On Monday, October 23, staff, students and families at Holly Elementary participated in a drill to manage the controlled release of students, known as ‘student reunification’.
This year, a key change to the process involved parents/caregivers/emergency release contacts being asked to fill out a Reunification Card for each student they were picking up. After completing the card, the parent/caregiver/emergency release contact took the card to the Check-In Area where they lined up based on the student’s last name.
The parent/caregiver/emergency release contact’s identification was verified at the check-in table. The card was then split in two, with the parent/caregiver/emergency release contact given the bottom portion. Parents/caregivers/emergency release contacts then took the card to the Parent Reunification Area and handed it to a runner. The runner retrieved the student from the Secured Student Assembly Area and delivered them to the parent/caregiver/emergency release contact.
In a real-life emergency, we recognize that parents/caregivers/emergency release contacts will be anxious to be reunited with their child as soon as possible. However, the formalized student reunification process is essential to ensure that all students are released to a safe and trusted person.
In previous years, the Emergency Release/Student Reunification drill has been primarily centred around an earthquake scenario, however other circumstances may occur at the school that require parents to pick up their students in a formalized, controlled release.
Monday’s event was the first simulation of this sort, and we thank parents/caregivers/emergency release contacts for their patience and participation in the drill. Over the coming days, we will be gathering feedback so that we can make any necessary tweaks to continue to improve the process.
Please note: In a real life emergency situation, the district and school websites will be updated as a trusted source of information for parents/caregivers/emergency release contacts.