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West Branch Local School District Evacuation Drills


May 9, 2018


Dear Parent/Guardian,


Our school has made many preparations to keep students and staff prepared to deal effectively with emergency situations that could occur in or around our buildings, both during the school day or during after-hours activities. While we hope a natural disaster or other serious incident never occurs, our goal is to be prepared for any potential emergency. At all times, our first priority is to protect all students, staff members, and other visitors from harm.


In order for our emergency response plans to be effective, we depend on the cooperation and assistance of many people, such as our local police and fire departments. We also depend on you, as parents and guardians, to support our preparation and response efforts. Your cooperation is vital in helping us protect the safety and welfare of all students, employees and community members.


Therefore, we ask parents/guardians to observe the following procedures in the event of a school emergency:

  1. Do not call the school. We understand and respect your concern, but it is essential that the telephone system is available for emergency communications.

  2. Make sure we have current emergency contact information for each of your children at all times. We must be able to contact you or your designated representative in an emergency.

  3. Listen to our One-Call messages for emergency announcements and status reports. You will also receive instructions via One-Call on where you should go and how/when you may be able to pick up your children. Our school emergency plan includes evacuation procedures with several alternative destinations. When appropriate and safe, students may be released to their parents/guardians from these shelter locations. Under those circumstances, we will be prepared to implement procedures for confirming the identity of individuals who arrive to pick up each child. When arriving to pick up your child(ren), please make sure you have a valid photo ID.

  4. Do not come to the school or alternative destination until instructed to do so. If may be necessary to keep the streets and parking lots clear for emergency vehicles. If evacuation is required, students may be transported to a location away from the school. You will be notified of this through One-Call announcements.

  5. Talk to your child(ren) and emphasize how important it is for them to follow instructions from their teachers and school officials during an emergency.

  6. Parents and other adults must stay calm and focused in an emergency, mindful that their actions and comments will be the example that, to a great extent, determines the children’s response.

  7. Carefully read all information that you receive from the school. You may receive updates about our safety procedures from time to time.


Begining on May 14, 2018 and continuuing over the next month, each building will hold an evacuation drill. Students will evacuate their respective building and then be transported to a neighboring church. Attendance will be taken and the students will reload and be transported back to their school buildings. We have scheduled these drills in an effort to practice and analyze our emergency operations protocols. Students will be supervised by faculty, staff and administration during these “drills.” Each drill will last approximately two hours.


This is step one of a two part evacuation plan. It is the districts intent to run a full evacuation and reunification drill in the fall of the 2018-2019 school year.

The following dates have been secured so that our drills are the least disruptive and allow for continued analysis and planning.


  • Monday, May 14th - Knox Elementary School

  • Friday, May 18th - West Branch High School

  • Tuesday, May 29th - Damascus Elementary School

  • Thursday, May 31st - West Branch Middle School


Again, this is step one of a two part drill as the  district is planning to keep everyone aware and informed of our safety procedures.



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Timothy Saxton


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