Emergency Management Information for Parents/Caregivers (2021)
Key risks for our school
We plan for events such as fires, earthquakes and pandemics, extreme weather, and any other situation where the school is unsafe.
Incident Management Team
Preparing for and practising our plan
Activities and systems, we have in place to support our emergency management planning and response include:·
- Board Meeting standing agenda items
- Staff meetings
- Staff induction processes
- We engage our students through in class discussion and fire, earthquake, and lockdown drills
- First Aid training of staff
At Waimea College we take the safety of our students and staff seriously. Our responsibility includes identifying and reducing potential risks, preparing for, and responding to emergencies, and managing the recovery from crisis situations that affect our students, staff, and the school environment.
It is essential for the school to plan for emergency events so that you will know where your teenager will be and how we will be looking after them. For your convenience, emergency information is available on the school website (on the home page there will be an emergency message/update) or in hard copy at Reception.
Your co-operation is necessary to ensure that we can manage situations that involve the safety of the more than 1800 people who make up our school community on any given day. We need your help in ensuring that we have up-to-date information on any issues that may affect your teenagers’ wellbeing. We also need your up-to-date contact details to contact you at any time, including how to get hold of you in the case of an emergency or school closure. Up-to-date contact details for you include street and email addresses and your phone numbers (mobile, home and work). If we cannot contact you, it is important we have the contact information for those who have your authority to make decisions relating to your teenager in an emergency.
We trust you appreciate that it is better that we prepare for these eventualities before they occur rather than as they are happening. You can now update your details via the Parent Portal (instructions have been emailed or please contact the Main Office to update your details – 544 6099 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reviewing the plan
The Waimea College Emergency Plan is reviewed and updated every term and as required.
The BOT Policy is Reviewed every 3 years.
Waimea College will communicate with parents and caregivers in an emergency via:
- Email (and/or e-text)
- If internet, mobile and phone lines are down, then via local radio stations
- School App
- Website Emergency Alert
Communication in an emergency
School App is our primary method, followed up by email, Facebook and the school website. Please get yourself connected – we currently have 5,730 users on our School App. This can be downloaded from either the Apple store or Google Play stores. Search for Waimea College and when you download it, select the groups that you would like to get notifications for e.g., orchestra, Year 9, junior girls’ volleyball and keep up to date with push notifications to your smart phone. We use this app to communicate to our school community in times of emergency i.e., bus changes due to fire, accidents, road or school closures etc.
Authorised persons to uplift your child
We will only release children to people already approved by the parent/caregiver for that purpose and as listed on our database.
Parents and caregivers can amend the list of people approved to uplift their child in an emergency: please contact the Main Office to update your details – 544 6099 or email email@example.com.
The evacuation sites are the Tennis Courts and top fields at the back of the Campus.
In the event of an emergency or disaster situation arise at school while students are on site, it is our responsibility to keep our school community safe and at school until they can be released safely.
Release of your daughter/son in an emergency situation
Decisions regarding the release of students will be made by the school, dependent on the level of risk to student safety. If there is any foreseeable risk, students will be cared for at school until collected by you or a person identified by you as being able to collect on your behalf. In the event of a Local or Regional Civil Defence emergency, for example earthquake or flooding when school is the safest place, all students will be kept at school until collected. The time of release and collection may be directed by Civil Defence and/or the NZ Police.
Please impress upon your teenager the need for them to follow the directions of any school personnel in times of an emergency and not to leave the school grounds until officially signed out. In some situations, it may be difficult to communicate and we may not be able to release students to persons other than those you have identified on the school emergency contact information, (updated at your request).
Please advise the school office if both primary contacts for your teenager are out of town and whom we should contact in your absence in an emergency. During an extreme emergency, students will be released from a designated collection point. This is the tennis courts or the gymnasium. When the dangerous incident has subsided, the “all clear” will be advised by Civil Defence or NZ Police, and we will begin contacting caregivers.
Illness, pandemic or contagious disease
There will always be the threat of a pandemic on a local, national, or global scale. In the early stages of any threat to student safety we will communicate the risks and school procedures to you. These will range from hygiene and sickness strategies to school closure. If there is an outbreak of a contagious disease in or around a country or region your teenager or family members have visited, we ask that parents consider the other members of our school community in determining whether their teenager should have a time of isolation from others at school.
If there is a perceived high risk to New Zealanders of a contagious disease, we will follow the recommendations of health professionals and government agencies. Parents travelling/living overseas should ensure they have personal plans for the care of their teenager should there be a need to close the NZ border and/or the school.
Shelter in place and lockdown
If we need to bring everyone inside, except for emergency services, we will not be letting anyone into the school once we have shut our doors.
Please wait for information and instruction from us and do not come to the school until asked to do so, even if it is the end of the day. Arriving when we are still managing an emergency could put you, your child, and our staff at risk.
We will continue to provide the very best care we can to keep your child as safe as possible.
If needed and when it is safe to do so, we will ask you to come and collect your child.
For some ‘shelter in place’ events, there will not be any need for your child to be picked up as school will continue as normal after the event has ended.
We close the school if there is a risk to student and staff health and safety, either within the school or getting to and from school. Where possible, we will notify parents/caregivers prior to the beginning of the school day. Notification will be through email, school website and our School App or text to cell phone. Closure is generally due to extreme weather, or if the school environment is dangerous to students or we have no essential services for an extended length of time. If school closes during a school day, Year 9 and 10 students will be kept at school until collected or released if the bus service is running. Years 11 to 13 students will be released when time allows, and it is safe to travel for those students who have their own means of transport. NB: Please note when there has been consistent rain during a school day, we will shorten the lunch break and school will finish at 3.00pm. There will be no change to bus timetables.
Supporting children after an emergency event
We will support our students following an emergency event:
- We will provide your child with age-appropriate information about the event.
- We will monitor all students to identify if there are any wellbeing concerns.
If you have any concerns about your child, please speak with us. We have support mechanisms we can access to provide you and your child with the help you need.