The start of school each August is always a furious time with much of the first few weeks devoted to learning routines and how (for the younger students) to behave in a group setting. It is also a time to ensure that procedures followed in the event of an emergency are reviewed and soundly in place. On Friday I was at Sterling Elementary to watch their bus evacuation drill. The simulated event with the students exiting out the buses’ rear doors went well, with the older students helping the younger ones to the pavement. Last week district administrators spent time reviewing how we will revise our response to an intruder in one of our buildings. Fire drills, as they have for years, occur once each month and the ever watchful eye of our staff for anything that can harm a child is always there. In sum, we embrace the trust that parents place in our staff to keep their children safe.
Fortunately, the vast majority of time at school is devoted to academic studies. From the primary student learning to read to the senior finding the derivative of a function, our students take small academic steps on each of the 170 days of a school year. These steps are measured and are usually the indicators used to rate the effectiveness of a school. Although few recognize it, the trainings and preparation that we take for an emergency are also an indicator of quality. Doing this side of things poorly, would immediately diminish a school’s value. While we are fortunate that the likelihood of an emergency is extremely low, let’s take a moment to thank our staff for the good job that they do preparing in the event that things do go wrong.