On Friday morning, September 29, the staff of Stanfield School District and local law enforcement officers practiced what it would be like to reunite scores of their students with their parents at a non-school location. The Reunification Drill was held at Stanfield Secondary School.
A Reunification means that students are evacuated from their school building and bused to another location. Parents are then asked to travel to the Reunification Location to be “reunified” with their children. Incidents that require a Reunification may include weather, a power outage, hazardous material incident or a school crisis.
Although the drill on September 29 was held at the secondary school, that is not where the actual Reunification would occur in the event of a real emergency – the site would most likely be in Hermiston at a large building, such as a church or convention center, that could accommodate 473 students.
The purpose of last week’s drill was to practice the Reunification procedures and address concerns and questions. Teachers and staff were cast in the roles of greeters, parents, table volunteers and runners.
If an actual Reunification is necessary, the school district sends out a message to parents via regular school communications about the location. Parents should bring identification and are asked to fill out a Reunification Form when they arrive. At Check In, their ID is checked, the bottom portion of the perforated form is torn off and parents are then directed to the Reunification Area, where a Runner goes to get their student and reunites parent with child.
Superintendent Shelley Liscom said practicing Reunification is a crucial part of the district’s entire safety plan. “We must know what this is going to look like if it happens, what staff members will be asked to do and what we want parents to do,” Liscom said.
The Stanfield School District uses the Standard Reunification Method provided by the i love you guys foundation (www.iloveuguys.org)
For more information, contact the District Office at 541-449-8766.