Yes, we had a Fire Drill on Sunday morning. We left the building and met at our safe location. I remember bringing it up in staff meeting and getting some resistance. The truth is, our kids never thought twice about it. So many of the children already practice these drills at school. The littlest ones thought is was fun as a teacher pushed beds and walked with them while singing songs..
Plan a date and time to practice your fire drill. Then over communicate with teachers and parents. Be clear what to do and have it posted in every classroom. Ask people to be on hand and watch for any problems that need to be dealt with later. Make sure there is a person, or people, in place to help hold back traffic and also to check rooms (classrooms and restrooms), so that no one is left behind.
Once everyone arrived at our safe location, we took time to explain that everyone should sit single file with their class. Teachers checked the roll and held up a green card if all were present. A red card indicated missing children or a problem. Teachers were also instructed to tell parents (with a strong teacher voice) to help us get all the kids to our safe place before taking their child.
Finally, I explained how we would dismiss the children to their parents and return the roll sheets to me so I know every child was accounted for and safely with their family. Below is a copy of the Evacuation Procedure we posted in every classroom with the clipboard and the red/green cards. I hope you will calendar your Fire Drill Practice this year and then do it. You and your teachers will learn more than you think.
- If we ever hear the actual fire alarm, you are to evacuate your class immediately. No questions asked. Following the evacuation map posted by the door in your classroom, go immediately to “The Hill” next door.
- Younger children will be more frightened, so use a calm voice and repeat instructions multiple times with affirmation about the good job they are doing.
- Preschool and Kindergarten classes must take their clipboards with sign-in sheets to check that all the children are present.
- Children’s teachers will find a clipboard with a roll call sheet for each class meeting in that classroom above the evacuation map. Quickly check that all the children are present and write the names of visitors. Then exit with the clipboard.
- Entering “The Hill” property/ building- Cribs will use sidewalks and ramps while everyone else walks on the grass. Preschool classes enter the north side on the porch and children enter the south side of the porch.
- Red and Green Paper- On the clipboards, there are sheets of green and red paper. When you get to “The Hill” foyer, check your roll and confirm that all the children are with you, then hold up the green paper indicating so. If someone is missing, hold up the red paper and someone will immediately come to you so the missing child can be located.
- Yellow Paper- The yellow paper has your grade number and a diagram showing where your grade should be seated in “The Hill” foyer. The first class to arrive should have a teacher hold up that grade number so children entering can quickly find where to sit with their class (in a row). After the children are safely inside, the teacher holding the grade sign, will now step out to the porch and hold the sign for parents approaching to pick up their children. No parents are allowed in “The Hill” foyer except for infants. The teacher holding the sign will call the child to the door to meet their parent after their teacher has time to mark them dismissed on the roll sheet.
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