Helmers Emergency Student Release Procedure

Goal:  Rapid, safe and orderly release of every student to calm, cooperative, authorized adults in case of emergency.

Emergency Information: The following procedures may be modified at an evacuation site other than Helmers in an emergency such as a gas leak, where students may be transported away from the campus.  If we are directed to evacuate Helmers, we will be under the direction of the SUSD District Office and the sheriff’s department.  Helmers’ Parent Phone Tree will be activated if possible. Recorded information will also be available at the District emergency phone number: (661) 257-5539

Where will your child be located if release is from Helmers’ site?

Students will be seated on the basketball courts behind the school, wearing color-coded nametag ID necklaces, in color-coded areas, arranged in alphabetical groups by teacher/class. Each color corresponds to a section of the alphabet.  Thus siblings will be together.  As this emergency assembly procedure is practiced each year, most returning students remember their assigned color and where to go. Due to our emergency drills, students and staff have learned to quickly provide accurate accounting for students and adults who are present or missing, and they rapidly proceed to the assigned color-coded assembly areas to wait for further instructions or release to an authorized adult. 

Where is your child’s teacher?

Helmers staff has been assigned to one of several duties:  student supervision, first aid, search and rescue, or student release.  In order to provide for each of these important functions, your child’s teacher may or may not be with your child in the Student Supervision area.  However, over time as we practice, students become familiar with the student supervisors in their assigned color area.

What about injuries?

When advisable, injured students will be taken as quickly as possible to the lunch area where first aid will be provided.  If your child is in this area, you will be encouraged to join him/ her. You will be notified when you check in at the student release check-in tables.   Student Care Supervisors also have first aid supplies.

What do parents need to do?  

Step 1
BRING IDENTIFICATION. In any emergency release our staff is required to check ID against the disaster release card – so bring your ID, even if you are well known by most adults at Helmers.  Make sure other authorized adults on your child’s disaster release card know that they are listed and that they know to bring ID and where to go, as well as these procedures. It’s important to understand that we are required by District policy to obtain the signature of an authorized adult prior to releasing any child in an emergency.

Step 2
Go to the portable tables that will be set up at the back of the school. Look for the appropriate table for the last name of your student or students.   These student release check-in tables are organized alphabetically. The “A” table will be closest to the hill, the “Z” table closest to the service road.  Staff will check your ID against the Disaster Release Card, ask you to sign the card, and then send a student escort to retrieve your student/s. The name of each Helmers student has been printed on a label and stapled to your child’s disaster release card, which you provided at the beginning of school.  A label will be stuck to the escort’s emergency vest so that the color area supervisor can effectively identify the correct requested student/s. The supervisor exchanges the label for your child/children and sends your child/children back to the reunion area with the student escort.

Step 3
As soon as you have checked in, shown your ID, and signed the release card, step aside and go to the designated Reunion Area.  A-L is to the right (west) of the release tables; M-Z to the left (east).  When the student escort returns with your child/ children, be sure to sign the necklace name-tag/s worn by your child/children.  Please make sure the tags are then hung from hooks in alphabetical order on a board.  This allows your spouse or other authorized adult from your disaster release card who may arrive after you to check to see if your child has already been picked up—without having to stand in the release lines.

Step 4
Immediately exit the campus with your child. The more rapidly we are able to clear the campus of non-injured students, the more personnel we will have available to facilitate search and rescue, first aid, and student release of the remaining students.

Volunteer help AFTER your child/children are safely deposited off-campus, it would be extremely helpful if volunteers spaced themselves along the service road to direct parents and others to the release check-in tables or in front of the school and along the paths to the release area to help direct foot traffic to the rear of the school.  As needs for volunteers in other areas become identified, we will come and get you.  We will need adult volunteers, so please help if you are able. Every parent can make a positive contribution by remaining calm and cooperative.  We want to reunite families as quickly as possible and allow staff to go home. Working together is key. If you have special training such as medical or search and rescue, AND anticipate that you would be available for assistance here at Helmers, please give me a call BEFORE an emergency so that we can identify and plan for additional potential resources.  Ms. Hurley (661) 286-4399            

Student Escorts We have solicited parent permission for teacher-recommended 5th and 6th grade students to serve as student escorts.   We anticipate that student escorts will be needed to assist for approximately an hour after students and staff have been assembled, or until most students have been reunited with parents and enough staff can be released from other emergency roles to take over escort duties.  Student escorts are vital to the success of our plan and to a rapid, safe, and orderly release.  We ask that once you have ascertained your child who may be working as an escort is unharmed, that you will allow him or her to remain and perform escort duties while you either assist as a volunteer or supervise your escort’s siblings at the other end of the park area for this period.

These procedures, along with the cooperation of our parents, community, and the Helmers and District staff, will make our goal of a rapid, safe, and orderly release procedure possible.