Talon News - Good Local News



August 4, 2017

The New Mexico Public Education Department requires all public schools to perform emergency drills during the school year. Each school must complete nine fire drills and three additional drills which are used to address other school related emergencies. While these drills are both required and necessary, the school administration works hard to ensure that they have a minimal impact on the educational process.

The Aztec School District follows emergency protocols which are used by most schools within New Mexico, as well as the Nation as a whole. Specifically, three general protocols are used within our district to address a variety of emergency situations. These protocols are identified by the terms Evacuation, Shelter-In-Place and Lock Down. An Evacuation is used to move students from the interior of a school building to a location which is either outside the school or outside of the school’s property. A Shelter-In-Place is used when a threat, either natural or man-made, is located in a close vicinity of a school site. Lastly, a Lock Down protocol is initiated when a threat to the wellbeing of a school’s occupants is located either on the school’s grounds or within the school’s buildings. Throughout the school year, your child(ren) will be involved in practicing all three of these emergency response protocols. Drills can be stressful and even scary for some children. As parents and guardians, it is important that we discuss these drills with our children so that they truly understand that our emergency response protocols are in place to ensure everyone’s safety within our schools by assisting all school occupants in understanding what their roles and responsibilities will be during an emergency situation.

It is important to note that, during both a Shelter-In-Place and Lock Down (whether it be a drill or real situation), schools will be secured and people attempting to access the school will not be allowed to enter. We understand that this can be frustrating for parents trying to reach their children. However, we need to complete a drill, and account for all occupants, before returning to regular school operations. With respect to a real emergency event, however, we ask that you understand that immediate access to your student will not be possible. The district will work to ensure that communication with parents, guardians and the community is effective. During both a Shelter-In-Place drill and real emergency event, signs will be posted on school entrances indicating both that this protocol is taking place as well as where to get more information.

We, at the Aztec Municipal School District, look forward to an exciting and safe school year with your children.


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