Standard Reunification Method
Lake Local Schools Drill March 24, 2016
Circumstances may occur at school that require parents to pick up their student in a formalized, controlled release. The process of controlled release is called a reunification and may be necessary due to weather, a power outage, hazmat, or if a crisis occurs at the school. Because a controlled release is not a typical end of the school day, a reunification may occur at a different location other than the school a student attends.
Parents may be notified in a number of ways. The school or district may use Instant Alert, contact local media, or district social media outlets.
If a parent or guardian is notified that a controlled release and reunification is needed, they need to be aware of the following expectations. First, bring photo identification. That will streamline things during reunification. Second, be patient. Reunification is a lengthy process that protects both the safety of the student, and provides for a secure change of custody from the school to a custodial parent or guardian.
What if a Parent Can’t Pickup Their Student?
When a parent can’t immediately go to the reunification site, the school will hold the student until a parent or guardian can arrive.
What if the Student Drove to School?
During a practice drill, once a student has been released to a parent/guardian, it will be the parent’s decision to allow their student to drive home.
Please be advised, that during a real event, there may be instances where a student may not be allowed to remove a vehicle from the parking lot. It will be up to the local law enforcement discretion as to when vehicles can be removed from campus.
How it Works
For students, the school asks that students be orderly and quiet while waiting. Students may be asked to text a message to their parents or guardians. Students are also asked not to send other text messages either in or out of the school or reunification area. Keeping the cellular network usage at a minimum will be important during reunification.
For parents, there are a couple of steps. If a parent is driving to the school, greater awareness of traffic and emergency vehicles is advised. Parents should enter campus from the South (795) if possible, park where indicated and not abandon vehicles. Parents are asked to go to the Reunification “Check In” area and form lines based on the first letter of their student’s last name. During check in, identification and custody rights are confirmed. From the “Check In” area parents are directed to the “Reunification” area. There, a runner will retrieve the students. Once parent and students are reunited, all parties are asked to exit campus as quickly and safely as possible.
Interviews and Counseling
In some cases, parents may be advised that a law enforcement investigation is underway and may be advised that interviews are necessary. In extreme cases, parents may be pulled aside for emergency or medical information.