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From the Student-Family Handbook


The emergency plan is designed to provide a framework for the actions to be taken by school staff for protecting students, faculty/staff and school facilities from a wide range of emergency and disaster situations that may occur. A copy of the emergency plan is held with the Emergency Plan Coordinator. Emergency drills are held regularly each semester and are usually unannounced. All drill types are reviewed with students and staff at the beginning of each semester. Subsequent emergency drills are held during each semester and are usually unannounced.

All students, and all school personnel, are required to familiarize themselves with these procedures and to be prepared to immediately follow them. The school’s emergency preparedness plan includes provision for emergency food and shelter for all students and staff for three days.

In each classroom there is a map showing its evacuation route. Drills for a range of situations are conducted regularly to maintain campus preparedness. In the event of an emergency which requires evacuation of the building, students are expected to remain quiet and calm and to listen for special instructions from the teacher or other authorized person. Students go in single file to their designated evacuation area.

If a disaster occurs during school hours, school administration will determine the course of action and oversee the release of students. Updates will be posted on the home page and when possible, the school will use the Emergency Notification System to communicate updates via recorded phone message and email. Faculty and staff will stay with your child until he or she is picked up by you or the school has released your child based on what you authorized on your child’s emergency card. Faculty and staff teams are organized and trained in first aid, security, rescue, roll call and parental communications.


In the event of an emergency:

  • Do not call the school, as it will be necessary to keep the telephone lines open to communication with emergency and government personnel.

  • Please wait for the school’s Emergency Notification System to notify you by recorded phone message and email with current information and special instructions. To receive up-to-date information, be accessible at the emergency telephone number/email address you provided.

  • Before coming to O’Dowd, check the O’Dowd website home page for instructions. In the event of a large scale emergency, the local AM radio or television station may contain information on how the school would like parents to proceed.

  • Do not call your student’s cell phone as this could complicate the situation, and the cell phone lines will likely not be working or be busy.

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