Practice Makes Perfect, By Chaim Heller, Head of School
Every few weeks we have an emergency drill here at school. We cycle between earthquake drills, fire drills and intruder (or lockdown) drills – with each lasting approximately 10 minutes. We drill at different times of the day to uncover areas of concern and to learn and improve for next time. This is done as part of our campus security protocol, instituted by our campus director of security Michael Hoffman.
This morning at 8:30 am we had a lockdown drill. There were many parents on campus at that time, unsure of where to go or what to do. IF YOU ARE ON CAMPUS DURING A DRILL, please participate. Follow the lead of the faculty or staff member closest to you in the event of an earthquake or fire drill and come to our collection points.
In the event of a lockdown drill, you will hear a tone, unlike a fire alarm, come across the school-wide speaker system. When you hear this tone, we ask that you please fully participate and hide behind cover and shelter-in-place until the drill is terminated. The termination of the drill will be announced over the same school-wide speaker system. During the lockdown drill, internal doors and the entry gates automatically lock and only emergency vehicles will be allowed to enter our campus. During the earthquake and fire drills, the guards at each gate will secure their location and will only allow emergency vehicles to enter. Please note that vehicles will always be able to leave campus during a drill.
Our students are aware of the protocols and through practice have become adept. We hope to familiarize you with our procedures so that while on campus you, too, will know what to do and ensure your own safety and that of others here at the school.
This past week we had an outside school consultant on campus for two days – touring and observing. He was very impressed with our level of security and felt it was a model for other Jewish day schools to emulate. That being said, we are and will continue to ensure our security protocols are scrutinized regularly.
May we see a day when such drills are no longer needed.
On another note; this week we celebrated Chanukah in every grade in the school, and among parents as well. A huge Thank You to Edwin Blumberg and his incredible kitchen team. They prepared and served over 1 million latkes and 1 billion sufganiyot, or so it seemed. Hopefully the tastes of the season will linger long after the calories are burned off…
Chag Sameach, Happy Chanukah,