Alert system works well during minor incident at SCCHSThe St. Croix Central School District put one of its crisis management systems to the test last week during a minor incident involving a former student who refused to leave the high school campus.
By: Gretta Stark, New Richmond News
The St. Croix Central School District put one of its crisis management systems to the test last week during a minor incident involving a former student who refused to leave the high school campus.
The AlertNow system was enacted at SCC during the 2009-10 school year as a communication device between the schools and parents during critical situations, for weather-related changes, school event information, as well as adjustments to the district calendar.
The system was used Friday, Dec. 16, to inform parents signed up for alerts of the situation which involved police action.
Within 40 minutes of the incident occurring, 1,856 phone calls were made, 1,289 emails went out and 221 text messages were sent explaining why the school was on lockdown.
“It was mentioned at the (regular school board) meeting that students were texting parents, etc. when the classroom lockdown was announced,” said Superintendent David Bradley. “Often times, people start speculating about what is happening and rumors get started. We thought it best to get the message out that all students are safe, no one was in danger and no weapons or threats were involved.”
The alert message read: “All students are fine... There was an incident with a disruptive former female student at the high school around 12:20 this afternoon. At no time did Mr. Webb feel as though the other students were in danger. However, for precautionary reasons he had students remain in their classes until the police arrived. Rumors are already circulating and messages are being sent out by students. I understand that there were no weapons involved and no threats were made. I don’t plan, at this time, to send any additional correspondence pertaining to this matter. David Bradley Superintendent of Schools 715-796-2256, ext. 373; 715-977-2425 cell.”
Bradley said he heard second-hand accounts that many parents were appreciative of the update.
He was pleased with how well the system worked, adding that AlertNow is continuously making upgrades to its system.
Bradley was also happy with how high school staff dealt with the situation.
“We have a great staff top to bottom; however, the ladies in all of our offices are just the best. High School Principal Glenn Webb was the person who directly handled the situation; but he gives Elaine Starck and Joyce Helmueller credit for taking care of all of the things behind the scene, including talking with me multiple times while (he) was dealing with the matter. It’s because of them that we were able to get an accurate and timely message out to the parents,” he said.
Bradley said the district’s crisis committee continues to review the district’s crisis management procedures and the recent event was a good reminder of the importance of proper planning.
Parents interested in enrolling in the free AlertNow system can add phone numbers and email preferences through their Family Access accounts; however, they have to opt-in to receive text messages. Details can be found on the district website: www.scc.k12.wi.us.