March 12, 2018

 

Dear Bluff Creek Families,

For nearly a year, administrators in Eastern Carver County Schools have been working on new lockdown procedures. Bluff Creek teachers and staff have been practicing our revised lockdown procedures for the past few weeks. Bluff Creek will now use “lockdown with options.” In the past, we have practiced “hide in place” lockdowns. Multiple law enforcement and safety agencies recommend this more proactive approach.

Our new plan gives employees and students the options to hide, run or counter if an intruder enters a school. Rather than only hiding, we want our staff and students to run away from an emerging crisis if it is safe to do so. If not, they should hide and protect their hiding place, while keeping open the options to run or counter. Counter is the last option. It is used to distract, subdue or incapacitate an intruder if there is a direct confrontation and running is not possible.

Lockdowns are scary situations to consider and at Bluff Creek we call these “stay-put safety drills.” Schools are among the safest places for students. We practice fire drills and tornado drills, yet our school district has not experienced a fire or tornado that caused serious harm. We must also practice lockdown drills to be prepared.

Eastern Carver County Schools has developed age-appropriate materials to train our students and to support you in conversations at home.  Please use our discussion guides, which we have developed for parents/guardians to talk at home with their children about lockdown with options.

If you have concerns about your student’s sensitivity to information about lockdowns, please contact your student’s teacher, counselor or administrator. District information has been developed not to be alarming or intentionally frightening, but we recognize the topic of a school intruder may be upsetting to some students.

We have decided to share a presentation that explains our process before our drill on Wednesday March 14th. The district 112 video above is for you to share with your child if you wish, but we have decided to include the same information in a building created presentation.

You are welcome to contact me with any questions you may have about this process. I want to assure you that we have carefully considered how we can prepare our students without frightening them.

Sincerely,

Joan MacDonald, Principal