Lynchburg City Schools (LCS) is committed to providing a safe and secure learning environment. Read on for important safety information from LCS.
What is an emergency?
An emergency is an unexpected incident that could impact safety—this includes anything from a disruption in utilities to potential violent activity. It could affect one child, one school, or the entire school division.
How do schools respond to emergencies?
The first priority is to ensure the safety of the students and staff. Schools will evaluate each emergency situation and determine the best way to respond quickly, safely, and appropriately.
LCS will take potential threats seriously while making every attempt to ensure that instruction is interrupted as little as possible. Depending on the severity of the emergency, schools may take measures like locking down, sheltering in place, evacuating the building, or closing early.
Who deals with emergency planning?
School administrators work closely with Lynchburg police, fire, emergency services, and health departments to develop safety plans and procedures. Key personnel are trained and prepared to work effectively with emergency responders if necessary.
What should parents do during an emergency?
- Stay off campus: We know how difficult this can be. But during an emergency, it’s important to give school and emergency personnel space to focus on safety procedures. If parents come to campus, they can unintentionally cause confusion and danger to themselves or others.
- Stay informed: Look for phone, text, email, and/or social media updates.
Restricted Entry and Exit
Previously referred to as “lockouts,” restricted entry and exit describes instances in which the exterior of a school building is secured due to activity in the local area that could pose a potential safety concern. In these situations, entering and exiting the building is prohibited, but school activities continue as normal inside. Potential reasons for restricted entry and exit include law enforcement activity nearby.
During a lockdown, students and staff are locked in classrooms and other secure locations inside the school to protect them from a potential threat. A lockdown normally occurs if a threatening person is physically inside the school building.
Teachers and staff account for students and ensure that no one leaves the safe area. School personnel secure the building to prevent unauthorized individuals from entering. No one is allowed to enter or exit until the lockdown is lifted.
Fire/Evacuation Other than Bomb Threat
In the event of a fire, teachers evacuate students to a specified location familiar to students, faculty, and staff. Teachers take roll to ensure all students are present and accounted for.
An administrator calls 911, and the Lynchburg Fire Department comes to the scene. The fire department determines the severity of the fire and/or smoke and notifies administration when it is safe for students to return to the building.
In the event that the weather is not appropriate for students and staff to remain outdoors for an extended period of time, buses will be available for them to board until it is safe to return to the building.
Students and staff follow the procedures above, with the exception of the evacuation site. In the event of a bomb threat, students evacuate to a secure, undisclosed site.
In an emergency or crisis situation, LCS will primarily communicate with parents, guardians, students, and staff members at the affected school(s) via phone call, text, and/or email. Here’s to expect:
- Initial notification: Parents and guardians will receive an automated notification from LCS about the nature of the situation (e.g. whether it’s a lockdown, restricted entry and exit, or something else). It won’t contain detailed information—the goal of this message is to loop everyone in as quickly as possible.
- Crisis updates: LCS will send periodic updates. Even if there’s no new information available, LCS will still send updates to confirm school and emergency personnel are continuing to monitor the situation and institute safety measures.
- Crisis resolution notification: When the crisis situation has been resolved, parents and guardians will receive an update.
- Follow-up: The school principal or LCS administrators will send information about the crisis event, the response by LCS staff, and any relevant resources, as needed.