In Manteca Unified, the safety of our students is always our top priority. As a District we understand the need to retain trustful partnerships with parents/support providers, especially in the event of a school emergency. Safety threats to a school campus can arrive in many forms, particularly with the evolution of social media, and with the support of local law enforcement agencies, the District has an emergency plan in place which outlines preparedness, prevention, response, and recovery to keep students and staff safe and the community informed.
We are Prepared
We are Prepared
The emergency plan in place is thorough and inclusive of various forms of safety threats and the protocols aligned for each situation. This plan evolves as necessary to adapt to current local, state, and national conditions. No one likes to think about a school emergency, but a strategy and system for preparedness can be pivotal during a crisis. As such, MUSD has a dedicated Incident Command Team, while schools have respective safety teams and plans, trained and ready to respond should a crisis occur. This phase also includes the District’s emergency equipment and tools and an effective system to reunite parents/support providers with their child(ren) in the event of a campus-wide evacuation.
MUSD’s emergency plan is a prime example of community partnership and cooperation. The District maintains strong relationships with local city and county agencies such as law enforcement, emergency first responders, and county emergency services who place student safety at the forefront. After analysis, discussion, and consensus by District leaders, local agencies, and community members, this plan is adopted by the MUSD Board as the official guide for schools.
How Families can Play a Role in School Emergency Preparedness
We urge families to continue having critical discussions at home about safety. Promoting healthy and encouraging dialogue plays an important part in each phase: preparedness, prevention, response, and recovery.
School safety teams implement an annual school safety audit. This audit addresses the safety and integrity of facilities, security, and hazards in the school environment which informs specific prevention measures taken throughout the school year. Each school develops and sustains a safe, inclusive school climate with many resources fully accessible to aid individual student needs such as social-emotional care, positive behavior supports, and prevention programs. Security systems in place include the presence of an SRO (school resource officer), surveillance systems, fire and alarm systems, as well security fencing allowing close monitoring of activity inside and near the school campus.
How Families can Support Prevention Efforts at Home
Recent social media trends have gained momentum that challenge its users to participate in unique ways. While most social media engagement is silly and fun, some can be dangerous stunts and elicit violence including creating false profiles and initiating school threats. Discussing safety in general across all social media platforms is a key prevention strategy.
The safety drills practiced at school sites are a planned response to an emergency. As part of the response phase, the District’s communication team maintains a crisis communication plan to convey facts and safety information with families via phone, email, text, and/or social media. In an active response, the District incident command and school safety team form a larger incident command team often involving third party agencies such as law enforcement.
Response at Home
A critical response action is to immediately report any suspicious or harmful activity to school administration as well as law enforcement. In addition, we would like for families to be aware of the below safety responses and their differences so they can be part of the solution and informed when one of these terms are communicated during an emergency.
Safety Terms and Concepts
A precautionary safety action of a school campus caused by the potential threat of danger on campus or in the surrounding community. All classroom/office doors are closed and locked, all students and staff remain inside until otherwise directed. A secure campus allows a school to quickly transition to a lockdown if it becomes necessary. Instruction continues as planned. No one is allowed to enter or exit the campus. Example: law enforcement officers are searching for a suspect in a nearby neighborhood.
A safety action implemented to isolate students/staff from the outdoor environment and provide greater protection from external airborne contaminants. During a shelter-in-place, students and staff move inside, doors, windows and vents are secured, and HVAC units are shut down to keep outside air out. No movement is allowed between rooms without escort by safety staff. Instruction continues in classrooms. Example: smoke particles in the air have reached an unsafe level.
A safety action on a school campus caused by the presence of an immediate threat currently on or adjacent to the campus. During a lockdown, students and staff move to the nearest available room and secure the door. All windows are covered, lights are turned off, and students and staff may take additional steps to conceal or barricade themselves in the room depending on the specific threat. Normal operations including instruction stop. No one is allowed to enter or exit the campus. Example: an individual with a weapon is seen in front of the school.
An action implemented when conditions outside the building or off-site are safer than inside or on-site. Requires the orderly movement of students and staff from school buildings to a pre-determined safe location. Example: a fire on campus.