Palo Alto Unified School District is continuously planning and preparing for emergencies that could interrupt the school day for students. We want to make sure that you are fully informed of our Emergency Operations Plan.
School Safety and Emergency Preparation
In accordance with PAUSD’s Safety Promise, schools have security measures to ensure the well-being of students and staff. While each school’s security system differs based on the size and layout of its campus and other factors, security measures may include: visitor check-in procedures, locked doors and gates after the start of the school day, surveillance cameras and campus supervisors.
All schools have emergency response teams and are asked to practice safety protocol drills every school year. Schools partner with the Palo Alto Police Department (PAPD) to conduct Lockdown drills and we will continue to work with PAPD to make sure these types of drills take place in an age-appropriate way that helps ensure our students know what to do in the event that this type of incident should occur.
If an emergency does occur at a school, we will notify parents as quickly as possible using a variety of means including text, email and phone call. Please confirm that your families’ contact information is current in order to assure that you receive emergency notification.
IMPORTANT: At the beginning of every school year you receive a lot of forms to fill out, including the Emergency Card. Please fill it out every year and return to the school office.
In the event of an emergency such as an earthquake while your child is at school, you may find that it is difficult to contact your school as phone service may be interrupted or staff may be tending to students' needs. School staff will stay with your child until you, or an adult you previously authorized on the Emergency Card, can pick up your child. When you arrive at the school, staff will help you properly sign your child out.
Students may be moved to another location to provide better and more direct care. This decision will be made by the district administration and emergency personnel based on current conditions, including the building safety and the duration of time that students may need to remain in the care of school staff. If relocation is necessary, schools will post signage at the site letting you know where your child is being cared for. This information will also be posted on the district’s website and shared with the media.
School Site Emergency Plan
School sites plan how to respond and recover from an emergency, disaster, or event resulting in the disruption of normal school operations.
The District’s Safety and Emergency Preparedness Department conducts district-wide National Incident Management (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS) trainings and works to update every school’s safety plan. Your school’s emergency plan may be viewed in the school’s main office.
If your child has special needs that require additional assistance in an emergency, you can work with school staff to develop an individualized emergency plan.