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Parents & Guardians Roles in Emergency Response

During and following an emergency situation, school and district officials must act quickly and follow established emergency protocols to safeguard students and staff, secure schools, and communicate accurate information in a timely manner. Parents can assist greatly by helping with preparation before the emergency. Here are a few critical steps you can take:

  • Do not call or go to your child’s school during an actual emergency: 
    • All law enforcement agencies strongly advise you to remain out of the area and keep lines of communication open.
    • Please do not go to your child’s school unless you have received direction from the school or district officials. Vehicular traffic around the school may impede the ability of law enforcement and emergency responders from entering/exiting the campus.
    • Student use of cellular telephones during a school lockdown can be a distraction. Please encourage students to remain off of cellular telephones in order to listen for important instructions from faculty, administrators, or law enforcement.
    • Cellular telephone use during certain types of emergencies can be unsafe. Cellular telephones can alert an intruder to your location. Do not use portable radios, cellular phones, digital phones, or any other electronic devices. These devices have the capacity to detonate explosive devices.
  • Do not attempt to contact your child or school faculty and staff during an emergency: 
    • Students need to focus on emergency direction from school personnel
    • School personnel will be busy responding to the emergency and addressing the needs of students
    • Calling the school will only tie up telephone lines that must be used for emergency communications with staff and emergency responders. 
  • Give school officials accurate contact information so you can be reached in case of emergency
    • Complete the annual student information for your child at the beginning of the school year. This is done in your Campus Parent Portal. A link is sent to parents at the beginning of each school year as a reminder, or you may go to your Campus Parent Portal website or mobile application.
    • Keep contact information current by notifying officials of any changes as soon as they occur.
    • Multiple contact sources are helpful, including home, office and mobile telephone numbers and email addresses. Also important, in case you cannot be reached are the up-to-date names and contact information of family members, friends, and any other adults authorized as emergency contacts for your child.
  • Be alert for a Bulloch County Schools notification: The district and schools will send emergency and routine messages to parents an guardians via our mass telephone, email and text notification either to parents with children at an affected school or districtwide, which ever is appropriate. Parents may register multiple phone numbers with their child’s school to ensure messages are received. 
  • Talk to your child about your personal emergency notification arrangements: Let your child and school officials know if you anticipate being unavailable or difficult to reach for an extended period of time.
  • Stay informed about emergencies, potentially serious situations, or inclement weather:  When serious conditions arise at school or in the community which may result in school evacuations, early dismissals, or school closings, monitor school district messages and local media outlets.  The primary communication outlets used in all emergency situations will be the school district's or school's website, the school district's mass notification system (Onsolve-One Call Now), and local and area news media:
    • Information will be broadcast to either an individual school's parents and employees or to all parents and employees district wide, depending on the emergency and which school(s) are affected. 
    • Onsolve-One Call Now is the official mass notification tool for the school district and its schools. It is used to send mass telephone calls and emails to parents and short message service (text) for parents who have opted in to receive text notifications. To opt in to receive text notifications, text ALERT to 22300 from a cellular telephone number that is already on file with the school district.
    • The district’s and school's Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter social media sites are a supplemental communication tool, and may not be used in all emergency situations: 
      • Social media can cause confusion, panic, and misinformation.
      • It has the potential to violate the privacy of students or employees.
      • It can cause confusion about the date and time an incident may have occurred because of how original posts can reoccur multiple times across followers' news feeds.  This may be problematic for certain emergency situations.
    • A school's or the school district’s website
    • Local and area print, digital, radio, and television news media outlets: Statesboro radio stations, The Statesboro Herald, WTOC, WSAV, WTGS,  WJCL, Grice Connect, All on Georgia-Bulloch, and The Georgia Virtue. 
  • Notify school officials if you see or hear of anything that could create a danger at school. If you prefer, you may call the law enforcement tip lines are listed above. Do not share or repost information on social media as this may cause unnecessary panic and hinder law enforcement’s ability to investigate the information. 
  • Do not come to pick up your child if there is a utility outage at your child’s school. All schools are equipped to safely continue operations and food services despite unforeseen water, electricity, or Internet utility outages. There is no need to come and pick up your child due to a utility outage unless you have been notified by the school to do so. Please adhere to communications from the school and discourage your child from making cellular telephone calls to request someone pick them up from school.

Emergency Release of Students to Parents

School officials want to maintain as safe and orderly an environment as possible at all times. During an emergency, special procedures are followed to help ensure student safety.

School administrators have procedures in place to help families who wish to pick up their child from school. Depending upon the emergency conditions, students may be released from a designated area to parents and guardians with proper identification. Keep lines of communication open for alerts about pick up times and locations.

For your child’s safety, your child can be released only to an adult whom you have properly designated as an emergency pick up contact, and who has proper identification. Noncustodial parents who may pick up students must be listed with your child’s emergency contact information as a guardian and also must show proper identification.

Reuniting with your child

When the situation allows, students will be released following reunification procedures. This procedure ensures that each student is released to a parent, relative or other authorized person designated by the parent in an orderly manner. Individuals picking up students will be asked to present valid picture identification and may be asked to sign students out to ensure safety and accountability.

  • Alternate pick-up site – In some emergencies, it may become necessary to move students and staff from their school to an off-campus evacuation location. Due to the unpredictable nature of any emergency, the location of the evacuation site will be announced only at the time of the event. If this occurs, parents will be notified via multiple means, including the district’s electronic messaging system and local media.
  • Students who remain at school – If a parent, guardian or authorized designee cannot pick up their child following an emergency, they will remain under staff supervision until the parent, guardian or authorized designee arrives at the school.