Olentangy Schools continually seeks to ensure safety and security in all schools and facilities. Controlled access to buildings, a strict volunteer registration program, crisis communication, employees, and first responders are all essential elements. The district undertakes an extensive hazard assessment to determine the most realistic hazards facing our various schools. While each school may have a unique set of hazards, the following list can be found in each district school's Emergency Operations Plan (EOP).
• Active Shooter
• Hostage Situation
• Bomb Threat
• Severe Weather / Tornado
• Chemical Accidents
• Bus Accidents
• Biological Hazards
The EOP refers to four specific actions in the event of an emergency or crisis. Deny Entry/Lockdown, evacuate, reverse evacuate or shelter are the actions students and employees are trained to perform during an emergency. A brief synopsis of each action is below.
• Deny Entry/Lockdown – is the initial physical response to provide a time barrier during an active shooter/intruder event. Lockdown is not a stand-alone defensive strategy. When securing in place, this procedure should involve barricading the door and readying a plan of evacuation or counter tactics should the need arise.
• Evacuation - will take place if it is determined that it is safer outside than inside the building (fire, explosion, intruder, hazardous material spill) and staff, students and visitors can safely reach the evacuation location without danger (playground, football stadium, or off-site location in the community).
• Reverse Evacuation – should occur when conditions are safer inside the building than outside, generally when conditions involve severe weather, community emergencies, gang activity, or a hazardous material release outside of the school building.
• Shelter in Place – provides a refuge for students, staff and the public inside the school building during an emergency. Shelters are located in areas of the building that maximize the safety of occupants. Shelter-in-place is used when evacuation would place people at risk. Shelters may change depending on the emergency.
The district is committed to taking appropriate and direct measures to ensure the safety of all our students and staff members. We have made arrangements to deal proficiently with crisis situations that could occur in or around the school while classes are in session. While we hope that a natural disaster or other serious event never occurs, our objective is to be as prepared as possible for any probable emergency. At all times our priority is to protect all students and staff.
Every Olentangy facility has a comprehensive EOP. The plans are designed with the assistance of professional law enforcement, counselors, federal officials, administrative staff members, and public health officials. The plans, which are regularly updated, include procedures to respond to a variety of crisis events. School district personnel practice the drills associated with these specific emergencies on a regular basis which include fire, intruder, tornado or a modified event that would include a combination of multiple emergencies at the same time. These drills are supervised and evaluated by professionals from law enforcement and fire departments. We prepare to improve and we improve the way we prepare.
The District is an active participant with local, state, and federal officials planning for a variety of emergency response situations. OLSD continues to participate in staged events with professional agencies for training purposes at our District sites to better prepare for an actual event.
Emergency Response and Communications
In the event of any emergency, we work closely with local first responder agencies to proactively and collaboratively respond to any situation involving Olentangy schools. Our first and foremost goal is to secure the safety of our students and staff. Information changes rapidly in any emergency or crisis. We rely on our emergency responders to provide us with the most accurate information and we strive to inform and regularly update parents as quickly as possible. During an emergency situation, the District will use multiple communication channels to reach parents, including email, text, phone messaging, website, social media and local media partners.
Keep School Access Clear for Responders
It is vitally important to keep access to schools open for any of our emergency responders - fire, medical and law enforcement agencies- to respond quickly and efficiently. We completely understand parents’ concern and desire to be close to their children in an emergency. However, for the safety of our students and staff, we ask parents and other concerned members of the community to keep all access to the schools free and clear, including roads, parking areas and doors, at all times.