Keeping Students and Staff Safe During Severe Weather
Principals will be notified if weather conditions are expected to turn severe during the school day. Updates will be shared throughout the day, if needed. All schools have weather radios to notify them of thunderstorm and tornado warnings. When a warning is issued for any geographic of Wichita, all our schools will take shelter.If a tornado warning is issued during the school day for our community, several things will happen to keep students safe:► If during the school day, all students and staff will immediately take cover in a designated shelter area (see Shelter Procedures below).
►If before or after school while students are riding a school bus, drivers will immediately be directed to take shelter at the nearest middle or high school in the MORNING, or the nearest elementary school in the AFTERNOON. Other non-school locations may be used if necessary and appropriate. All school buildings have an entrance designated as the entry point for bus riders in this circumstance.
All occupants in a building – students, staff and any visitors – will be directed to a designated shelter area if a tornado warning is issued during the school day.Thanks to improvements made through bond issue facility construction, all of our schools have safe room storm shelters! Safe rooms are built to very specific standards that provide protection from wind speeds over 200 miles an hour. The Wichita Public Schools is the first large district in the country to provide a FEMA Safe Room in every school in our district!
There are two types of shelter designations:PRIMARY SHELTER – In schools where Safe Room construction has been completed, primary shelter will take place in the school’s FEMA Safe Room(s). Once students and staff have entered the FEMA Safe Room, doors are closed securely and locked per FEMA specifications.The doors are unlocked and opened only when an official “all clear” has been issued for Sedgwick County. When students are sheltered in a safe room, parents will not be able to pick them up until the all-clear has been given and the safe room doors unlocked.SECONDARY SHELTER – Every district school facility has a secondary shelter area identified. These secondary areas provide a similar place of safety for building visitors who arrive after the FEMA Safe Room has been closed. Once the FEMA Safe Room has been closed and secured, signs on the outside of the Safe Room door will direct people to the secondary shelter area.
Parents Guide for Spring/Fall Weather Procedures
PARENTS: Be safe during severe weather!
- Take shelter in a safe location
- Pick up your student AFTER the storm warning has passed!
- Our storm shelters WILL NOT be unlocked for a child to be picked up once shelter doors are closed.
FEMA resource: Be Prepared for a Tornado