. The director or acting director will report the incident to all appropriate Government Agencies. The phone number, fax number and address are listed in the section “Reporting of Unusual Incidents.” A report will be submitted within 24 hours.

Documentation of incidents will be maintained in the director’s files. Staff and parents are informed of these policies and procedures through the parent handbook and procedures manual.