Keeping Swanson Safe
The safety of our students is our foremost concern. Believing this, Swanson Middle School strives to incorporate our entire community into planning for possible emergencies that could develop in our school or the surrounding community. Swanson staff work in conjunction with our APS colleagues, Arlington Police and Fire Departments, as well as our parents and families to create the safest possible environment for our students. In planning for these kinds of emergencies, it is important for parents to understand some of the components of Swanson’s safety plan:
Drills. We practice a variety of drills with our students and staff to prepare for many possible emergency situations, including severe weather, fire, or violence in or around Swanson. We teach students to be calm during these drills, and we rehearse possible scenarios in such a way that children will react safely during a genuine emergency.
Communication. During an emergency parents want to know that their children are safe. Every effort will be made to notify parents in a timely manner if the safety of their students is compromised. Should a school-wide situation develop, Swanson, along with the APS Office of School and Community Relations, will disseminate information to our families and the community as rapidly as possible (Parents should be sure that they are registered to receive SchoolTalk messages. More information about SchoolTalk can be found at http://www.apsva.us/schooltalk.). Parents should be mindful that during an emergency, immediate communication with their children may not be possible via students’ personal cell phones.
Reunification. In the event that Swanson students must be held in a secure location during an emergency, every effort will be made to reunify students with their parents as quickly as possible. For some emergencies, this reunification may not occur until after the close of the usual school day. During a reunification process of this type, unlike a normal dismissal, parents or guardians should expect Swanson staff to escort their children directly to their parents, guardians, or emergency contacts.
Emergency Personnel. During an emergency, the Arlington County Police and/or Fire Departments may assume command of the school. Keep in mind that during a serious, school-wide event, Swanson staff will follow instructions of emergency personnel in order to best protect our students and staff.
Parents. Swanson staff believes that keeping parents informed and involved in our planning is critical to ensuring our emergency preparedness. We will work with a PTA emergency planning liaison and other interested parents to help serve as a link between school staff, emergency personnel and the parent community.
Parents with any questions about emergency planning or student safety, they should contact Scott McKeown, Assistant Principal at 703 228 5503 or Cpl. Kevin Treakle, School Resource Officer, at 703 228 5527.