Student Safety: Our Top Priority in the AAPS
As is true on every day of school in the Ann Arbor Public Schools, keeping our students safe remains our very top priority, even before our critical mission of teaching and learning. We take the responsibility of student safety very seriously. Our teachers, staff, and leaders are trained and safety protocols are in place in all of our classrooms and schools in the AAPS. Further, we are reminded that the most important component of our school and community safety plan is that every one of us must, whenever we 'see something, say something.' Please reach out anytime you have concerns so that we can address issues immediately.
As a reminder for students, parents, and staff, when any concerns or unease arise, we encourage students and parents to reach out right away to an adult at school for assistance. We want to know anytime there are concerns. For those who may prefer to share a concern without revealing their identity, we recommend using the OK2Say tool, where tips can be submitted 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week by telephone, text message, email, mobile app, or via the OK2SAY website.
When a traumatic event or crisis occurs within the District, the Ann Arbor Public Schools resolves to provide planned, specific intervention. The District will do its best to be prepared to meet the needs of affected individuals during any time of crisis. Every staff person has the potential to perform a task or take a role in the management of such a crisis. This plan will serve to direct and guide there roles and actions.
Crisis response activities are organized around six major goals:
- safety of all concerned
- containment of related responses
- prevention of negative psychological "side effects"
- maintenance of appropriate school activities
- coordination of District and site activities
- timely revision and updating of district and site plans
Types of crises to which these procedures apply
The District and/or Site Crisis Response Teams may be activated when any of the following events occur that affect people in the District.
- Violent incident on school property or at a school sponsored event
- Impending or threatened incident
- Deadly or life-threatening accident
- Vehicular accident
- Athletic accident
- Suicide (or serious attempt)
- Drug-related death
- Sudden, unexplained death
- Murder (of staff/student/family-member)
- Highly visible family tragedy
- Media publicized disaster (e.g. airplane crash, civil disaster, bombing)
- Reports of infectious disease or environmental contamination: Rumor control
The resources of the District and/or Site Crisis Response Teams may be utilized to provide longer term support responses in several other situations:
- Terminal illness
- Aftermath of suicide attempt: potential for "contagion" or repeat attempt
- Recovery rehabilitation after serious injury
- Aftermath of drug overdose
Each of our schools have emergency response plans that contain instructions to maintain the safety of students and staff during an emergency situation such as severe weather. Staff practice these protocols with your students on how to respond to these situations to ensure the safety of all students.
When inclement weather is predicted the district administration monitors the weather and weather bureau postings. Each school has an emergency weather radio that also alerts them to the warnings and watches. During a tornado warning students and staff are alerted by a short school alarm and an all school announcement over the public address system. Students are ushered into the halls, away from windows. If students are outside they are immediately ushered inside the school to the safe locations. If students are boarding buses they are immediately brought inside to the safe location. If students are on the bus the Transportation Department will notify the drivers where to proceed with the students, usually to the closest school or community center to wait out the warning. Students are with staff at all times.
We ask parents not to show up at schools during an active warning to pick up your student. If parents are waiting at school for a pick up, they are encouraged to come into the school to wait until the warning is cleared along with the students. It is for the safety of your student that we advise no student be released during a warning. If a parent insists we will ask you to sign out your student but be aware that the office staff may be in the safe location in the school during the warning and unable to answer the phone or greet you at the office.
We will do all we can to notify parents via Schoolmessenger email and phone call when a weather warning detains students at school. Our first priority is to ensure all students are safe and accounted for and we will do this first then send out the notice.
If a warning occurs while students are in route or boarding buses, the buses will stop and ensure students are in safe shelter locations. Please do not risk your own life by waiting at a bus stop during a warning. We will take care of your students until the warning is over.
When the warning is over and the all clear has been issued we will notify families of the progress of bus service and the option to pick up your child. At the elementary schools we will not release walkers to walk home after a warning without proper notification from parents first.
Working together we can ensure the safety of the students, staff and parents during a severe weather warning.
Thank you for your understanding and your assistance in the future in following these guidelines.