School District 304: What Geneva Parents Should Do—and Not Do—in an Emergency or Disaster Situation
Do not rush to the school, and do not phone your child.
Geneva School District 304 Superintendent Kent Mutchler sent a letter to parents and guardians Monday via a 304Connects e-mail—the first of a series explaining what the School District is doing $374,545 federal grant for emergency management and what parents can and should do during an emergency or a disaster.
Specifically, the district asks that you follow these guidelines:
- Please do not call or rush to your child’s school. Phone lines and staff are needed for emergency response efforts.
- Please do not phone your child. Staff and students are discouraged from using cell phone communication for safety reasons.
- Please rely only on official communication from school or public safety officials. Official communication may come through the following avenues:
o The District’s emergency notification system
o The District’s website, http://www.geneva304.org
o The 304Connects email distribution lists
o Local print media, as well as the following local TV/radio stations: WGN-AM (720), WBBM-AM (780), and CBS-TV (2), NBC-TV (5), ABC-TV (7), WGN-TV (9), FOX-TV, and CLTV cable
- Please listen for official information regarding reunification with your child.
"While every person’s natural instinct in an emergency is to go to the school to safeguard his/her child, please understand that doing so may significantly impede the school’s ability to respond to the situation," Mutchler said in his email.
"A swarm of parents driving to the school would severely restrict emergency personnel’s ability to assess the building and give care to the students and staff or evacuate them from the site, if that was deemed necessary. Please trust in the preparedness of the school staff and community first responders to swiftly and effectively handle the emergency."
The $374,545 federal grant titled Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) was received in 2010. The district’s Safety Committee and our schools used the grant to update the Emergency Response Plans.
Each school also conducts drills throughout the school year to help students and staff members prepare for possible emergencies.
"We have and will continue to work closely with national, state, and local safety officials (such as fire, police, and county emergency management personnel) and public health officials to ensure our schools are well prepared in the event of an emergency," Mutchler said in his email.
Mutchler asks that any questions about these procedures be directed to your school's building administrator.