Crisis Week

We officially wrapped up crisis week at Midland Middle School today.  As I reflect on the week, I think about some of the questions I get from community members about our drills or lockdowns so I thought I'd touch on that topic today. 
We are required to participate in a variety of drills by the state of Illinois. I must register our drills with the Regional Office of Education each year. We are grateful to have such great, hardworking local first responders. I've thoroughly enjoyed getting to know our men and women who keep us safe. This relationship has been a critical piece in how we respond and prepare for moments of crisis. I want to personally thank Rich Koch, Lacon - Sparland Fire Chief, for being here on Tuesday during our fire drill. He monitored it and gave me feedback to give to our staff and students. This is why we do the drills. Get the feedback and prepare. On Thursday, we had members of our local law enforcement agencies out to monitor an intruder drill. Again, they viewed the procedures students and staff took to be safe, met with the staff and students and then debriefed with me about how we can improve and what we can all do to work together. This close relationship makes me feel safe as school leader and as a parent of children in the district. I thank Deputy Sheriff Wilson, Deputy Asher, Deputy Buchanan, and Officer Brooks for being with us and keeping us safe. We really appreciate all our first responders!
As far as lockdowns go, we have two types of lockdowns. Hard or soft. When we issue a hard lockdown, the building is frozen. No movement within the building nor do we allow anyone to enter the building at that time. Soft lockdown allows students and staff to move within the building, but areas may be off limits and we don't allow anyone to enter from outside. We typically use soft lockdowns in the event a medical emergency here at school. We do this to allow the student or staff member in crisis to have privacy and to allow for first responders to move freely within the building. 
We know this may have opened up dialogue at home with your children. I had many talks with my own kids about safety this week. Being prepared is important. Thank you for your support!