Crisis Response Frequently Asked Questions
- In the event of a threat or student-involved incident, why won’t the District share more information about the outcome or disciplinary actions?
While we completely understand and share the concern for the safety of our students, staff, and our entire school community, the confidentiality provisions set forth in the Illinois School Student Records Act prevent the District from sharing specific information about its students. While we want to be fully transparent with our school community, we also don’t want to cause unnecessary fear and concern and must not violate student privacy laws.
- How will I know if my child’s school has implemented a Lockdown or other emergency response plan?
Once a lockdown or other emergency response plan is enacted, first responders and school administrators work together to first ensure the safety of everyone within the school building. Once the situation has been assessed, a notification will be sent via phone, text, and/or email. In addition, stay tuned to the D65 website (www.district65.net) and to our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Please understand that the situation may be evolving and we may not be able to provide details surrounding the nature of the incident in the initial communication. Additional communications will be forthcoming. While we may every effort to communicate as quickly as possible, our primary goal is safety. We also need to ensure that the information being shared is accurate and can be communicated to our families in both English and Spanish.
- Will a phone message always be sent in an emergency response situation?
Each situation differs in the level of severity and how it impacts the school day and families. For instance, if a Secure & Teach is put in place but lifted after just a few minutes with minimal impact to the school day you may not receive a phone call. The school principal will likely send an email and/or text message for informational purposes. In other cases, you may receive an initial phone call, text message, and/or email.
In more concerning situations such as a Lockdown, families should expect to receive multiple forms of communication. Please ensure the district has your most up-to-date contact information on file. Any changes can be made via PowerSchool (parent portal), contacting the school office, or emailing email@example.com.
- In the event of an emergency, can I come to the school and take my child home?
During a Lockdown or Secure & Teach, your child’s school is considered a secure area. School officials and possibly law enforcement are working together to keep everyone safe and no one is allowed to enter or exit the school. To ensure everyone’s safety, we ask that parents/guardians do not come to the school. Once the all-clear notification is given, students and staff will be permitted to enter or exit the school once again.
- What happens if the school needs to be evacuated?
In some situations, it may be necessary to evacuate the school if being outside the building is considered safer for students and staff. If the situation warrants, it may be necessary to bring students and staff to an alternate location. Evacuation sites for each school have been established; however, we do not share information regarding these locations in an effort to maintain safety. If students are brought to an alternate site, we will inform families of next steps.
- What is the process for picking up my child from a reunification or alternative evacuation site?
Reunification procedures may depend on the site location. In some locations, parents/guardians may be asked to stay in their cars to pick up their child and others may have designated parking and established pick-up locations by student last name.
To help ensure safety, only parents/guardians or those listed as an emergency contact will be allowed to pick up a student. All parents and emergency contacts will be required to provide identification in order for the child to be released to them.
Please be patient as it may take longer than normal to pick up your child. It’s important that our staff members are signing students out so that we can keep track of the children who are in our care.
- Who should I call if there is an emergency at school?
In an emergency situation, we ask that families do not call or come to the school. It’s important that our staff work with first responders and concentrate all efforts on keeping our students safe. In addition, we need to keep phone lines open and the area clear for law enforcement to do their jobs. While we know it will be very difficult, we ask for your patience in waiting for official communication from the district or your child’s school.
If your child has a medical condition, please make sure to have two sets of necessary items (medication/testers/etc) available (one with you or at home) in case we cannot re-enter the school to retrieve it.