What is emergency preparedness?

Fresno Unified has taken steps to ensure your child’s safety while in school. Each school has developed a Safe School Plan. Emergency preparedness is basically planning the steps you will take in the event of an emergency, such as contact information, communications, and evacuation plans.​

How can I stay informed?

Fresno Unified broadcasts emergency messages, when necessary, using a number of media. General emergency messages, early and late school openings and closings can be found on radio and television. Emergency messages are also posed on the district website and parents are encouraged to listen to radio or television. District and individual school site phone messages are also used when appropriate.

How will my child’s school handle an emergency situation?

All Fresno Unified facilities have emergency preparedness plans developed in collaboration with Police and Fire Departments. The specifics of each plan differ for each location. The response to each situation will differ based on the specifics of that situation. The flexibility of the plan is key to the success of the response. In general, each plan involves the designation of a Safe School Leadership Team, development of evacuation, shelter-in-place, and lockdown procedures; designation of one or more appropriate evacuation sites; provision for training personnel and updating the plan; Emergency Protocol flip charts for dealing with specific type of incidents; and resources for help before, during and after an event. All district school plans have been reviewed within the last twelve months, and FUSD Safe School Leadership Teams participate in on-going training.​

How can I see security plan for my child’s school?

​The Fresno Unified Safe School Plan is available in every principal’s office. Each member of the school’s Safe School Leadership Team has a copy of the Safe School Plan. All staff members have copies of the Emergency Protocols flip chart.​

What is a lockdown?

An emergency may prevent the safe evacuation of a school building and require steps to isolate students and faculty from danger by instituting a school lockdown. The duration of a lockdown during the school day is determined by the assessment of the danger by the public safety departments. In an interior lockdown situation, all students are kept in classrooms or other designated locations that are away from the danger. Faculty members are responsible for accounting for student and ensuring that no one leaves the safe area. School personnel will also secure building entrances, ensuring that no unauthorized individuals leave or enter the building. Exterior lockdown procedures may also be used to ensure the safety of students when an incident occurs in the community. Parents are permitted access to the building and to their children if it is safe for them to do so. Lockdowns may be initiated by Law Enforcement or school/district leadership.

What is shelter-in-place?

​Shelter-in-place is a short-term solution to a short-term problem. If an accident or attack that created contaminated air occurred in the nearby area, everyone would be brought indoors. Building personnel would close all windows and shut down the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC). This would create a neutral pressure in the building, meaning the contaminated air would not be drawn into the building. Shelter-in-place is a short-term measure (measured in minutes or hours, not days) designed to use a facility and its indoor atmosphere to temporarily separate people from a hazardous outdoor environment. The alternative would be to evacuate into a hazardous situation, thereby causing potential harm to all involved.​

Can parents get their children from school?

Fresno Unified does not intend to keep children from their parents if a crisis occurs during school hours or school activities. It is the school system’s intent to make sure that children are safe inside their school until such a time that the threat has been reduced. Parents will be informed of the parent-student reunification center location via the school system emergency messaging system and local media.​

What is the parent reunification site?

f public safety officials require that a school building be evacuated, students and staff members will be safely transported by bus to a designated parent-student reunification center. Parents will be informed of the reunification location via the school system emergency communications system and local media. At the reunification center, students will be released to their parent upon presentation of proper identification.​

Why can’t I be given the evacuation and parent reunification locations ahead of time?

Fresno Unified does not release this type of specific information. During emergency situations, circumstances could arise that might force changes to previously designated locations. Parents will be informed of parent-student reunification center locations via the local media and through school resources.​

What if my child is riding a school bus at the time of a crisis?

School bus drivers will be in contact with the Fresno Unified Office of Transportation for instructions in the event that a crisis occurs while students are in transport. Bus drivers will be informed to use common sense and not travel toward the crisis location. Parents will be informed of the parent-student reunification center location via the school system emergency communication system and local media.

Can I pick up my child?

Parents are allowed to pick up their children unless public safety officials have declared a lockdown, shelter-in-place response, or there is some other reason why access to the facility is restricted. During any emergency, school personnel will maintain as safe and normal environment for children within the school as possible. School is not automatically canceled in emergency situations. Remember, school may be the safest place for children to be.

Who can pick up my children?

Children will not be released to individuals who are not authorized on the student’s emergency care card or who do not have written parent authorization. The emergency card is completed by parents and guardians at the start of each school year. Parents and guardians are encouraged to update the emergency card as needed throughout the school year. Friends and neighbors may sign a child or children out with written permission from a parent or parents. Both parents have to give permission in writing for the sign out and pickup. Schools prefer to have written permission on the day that a child’s pickup will change, but schools will also keep written permission on file. School offices will keep the permission notes – usually they will attach them to the emergency card of those involved. Schools will also ask for identification when the child is released to the one(s) mentioned in the permission note. It is advisable to communicate with the teacher as well, perhaps with a copy of the signed written note.​

Can I contact my child?

Parents are asked not to call the school in emergency situations so phone lines can remain accessible for handling the specific situation. Parents will be kept informed via the Principal and the Fresno Unified Communications Office.​

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