While top of mind for school leaders, safety drills and measures can sometimes feel overwhelming due to the number of requirements. Not only are we planning and executing drills to meet state requirements, but we should also be closing the loop with our staff and families–something that can easily be overlooked. Here are a few quick tips to ensure the planning, execution, and communication of safety drills are completed for your campus.
Elizabeth Janca, experienced school administrator and licensed counselor, explains common school safety drills and how to communicate them to families.
Planning Safety Drills
Meet with your team to ensure that everyone knows how often each type of drill should be done. For example, in the state of Texas, fire drills are done monthly. Their lockdown drills are done once a semester, and hold drills are done once a year. With the appropriate team members, calendar out potential dates and times for each drill to take place throughout the year.
Create variety when you schedule the dates and times of the drills. For example, don’t plan to do every fire drill on the second Tuesday of the month at 9:45. Picking different days of the week and times allows for more opportunities to practice in different situations such as an elective class or at recess. This also alternates which planning periods and/or content and team times are impacted. At the start of each week or at a brief morning check-in, confirm with your team that the selected day and time will still work for the drill. If it doesn’t, remember that it’s okay to be flexible and reschedule! Bonus Tip: Consider scheduling fire drills towards the beginning of the month. This way, if you need to reschedule, you have plenty of time to do so.