The safety of Ark City students and staff is our top priority. Our district has a crisis management plan in place and is collaborating with the Ark City Police Department to provide special crisis response training to staff members and students. District administrators and crisis team members continuously work with city and county emergency management officials and law enforcement representatives to develop and update plans.
In addition, schools have well-established security measures to help ensure the well-being of students and staff. These include visitor check-in procedures; designated safe areas in each building; automatic door locks; surveillance cameras; and support from school resource officers. Schools also conduct drills periodically to provide students with opportunities to practice lockdown and evacuation procedures.
If an emergency occurs, school staff will attempt to notify parents via the School Messenger notification system. When possible, information will be posted on the district website and updates will be sent to local media entities. It is very important that schools always have a child's most current emergency contact information on file in PowerSchool.
ALICE is a response model adopted by the school district. It stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter, and evacuate, and is essentially an alternate look at how to respond in an armed intruder situation. ALICE is not a set protocol but rather a set of options to consider in such a scenario.
Representatives from the Arkansas City Police Department have trained all district staff members and will educate students in a manner very appropriate for each age range. Our hope is that by educating our staff and students, we might be able to reduce fear and casualties in the event of an active intruder situation.
Severe weather is a possibility year-round. We encourage you to have a family emergency plan in place (and practiced) to help ensure you and your family are safe in the event of a tornado.
The FEMA safe rooms were approved as part of the 2008 Bond Issue to protect students and staff members should a tornado strike during the school day. We try our best to accommodate community members after school hours too. All safe rooms meet FEMA standards and are built to withstand winds of an EF-5 tornado – approximately 250 mph. The safe rooms are reinforced with concrete as well as steel doors and steel window shutters to protect against debris projectiles. Click HERE to view our severe weather information page.
Jason Flatt Act – Youth Suicide Awareness
If you or someone you know is affected by suicide, please call for help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.
The Legislature has passed and the Governor has signed SB 323 which is known as the Jason Flatt Youth Suicide Awareness Act. The provisions of this bill relevant to suicide awareness and prevention are:
The board of education of each school district shall provide suicide awareness and prevention programming to all school staff and shall notify the parents or legal guardians of students enrolled in such school district that the training materials provided under such programming are available to such parents or legal guardians.
Such programming shall include at a minimum: At least one hour of training each calendar year based on programs approved by the State Board of Education. Such training may be satisfied through independent self-review of suicide prevention training materials, and A building crisis plan developed for each school building. Such plan shall include:
Steps for recognizing suicide ideation; Appropriate methods of interventions; and A crisis recovery plan. On or before January 1, 2017, the State Board of Education shall adopt rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this section.
For information about youth suicide and the Jason Flatt Act, visit: http://jasonfoundation.com/