MMS engages all the students (except preschool/kindergarten students) in discussions and training about lockdown drills, which have been very well-performed. We have taken particular care with our elementary students to help them understand that the drills we practice are being put in place to keep them safe. Our interactions with the students are primarily around procedures, simple explanations about the difference between our three different emergency drills (Fire, Earthquake and Lockdown), and the introduction of our security team.
If you have any questions about what the Security Team and faculty are practicing and discussing at school around these topics, please contact Dr. Nicole Tervalon, the school Security Coordinator. She has been organizing and implementing the discussions with the students throughout the school and is a member of the MMS Security Team. Most importantly, we continue to encourage you to engage with your children around the topic of safety as we proceed through this year and practice these three drills at school. During the school year, we will hold at least two lockdown drills, in addition to a number of earthquake and fire drills.
In the unlikely event that you arrive at campus during a lockdown or a lockdown drill, you will not be allowed into any of the classrooms or offices. The security team, known by the orange security vests they wear, may be able to give you information or instructions. If there is no one available, please return to your vehicle. Lockdown drills generally last 20 to 25 minutes. We appreciate your patience and understanding during our drills or an actual event.
Earthquake and Fire Emergency Procedures
Mount Madonna School is fortunate to have the Mount Madonna branch of the Pajaro Valley Fire Department located on campus. Being on the grounds of Mount Madonna Center also gives MMS access to food and lodging. Should there be a major disaster, we will make the students as comfortable and safe as possible until they can be returned to their families. In a disaster situation, never pick up a student without checking them out through the command center. We must know where all students are at all times.
In the unexpected event that any of these emergencies do occur on campus, communication paths and expectations for families will be very important. Our plan is to use both email and phone trees as our primary mechanisms for communication with our families. During an emergency, we will be recording a message on the school answering machine that gives as full an explanation and update as possible.
Liaisons will be contacted and asked to initiate the phone tree to communicate information in person. The main phone at the school will not be answered during an emergency. Please do not attempt to contact the school directly during an emergency. We will work hard to keep you informed through our other avenues of communication, but it will be critical that the school phone lines remain available for communication with the authorities.
Emergency Pickup Site
It is likely that we will also request that students be picked up when it is safe to do so. Unless otherwise communicated, the pickup site will be the north end of Mount Madonna Park in the Bay View Youth Area. As with the phones, it will be important that Mount Madonna Road, Summit Road, and the school entrances not be filled with vehicles in order to allow emergency vehicles easy access to the site.
Planned Evacuation Sites
Our planned evacuation sites are the Fairgrounds in Watsonville and Gilroy High School in Gilroy. The media will be informed of our situation, so listen to your emergency broadcast stations if you cannot get through to us directly.