Safety Procedures & Drills
The foundation for our security plans is rooted in a relationship with the Texas School Safety Center, the Central Texas School Safety Consortium, and TX2 Security Group which all support our safety procedure development and annual training for staff. This training focuses on how a campus responds to various unforeseen events such as fires, evacuations, lock downs, and campus emergencies by conducting a variety of drills throughout the year. Holy Family Catholic School employs a security guard who patrols the campus and buildings in order to maintain a safe environment. Students and visitors are required to follow the guard’s instructions to comply with campus safety and security policies.
The school maintains and routinely updates comprehensive emergency operations plan to respond to any emergency which brings normal operations to a halt. (Diocesan Policy 121)
State law requires that schools conduct monthly fire drills. Evacuation plans are posted in each classroom and office area. When the fire alarm sounds, all students line up at the classroom door and proceed outside at the direction of their teacher. Students walk quietly to a designated spot in the front parking lot and remain there until cleared by an administrator that the buildings are safe to return.
Severe weather drills are conducted several times a year. Severe weather locations are posted in each classroom and office area. Staff and students will be notified over the PA system when severe weather is imminent. Students and staff will return to classrooms when cleared by an administrator.
Students and staff will be notified over the PA system when an emergency requires a lockdown, lockout, or shelter. Faculty are trained on procedures in each of these emergencies. An administrator will notify all staff and students when the emergency is over.
Suspension of Classes
The principal may elect to suspend classes due to reasons of inclement weather, student health, safety and emergencies. (Diocesan Policy 120)
The Parent Alert system allows the school administration to notify parents via text message, voice message, and email in case of an emergency. Parent Alert is part of the FACTS school management software. It is crucial that parents keep all emergency contact information updated on FACTS/ParentsWeb.
In some circumstances, it may be necessary to evacuate all or part of the school. The level of the emergency and emergency personnel involved will determine the evacuation process. If emergency services (police, fire, EMS, etc.) are called to the scene, they will decide the level of evacuation needed. Their main concern will be to contain the emergency; if necessary, they will evacuate students and personnel to the closest safe area available. School officials’ responsibility will be to cooperate with these authorities.
Once the situation is under control, it may be necessary to have secondary locations to regroup. Parents will be notified of the locations to be used, which will depend on the type of emergency and the level of evacuation. We ask that parents not call the school office until the school has sent out communications regarding the emergency and procedures for the release of students.
In the case of evacuation, a student will be released to his/her parent or the individual named as the alternate emergency contact on the Emergency Care Card on file in the office, but to no one else. Please be prepared to show identification in this situation. If unplanned early release for reasons other than weather occurs, you will be notified. For additional information, see the Bad Weather Closings section below and the appendix section of this handbook for the Parents’ Guide to Emergency School Evacuation.
School Closings Due to Weather
In accordance with Diocesan guidance, our school will follow the bad weather school closing or bad weather early-release decisions of the public school district in which our school is located, Round Rock ISD. To learn the latest school-closing information, tune to a local television station, radio station, or the Round Rock ISD website (www.roundrockisd.org). It is not necessary to call the school to confirm this information; we request that our telephone lines not be tied up this way when it is important for us to attend to unusual conditions.
If unfavorable weather develops during the school-day, but not to cause the school to close, we discourage picking up your children early. The staff at Holy Family are committed to the students’ safety, and we would prefer to be able to direct our attention to the safety of our children, as well as continuing instruction.
If severe weather prevents students from waiting outside or in the gym at dismissal safely, then students will be held in their classrooms until the weather improves. In this event, parents are welcome to park in a designated parking space and pick-up their children from the classroom.