In an Emergency
The primary responsibility of Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) school staff in an emergency is the safety and health of your child. Each school site has made arrangements for rescue, first aid, sanitation, food, and other support in emergency situations.
Who is in charge?
PAUSD is legally responsible for the health and safety of each child attending a school.
Each school site is prepared to function on its own, under the direction of its Incident Commander (principal). In an emergency, each school site will coordinate with the District Office, which will in turn coordinate with local emergency services.
If the Superintenent declares a district emergency during the school day, the following procedures will be followed:
All students are required to remain at the school or at an alternate safe site under the supervision of the school principal.
1. until regular dismissal time and released only then if it is considered safe, OR
2. until released to an adult authorized by the parent or legal guardian whose name appears on district records.
a. if students are on their way to school, they will be brought to school if bussed, or they should proceed to school if walking.
b. if students are on their way home from school, they are to continue home.
Students who have not been picked up by their parents/guardian may be taken by district personnel to another site where consolidated care facilities can be provided. This information will be given to the media stations and posted at the school site to keep parents informed.
What You Can Do
Parents / Guardians will be provided with a Student Health / Emergency Card each year. In case of an emergency, students will be released ONLY to persons designated on this form.
Parents / Guardians are responsible for ensuring that information on the Student Health / Emergency form is current at all times.
Parents / Guardians are asked to share the responsibility for informing students of what they should do in case of an emergency form to give specific directions to each student to follow the directions of school personnel.
It is critical that students do not have directions from parents that are contrary to the district's stated policy on retention at school and authorized release in case of an emergency.
Preparing for an Emergency
It is important to prepare in advance for all kinds of emergencies. Doing so will help you and your family survive a major disaster. Although most Californians consider earthquakes the most probable type of emergency, it is important to also prepare for floods, fires, and other crises.
What You Can Do to Prepare
- Discuss potential emergencies with your child.
- Create a "family emergency plan," and make sure your child knows what each member of your family will try to do in an emergency.
- Prepare your home for an emergency.
- Select at least one local person to take care of your child in case you cannot.
- Let your children know that you, the schools, and government agencies will be working hard to take care of them.
- Teach your child that preparation, cooperation, and staying calm are the keys to surviving a serious emergency.
- Participate in emergency preparation efforts at your child's school.