Head of School Blog

Safety First – At School and At Home

Jill Singleton | Volume: 5 Issue: 3 | Sept. 29, 2015
In January, 2009, I remember being riveted along with so many of you when Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger made an emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 into the Hudson River following bird strikes that rendered both of his engines dead. The event, which quickly came to be known as “the Miracle on the Hudson,” earned Captain Sully immediate fame and respect from all corners of the world. I will never forget the answer Captain Sully gave in response to the question, “What advice can you give for being prepared for an airline emergency?” His answer – “Wear a sturdy pair of shoes.” I’ve thought about this advice often, and indeed make sure I always travel in shoes that will allow me to run or move about with ease, and can’t help but notice seeing how many people opt for slippers, flip flops or other comfortable shoes when traveling.
As they settle in to their classroom routines, students are also practicing a number of safety items, including our required drills. These include fire drills, emergency evacuation drills, lockdown drills, and shelter-in-place drills. Teachers were thoroughly trained (or re-trained) on the protocols for these drills before school opened, and were certified (or re-certified) in CPR, Emergency First Aid, use of the AED Machine, and the administration of an Epi-Pen or Auvi-Q.

Parents play an important role in keeping our students and community safe. To that end, all parents are asked to read the Parent Handbook, and to pay particular attention to the Safety Plan at the end of the document: (https://allsaintsdayschool.myschoolapp.com/ftpimages/620/download/download_1508686.pdf?_=1442863482217)

In light of the shared responsibility for your child’s safety, we believe it is critical that parents and guardians read and understand this information. Here is a partial list of things to which parents are asked to pay close attention:
  • Ensure your child is properly dressed for active play – sturdy footwear is a must!
  • Report any student allergies to the school
  • Keep all student health records and emergency contact information up to date
  • Notify the school of any medications that the student must take at school, and come to school to administer such medications or provide the appropriate doctor’s orders with physician signature for administration
  • Keep your child’s authorized pick up list current
  • Notify the school of any family member or other individual who should be on the “no admittance” list or who could otherwise pose a danger to the school
  • Know where our parent reunification sites are, in the event of an emergency evacuation
To help keep our community healthy, parents are asked to respect the school’s exclusion policy, which states that children cannot return to school until 24 hours after the resolution of a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting. Please respect the fact that illnesses can spread very quickly in a small school such as ours, and everyone’s vigilance is needed to keep our community healthy.

In October, all classes will participate in our anti-bullying Week of Respect activities to ensure that our community is free of harassment and bullying behaviors. With so much talk about bullying in the media over the past several years, we are finding that people are quick to identify even normal conflicts as acts of “bullying.” Teachers are trained on the distinctions between normal conflict and bullying, and parents are asked to review the distinctions as well. These can be found in the parent handbook on pages 42-54: (https://allsaintsdayschool.myschoolapp.com/ftpimages/620/download/download_1508686.pdf?_=1442863482217).

Finally, parents are asked to take advantage of the new school year to ensure that home safety plans are in place and up to date. These would include things as routine as changing the batteries on any smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors, and having a communication plan in place to be utilized in the event of an extreme emergency in our area.

For a helpful checklist of routine items to be checked at home, please visit: http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/basic_home_safety_a_checklist
Someone once said that “Safety doesn’t happen by accident.” Keeping our community healthy and safe involves everyone’s active participation and involvement. We look forward to a wonderful year together, and thank everyone in advance for their diligence in the safety department.

Questions? Comments? Ideas? I’d love to hear them! Email me: jsingleton@allsaintshoboken.com