The Sumner School District works in partnership with local law enforcement,
public safety and county emergency management to prepare for emergency
conditions in our schools. Each school has developed and implemented a
comprehensive plan for responding to a variety of natural disasters and
hazardous situations including earthquake, lahar, fire, bomb threat, and
hazardous materials incidents. Staff and students practice appropriate
responses including evacuation and shelter-in-place.
Our system for managing school emergency situations provides students,
staff and parents with a plan and a sense of security. Student safety
is our focus and guides our decisions. Staff members have been assigned
specific tasks they are responsible for during an emergency situation.
Exhibiting leadership during a school evacuation or providing first aid
are as important as communicating information to parents and organizing
student relocation centers. Our facilities are equipped with emergency
supplies, radios and equipment that may be necessary to shelter students
for two or three days.
Communications Tips in an Emergency
we will communicate with you as quickly as possible.
Check the Web
site or call the Emergency Hotline (253) 891.6001 for
call the school; it jams the phone lines.
your childs safety is our first priority!
How Families Can Help during and Emergency
Take care not to become part of the problem by rushing to the school.
More traffic just makes it difficult for emergency response teams.
Keep emergency cards up-to-date with correct phone numbers and names
of people authorized to pick up your children.
adults who are picking up children should remember to always bring photo
Earthquake Response Plan
Students and staff practice “Drop, Cover and Hold” as a response to earthquake.
What Does It Mean?
Drop – under something sturdy and taller than you are
Cover – the back of your head and neck with one arm
Hold on – in case the thing you’re under moves
Close your eyes – protect your eyes
Earthquakes in Washington (printable brochure)
For more information about emergency and earthquake preparedness, visit these Web sites:
Emergency Operations Center
In the event of a districtwide emergency, school administrators have designated
an Emergency Operations Center to provide support for students and staff
at each school. Local law enforcement and emergency management officials
will communicate directly with the district to coordinate response plans
and maximize resources, ensuring that assistance is available where it
is most needed. District communications and release of information to
the media will also be directed from the Operations Center.
When you subscribe to School Messages, you will also receive up-to-the
minute announcements by e-mail regarding student and school status and
unscheduled school closures. In the event of an emergency school closure,
evacuation information and parent advisories will be posted on the Emergency
Operations Status page.
Inclement Weather Procedures
Winter may bring weather conditions that require school schedule delays or closure. Even when road conditions in the valley appear passable, bad weather on the hill often causes hazardous driving conditions and impact the district’s ability to operate buses safely. Safety for your child is our primary concern.
- Normal school operations will prevail unless a change of schedule is announced.
- Expect morning buses to be late during severe weather.
- If buses cannot get up the hills on afternoon routes, students will be returned to their schools.
- On 2-hour late start schedules breakfast and lunch will be served
Our goal is to make information available to families about school closure or changes in the school schedule by 5 a.m
Keep School Safe
Report unsafe or threatening activity by calling the toll-free Safe Schools
LifeLine anonymous tip line: 1-866-LIVE TIP ext. 161.
Safe Schools LifeLine
Lahar Response Plan
Living near Mt. Rainier has potential hazards that include eruption, lava
or ash fall and mudflows known as lahars. Pierce County Emergency Management,
the U.S. Geologic Survey team and the Federal Emergency Management Agency
have joined together to create a plan for responding to any Mt. Rainier
emergency that may occur. The Sumner School District has been an active
partner in planning and preparing for the evacuation of all schools located
in the valley as might someday be required.
Lockdown and Modified Lockdown
From time to time, local law enforcement agencies alert our schools to
potential risks that require the school to implement a precautionary safety
protocol known as a lockdown.
In a lockdown, exterior and interior doors are locked. Students are told
to stay away from windows and keep low. Curtains or blinds are closed.
Lights are off. Only quiet talking is allowed. Students who are outside
at recess or in a PE class come back into the building. Signs are posted
on doors instructing anyone who tries to get inside the building to leave
the school premises immediately. Staff has been trained to take the situation
very seriously, with an assumption that an intruder could actually be
in the building.
The modified lockdown takes similar precautions but allows more movement
within the building. Students may continue to work at their desks with
lights on. They may go to the restroom. No one, however, may enter or
leave the buildingstaff, students or parents.
An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza A virus emerges for
which there is little or no immunity in the human population, begins to
cause serious illness and then spreads easily person-to-person worldwide.
Part of preparedness is maintaining overall good health and using basic
prevention measures such as covering your nose and mouth when you cough
or sneeze and washing your hands often. In the event of a pandemic flu
event the District will comply with instructions issued by the Tacoma/Pierce
County Health Department.
PC-NET in Action: Neighbors Helping Neighbors in Disasters
Recent windstorms, power failures, and flooding should be wakeup call
to all of us that the Pacific Northwest is not immune to disasters. Pierce
County Neighborhood Emergency Teams (PC-NET) is an award winning program
that helps neighbors develop personal preparedness plans and learn how
to respond to immediate needs in their neighborhood following a disaster.
The very nature of disasters overwhelms emergency responders and they
will not be able to help individual citizens immediately. Individuals
and families need plans to get through at least seven days following a
disaster. Using skills most adults already have, PC-NET members form teams
to help check on neighbors and perhaps even save lives. They also help
by providing professional responders with important information about
injuries and damages in their neighborhood.
PC-NET works in partnership with crime prevention programs to make neighborhoods
safer. Together they form a network that strengthens the entire community.
Training is offered through a series of six meetings over the course of
a year to a year and a half, held right in the neighborhood. This program
is free for citizens. For more information call 253-798-6595.
Unscheduled school closures due to inclement weather, natural disaster,
or school emergencies may occasionally occur.
Updated information regarding school status, student evacuation and parent
pickup points is available on the Web under the Emergency Operations Status
page, is emailed to all School Messages subscribers and recorded on our
emergency hotline at 253.891.6001. Additional school closure information
is available from the Public Schools Emergency Communication System.
Shelter-in-Place is a short-term solution to a short-term problem. Staff
and students may be directed to respond to hazardous materials incidents,
chemical spills or terrorist actions in this manner. More information
is available on the Shelter-In-Place page.
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