Emergency Preparedness

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS/PROCEDURES/CRISIS MANAGEMENT PLAN

This plan details the responses during emergency situations to promote the safety and stability of the School. It enables employees to manage situations and respond to ensure the safety of scholars and staff and to effectively communicate with parents. An off-duty police officer is employed to monitor all areas of the Church and School campus. The Headmaster decides what constitutes a crisis and to convene the Crisis Management Team.

Definitions:

Critical Incidents are situations involving threats of harm to scholars, staff, or facilities. These incidents require an interagency response (law enforcement and emergency services agencies).

Crisis Management Team consists of an immediately accessible core group of School personnel who have the knowledge and skills to act in an emergency.

The Crisis Management Team includes the following:  Headmaster, Director of Academics and Administration, Director of Finance, Facilities Director, Parish Administrator, and Rectors of the Church of the Good Shepherd. Additionally, the Police Department, mental health professionals, and/or the Fire Department shall be asked to consult with the School team as needed.

Response Team consists of representatives from each School building responsible for implementing the instructions from the Crisis Management Team.

The Response Team includes:  Kristen Dreyer/Leslie Blackshear (Foster), Ralph Wedgeworth/C.C. Alexander (Middle School), Ashley Ramirez/Velma Moreno (Water Street), Leslee Bourg (McNeil Gym).

Drop and Tuck Position: A person faces an interior wall, drops to knees and rolls forward to the balls of feet. He/she tucks head down and places hands on top of head and neck.

Emergency Supply Kits are supplied to each classroom. They include:

  • Roll of duct tape
  • Whistle
  • Flashlight/batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Trash bags(large-one box)
  • Toilet paper
  • Dust masks (1 per scholar/teacher)
  • Drinking water
  • Baby wipes
  • Small AM/FM battery operated radio with extra batteries
  • Towels (2 large)
  • 5 gallon plastic bucket

Teachers must inventory the Emergency Supply Kit in their classroom at the beginning of each school year. Notify the Director of Student Services to replace missing items.

COMMUNICATIONS DURING EMERGENCIES

Policies/Procedures:

Should an emergency require St. James Episcopal School to delay or to cancel a regularly scheduled opening, OR to institute early dismissal, the Headmaster will send the RenWeb Emergency Alert to parents and notify the local TV and radio networks. When a serious emergency requires a coordinated school response, the St. James Office will be designated as the School Command Center.

For consistency, accuracy, and efficiency, the Command Center will create appropriate written statements to be shared with the School Community. Due to the needs of the community during a real emergency, we will be unable to hold personal discussions with individual callers; however, we will attempt to share what we know and to answer anticipated questions within our official statements.

  • Parents are advised to check the School website (www.sjes.org) for updates.
  • Upon opening school each fall, the staff will create emergency “phone trees” for all families. The “phone trees” provide information to be used in contacting all members of the School Community with emergency information and procedures.
  • The Command Center will monitor the City of Corpus Christi 911 Emergency Broadcast System and will be linked by electronic means to the Republic of Texas Office of Homeland Security to ensure the most rapid notification in the event of a regional emergency.
  • The Command Center will utilize the phone system, overhead PA system (MS), cell phones, and walkie-talkies to maintain communication with all areas of the St. James campus.
  • The Command Center will be the only source of publicly shared information. The Headmaster or designees are the only spokesperson(s) for the School.
  • The School phone system, monitored by the Director of Student Services, will be used as long as is safely feasible for OUTGOING communication with emergency personnel, parents, and others. It is often noted that during emergencies such phone systems quickly become overloaded. Therefore, please evaluate your need to contact the School carefully to limit INCOMING calls during an emergency.
  • To avoid overloading the School phone system, teachers and scholars will not use the internal phone system extensions without permission from the Command Center.
  • Administration and Office Staff will place OUTGOING calls to parents.

Each building and the surrounding landscaping that comprise St. James Episcopal School and the Church of the Good Shepherd has been surveyed for potential hazards and security weaknesses. All personal injuries or property damage accidents, involving scholars, visitors, or employees on campus, should be reported immediately to the Director of Finance.

The following issues require continuous vigilance:

  • All doors that can remain locked should be locked. Most entrances and side doors at the SJES Middle School building, the Water St. entrances to Dobbins Hall, Primary School hallways, and the interior door in Mund’s Hall that leads down to Water Street classrooms are on scheduled timers and may be opened from the inside.
  • Those entrances which cannot remain locked without hampering normal services provided by the School Office and the Church of the Good Shepherd should be monitored.
  • All visitors to St. James are required to check in and out of the School Office and provided a “Visitor” badge which must be worn when on the SJES campus. Any individual without a “Visitor” badge must return to the School Office.

SHELTER IN PLACE PROCEDURES

Shelter In Place procedures will be in effect when conditions inside the buildings are safer than outside the buildings. There are two types of Shelter In Place: Shelter In Place Chemical and Shelter In Place Person.

Shelter In Place Chemical Emergency (Explosion/Hazardous Airborne Agents):

Shelter In Place Chemical procedures are followed during emergencies involving dangerous materials resulting in toxic vapors outside the facility. Sheltering in a sealed building is a highly effective measure in keeping scholars and staff safe.

When alerted that an explosion or a hazardous airborne release has occurred which threatens St. James Episcopal School, the School Office will immediately begin operation as Command Center. Command Center will monitor the local 911 Emergency Broadcast System through a radio receiver located in the School Office and the TEA-approved email distribution system controlled by the Texas Office of Homeland Security. All School Personnel will immediately act to protect the scholars.

Responsibilities of School Personnel:

Headmaster:

  • Using good judgment, for all emergencies other than weather, call 911.
  • Implement Shelter in Place procedures and activate School Emergency Plan.
  • Sound the alarm (Loudmouth) and announce, “We are going into a
    Shelter In Place Chemical Procedure now.” Repeat announcement several times.
  • Inform staff to move all scholars into designated classrooms and safe areas and suspend all outside activity.
  • Direct Office Staff to physically notify any classes that may be too far away from the buildings to hear the announcement or alarm.
  • Mark outside entry ways with NO SCHOOL ACCESS signs and prohibit anyone from entering or exiting the buildings.
  • Send a RenWeb alert to parents the School is closed and scholars and staff will remain in the building until authorities advise that it is safe to leave.
  • Prepare to evacuate if notified by authorities to do so.
  • Provide updates and instructions as available.
  • Ensure everyone remains in place until “all clear” is issued.
  • Make the official “all clear” announcement when the emergency has ceased.

Staff:

  • Move all scholars inside as quickly as possible.
  • Report to safe areas or classrooms (interior spaces without windows)
  • Take Class Rosters and Emergency Supply Kits.
  • Shut and lock classroom doors and any other exterior openings.
  • Close blinds and/or window curtains.
  • Account for each scholar and report any missing, extra, or injured scholars to Office.
  • If appropriate, instruct scholars to Drop and Tuck until the School Office provides instructions for relocation or resumption of activities.
  • If there appears to be air contamination, place a wet cloth or paper towel over the nose and mouth for temporary respiratory protection.
  • If instructed by officials, use duct tape and plastic sheeting to seal cracks around doors, windows, and vents to reduce air flow into the room as much as possible.
  • Prohibit anyone from entering or exiting area.
  • Be prepared to evacuate if told to do so.
  • Remain in Shelter in Place Chemical until directed by Command Center or Local Authorities.

Facilities Director:

  • Turn off, seal off, and disable fans, air conditioning, and heating systems in the case of an outside air quality emergency.

Policies/Procedures:

  • All exterior doors and windows will be locked, and to the extent possible, air-leak sealed.
  • All air circulation equipment (fans, HVAC units and other openings to outside air) will be turned off and/or sealed to the extent possible.
  • Scholars and adults will not be allowed to ENTER or to LEAVE sealed buildings until emergency personnel have issued an “all clear.”
  • As soon as doors can be opened without jeopardizing the safety of those inside, the School will follow the emergency scholar release procedures outlined in this document.
  • Teachers will have scholars Shelter in Place Chemical within individual classrooms and will close and seal classroom doors and windows. McNeil Gymnasium will use the Gym Office area. All scholars should be moved away from exterior windows.
  • Upon the “all-clear” signal, teachers escort scholars to the assigned collection areas to facilitate scholar release to arriving parents. These areas include: Middle School – Middle School Assembly Hall, Foster Hall – SJES Library, Dobbins Hall – D.H. Multipurpose Room.
  • In the event of evacuation, teachers will escort scholars to First Presbyterian Church (430 South Carancahua) and parents will collect scholars from there.
  • Teachers collect safety supply bags and bring them to the common collection areas.

Shelter in Place Person Emergency (Unstable Individual on Campus)

Policies/Procedures:

  • Any member of the faculty or staff may activate Shelter in Place Person procedures.
  • Using good judgment, for all emergencies other than weather, call 911.
  • Implement Shelter in Place procedures and activate the School Emergency Plan.
  • Sound the alarm (Loudmouth) and announce, “We are going into a
    Shelter In Place Person Procedure now.” Repeat announcement several times.
  • School personnel will NOT attempt to engage individuals of unstable behavior in any way. Professional law enforcement or security personnel shall be used.
  • In the event an unstable individual enters campus, any adult must call 911, Campus Security, and the School Office immediately.
  • When alerted that an unstable individual is threatening (verbally, physically-with or without weapons) the safety of St. James scholars or school personnel, the School shall immediately use the 911 system.
  • When alerted to danger, administrators will use all available means to alert personnel in all campus buildings that they are to LOCK exterior doors/windows.
  • Take immediate action to keep unstable individuals outside or separated from scholars by walls, locked doors, offices, etc.
  • Implement Shelter in Place Person procedures.
  • Move scholars immediately to the closest, most secure location on campus prior to calling for assistance. Teachers outside the buildings must use their best judgment regarding where to move scholars.
    • Close and lock all doors, and turn off the lights.
    • Close blinds, shades, and curtains.
    • Move all persons away from windows and door, against an interior wall. Everyone should remain still and silent.
    • Account for all scholars.
  • Teachers will instruct scholars to follow Shelter in Place Person Procedures until the emergency “all clear” is communicated by a member of law enforcement or a member of the Crisis Management Team.
  • In the event the intruder gains access to the room and begins shooting, instruct scholars to leave the classroom. They should be further instructed to leave the building or go to another location determined safe by the teacher’s best judgment.
  • All administrators are to report to the closest secure office and follow the same procedures.
  • As soon as safely possible, the Headmaster will send a RenWeb Emergency Alert to notify parents of the incident and relay any pertinent information regarding the safety of the scholars.

FIRE EMERGENCIES

Policies/Procedures:

  • The Director of Academics and Administration coordinates a monthly fire drill and maintains a written record of the date and time of each drill.
  • All fire lane routes shall be clearly painted and free from obstruction.
  • Each classroom has an evacuation plan prominently displayed.
  • Each scholar learns and practices reaching a pre-determined, safe gathering location.
  • Each classroom teacher instructs the class on the correct route to quickly and safely leave the building. Alternate routes must be practiced and used if the most convenient (planned) exit is unavailable.
  • Each classroom teacher ensures that scholars realize the importance of fire drills and of the need to exit buildings quickly, quietly, and safely. The teacher maintains complete control of the class so that instructions can be given quickly and changes (when required) can be communicated and followed immediately.
  • In the event of an actual fire or visible signs of a pending fire, the nearest fire call box should be activated.
  • Upon hearing the continuous fire bell/tone, teachers and scholars immediately, calmly, and safely evacuate the building. Teachers ensure the planned route remains safe. Avoid Elevators.
  • If time allows, turn off the lights or electrical equipment which may cause shortages or sparks.
  • When evacuating, teachers should have a first aid kit, mag lock key, classroom key, scholar emergency cards, and a means of communication (cell phones and walkie talkies).
  • Evacuating scholars remain in their class groups and gather at the assigned assembly areas. Teachers carry their class records and ensure all scholars are present.
  • Scholars outside their assigned rooms (i.e. using a tutoring room, library, or bathroom) evacuate the building immediately and report to the assigned assembly area.
  • Classes quietly await the “all-clear” to re-enter the building OR await further direction.
  • Teachers designate all scholars are accounted for with a green card and a problem with a red card, to be displayed at each drill.

Destination points:

  • Foster Hall – 1st and 2nd Floor Upper Broadway, outside the Playground fence
  • McNeil Gym Inside the back playground fence
  • Munds Hall/Water Street Cross the Parking Lot to Tree Line
  • Middle School Corner of Park Avenue and

Carancahua Streets or Middle School Parking Lot

  • Art Studio, Library Corner of Park Avenue and Carancahua Streets

WEATHER EMERGENCIES

Policies/Procedures:

When a weather emergency occurs, the Headmaster will send a RenWeb emergency alert to communicate with the School Community and will inform the local TV and radio networks. Parents are also advised to check the School website (www.sjes.org) for updates and current information regarding an emergency or school closure.

  • The School monitors the weather when alerted to the possibility of a weather emergency.
  • When a weather emergency occurs during the School day, scholars are safest within the School buildings and parents are discouraged from driving to campus during a weather emergency to remove their scholars from School.

Weather emergencies vary, as do the appropriate responses. At the heart of each response, the supervising adult shall decide to follow the safest procedure currently available using the following guidelines:

Severe Thunderstorms/Lightning/Rain:

  • Teachers shall immediately find safe shelter for scholars.
  • Teachers shall instruct scholars indoors to remain in classrooms, or other rooms on campus where they are presently located. Unsheltered outdoor areas during stormy conditions should be avoided.

Tornadoes:

  • The School conducts regular shelter in place drills to prepare appropriately.
  • Teachers will be informed when a “tornado watch” (conditions favor the development) or a “tornado warning” (a tornado has been visually verified) has been issued. Such alerts are not shared with scholars but are shared with adults to facilitate rapid response.
  • In the event that a “tornado warning” places the School in the path of an oncoming tornado, teachers must move quickly to a designated safe area without exterior windows.
    • Foster: Primary School hallway with all doors closed
    • Water Street: The hallway by the elevator
    • Middle School: Lower Hallway with all doors closed
    • McNeil Gym: Gym Office
    • Library: Computer Lab closet
    • Art: Closet in the Art Room
    • Office: Nurses Room
  • In the designated safe area, each person should assume the Drop and Tuck position.
  • Teachers gather scholars, seated by grade level, in interior hallways of the main campus structures, as noted above. First floor locations are considered more secure than second floor locations if accessible without going outside.
  • Teachers will prevent scholars from moving outdoors between buildings during such emergency conditions.

Sleet/Ice Storms:

If weather conditions deteriorate during a school day and sleet/ice will make driving treacherous, the School follows the advice of local emergency personnel. A RenWeb Emergency Alert will be issued to inform the School Community of appropriate action.

Hurricane Precautionary Plan:

In case of threatening conditions due to an impending hurricane, the following steps will be taken by the indicated personnel.

Headmaster/Director of Academics and Admissions/Director of Advancement:

  • Before the start of each year, ensure a Staff Emergency Phone Text group is established.
  • Send a RenWeb alert to the School Community of intent to close.
  • Notify local television and radio stations of intent to close.
  • Inform Staff that the Hurricane Precautionary Plan is in effect.

Facilities Director:

  • Coordinate custodians to install window covers.
  • Make sure office area is covered.

Office Staff:

  • Each one responsible for their work areas.
  • Secure important papers and books in waterproof manner.
  • Back up computer files on USB drive.
  • Move equipment and furniture away from windows and door and protect them with plastic cover. (Have plastic sheets available in your closets.)
  • Unplug all electrical equipment. Log out of computers.
  • Turn off Air Conditioner.

Faculty:

Areas of Responsibility:

  • Each teacher is responsible for their classroom(s).
  • The Librarian is responsible for the Library.
  • The Athletic Staff is responsible for the McNeil Gym and Gym Office.
  • The Computer teacher is responsible for the Computer Lab(s).
  • Teaching Assistants are responsible for Jag Mart and the Teacher Workrooms.

Necessary Precautions:

  • Have duct tape and plastic covers available in your closet.
  • Secure all loose paper and books in a waterproof manner.
  • Close all windows and tape from inside.
  • Move furniture away from windows and protect it with plastic covers.
  • Unplug all electrical equipment.
  • Turn off the Air Conditioner.
  • Move audio-video equipment and computers.
    • Water Street: Munds Hall hallway behind the Cafeteria.
    • Foster and Middle School: Computer Lab by the Library
  • Water Street Teachers-Move supplies to desk height in case of flooding.
  • Librarian should cover all bookshelves with plastic covers.

Custodian Crew:

  • Store and secure all loose items on the grounds as follows:
    • Middle School Custodian: Middle School Grounds
    • Foster Hall Custodian: Parking Lots adjacent to Main Office.
    • Dobbins Hall Custodian: Water Street Parking Lot and outside kitchen
    • Gym Custodian: Gym Parking Lot, Playground, Parking Lot adjacent to playground
  • Install shutters following this priority: Main Office, Library, Art Room
    • Boards for Main Office are located in the closet behind the Locker Rooms. Key for this closet, plastic covers, tools, and bolts will be in the Director of Finance’s Office.

Cafeteria Manager:

  • Secure and store all dry goods and utensils in cabinets, closets, and drawers.
  • Place bags of ice in refrigeration units to help preserve perishable foods.
  • Unplug all electrical appliances EXCEPT refrigeration.
  • Close and tape kitchen windows.

Important Notes:

  • The School is not responsible for damage to personal property.
  • The Campus must be evacuated by all people during a hurricane.
  • James will close and reopen according to announced dates and times.

EMERGENCY SCHOLAR RELEASE PROCEDURES

Policies/Procedures:     

If an event requires carpool pick-up procedures be abandoned, the potential exists for scholars to leave campus with other well-meaning, but unapproved individuals. In the event of such an emergency, the School will employ a carefully regulated scholar release procedure that includes the following:

  • Scholars will be picked up in the classroom, or when a critical emergency has caused the School to utilize the stated “collection areas,” at the SJES Middle School Assembly Hall, LIBRARY or D.H. Multipurpose Room.
  • In the event of an all-campus evacuation, First Presbyterian Church of Corpus Christi (430 South Carancahua) will serve as a collection area.
  • Scholars are only released to a responsible adult or family member indicated on the family information sheet maintained in the School Office and on RenWeb.
  • School employees will check the family information sheets to verify that an individual is approved to transport the scholar.
  • When releasing scholars during emergency conditions, each one must be specifically signed-out by the responsible adult. The situation will dictate whether this is accomplished on a classroom-by-classroom basis or by the “release team” in the collection areas.

EMERGENCY NUMBERS/RESOURCES/CONTACTS

Corpus Christi Police, Fire, Ambulance

CALL 911

Police Department General Information

361-886- 2677

Poison Control

1 (800) 222-1222

www.aapc.org

American Red Cross

Main: 361- 887-9991; Disaster Services: 866-526-8300

National Weather Service

361-289-0753

Television Stations

KRIS-TV

www.kristv.com

Main: 361-883-7070; News: 361-884-6666

KIII-TV

www.kiiitv.com

Main: 361-986-8300; Weather Center: 361-986-8597; Weather Info. 361-814-9463;

News Hotline 361-855 6391

KZTV-TV

ww.kztv10.com

Main: 361-886-6100; News: 361-884-6666

Other Resources

www.reversealert.org

Reverse Alert-Mass communication system adopted by the Coastal Bend to deliver information about major emergencies or natural disasters as quickly as possible