Northshore School District continues to take proactivemeasures to protect the safety of all our students and staff members.District representatives work closely with both King and SnohomishCounty local emergency planning committees and emergency managementteams, the groups that plan our community's responses to potentialthreats. District plans are made in concert with all other localemergency preparedness plans.
The school district and all schools have safety andsecurity plans. The plans are designed with the help of schoolemergency preparedness representatives, as well as local lawenforcement, emergency management, and public health officials. Plansare regularly reviewed and updated. These plans include procedures torespond to critical incidents, such as fire or earthquakes, and schoolsystem personnel practice these drills regularly.
The Northshore School District works in closecollaboration with local, state, and federal health, safety, andemergency personnel to develop and maintain plans for coping with avariety of emergency response situations. These plans involve effortsto protect all students while they are at school.
The actions taken during any type of emergency situationdepend a great deal on the specifics of the incident. For example, oneor more schools may evacuate, lock down, or initiate a shelter-in-placeresponse, according to the nature of the threat. The main objective isthe protection of the students and staff members. School staff have avariety of "tools" to use and have received training on how to workwith each of these. In any crisis situation, Northshore would followdirection from public safety officials as appropriate. The ability toremain flexible is a key component of each school's plan and ofdistrictwide preparations.
If you have questions about your child or about yourschool's safety and support responses, please contact your principal.Everyone in the Northshore School District continues to work to makeall our schools safe and secure environments for all our students.
Overview and Resources
Northshore broadcasts emergency messages, when necessary, using several methods, including SchoolConnects. General emergency messages, early and late school openings and closings can be found on the home page of this website and on the district information line at 425-408-6001. Local television and radio will also carry these messages. School closure information is also available at School Report.
During a school emergency, SchoolConnects quickly sends important messages to parents via phone. This automated calling system only works if your contact phone numbers are current in the student information system. Phone numbers can be updated through Parent Assistant.
1) SchoolConnects automatically starts with the "Home" number listed in Parent Assistant. This number can be for any phone number you designate (home, work, cell, etc.). SchoolConnects replaces the old emergency e-mail notification system, HearItFirst. Emergency information will continue to be posted on the home page of Northshore's website.
2) Your school calls this "Home" number when they need to contact you. Please make sure your child's school has all of your current home, cell, and work phone numbers, as well as the contact information for another person who may be called in an emergency if you cannot be reached.
Reporting Suspicious Activity
Please report any suspicious activities in and around Northshore School campuses to either Northshore's 24-hour emergency line (425) 485-9535 or 9-1-1.
School Resource Officer Program
The School Resource Officer (SRO) Program calls for a select group of police officers to be assigned to all secondary schools in the Northshore School District. The district will have input regarding officer selection. Normally there will be one SRO assigned to a high school and one splitting their time between the two junior highs in the pathway. They are available to provide training to teachers and staff in the areas of youth crime, violence intervention, alcohol and drug abuse, criminal procedures, and criminal and constitutional law. They also provide crisis intervention as needed and help district security personnel develop site security plans for individual schools.
While on campus, the officers make themselves available during lunch hours, breaks, social events and other non-class times in an effort to form a genuine rapport with the student body. These officers are authority figures and youth advocates whose primary concern is the safety and security of everyone attending these schools. They assist the school district in addressing truancy issues, child abuse, suicide prevention and juvenile runaways while providing a direct liaison between the law enforcement community, social and health service agencies, youth advocacy programs, and parents. The teachers and staff at the respective schools have also used the officers to teach classes related to legal and health issues, child abuse, and sex crimes.
Students who have come to know and trust officers through the School Resource Officer program are respectful and cooperative when they encounter the officers in the community. In fact, even though some encounters result in arrests, fines, and parental discipline, the students will often thank the officers for their assistance.
Effective crisis response is a team effort. In Northshore, three offices play lead roles in shaping the organization's response to critical incidents. In any such event, these offices work with each other, with the leaders at the site, and with public safety officials to provide immediate and coordinated action.
Crisis Management / Business Services
Leading the immediate and long-term response to the incident itself is the Business Services Department's Office of Security and Emergency Preparedness. Sound planning and preparation is key.
- The Office of Security and Emergency Preparedness has designed extensive materials to help Northshore schools and departments with this work, including the Emergency Preparedness Manual that serves as the template schools use to construct their own site-specific plans.
- For additional security information, check the Emergency Procedures Guide .
Crisis Communications / Communications
Ensuring that students, staff members, parents, the media, and the community have accurate and timely information during a crisis is the responsibility of the Communications Office.
Crisis Intervention / Trauma Support Team
- The office is responsible for broadcast of all Northshore emergency messages.
Northshore has a Trauma Support Team which provides care and support for students and staff members affected by a crisis. The team is staffed by school psychologists, counselors, and nurses.
Resources for Major Critical Incidents
Community Resources for Major Critical Incidents: Shelter-in-Place
Shelter-in-place is an emergency response tool to protect students in the event of potential exposure to a dangerous chemical in the atmosphere. Additional Resources
If a dangerous chemical was released in the community and posed a threat to students during the school day, affected schools would be directed-most likely by public health or safety officials-to bring all students and staff members indoors (including those in portables); to shut down all heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems; and to close and secure all doors and windows. The neutral atmospheric pressure created by these actions would create a barrier and help keep chemical agents from leaking into the building. This approach has proven to be safer than evacuating students into a contaminated outdoor environment.
During a shelter-in-place incident, public safety officials will secure the affected school building(s), and no people will be allowed in or out of the building(s) until an all-clear signal is given. While students are protected in the school building, parents will be sheltered in their own homes or places of work. The school district will make every effort to communicate the status of students to parents and the community. All emergency messaging systems will be used.
Shelter-in-place is the safest possible way to separate students and staff members from an outdoor hazardous environment. It is a temporary solution to a temporary problem. Shelter-in-place will be used when needed to keep students safe until their parents can be reunited with them.
Once the contaminated air has passed, public safety officials would evaluate the situation. At that time, they will either give the school clearance to resume safe and normal operations or request that the school be evacuated for cleanup operations. In the case of an evacuation, students will be safely transported to a designated parent-student reunification center.
Shelter-in-place is a short-term measure (minutes or hours, not days) designed to use a facility and its indoor atmosphere to temporarily separate people from a hazardous outdoor environment. Shelter-in-place is ended as soon as the outdoor air is safe for students (and parents) to breathe.