(Posted Nov. 12, 2014)
By Linda Dillman, Staff Writer
School districts throughout Ohio are required to conduct an annual lockdown drill before Dec. 1. Jefferson Local will conduct their safety drill on Nov. 18.
A notification letter was sent to parents and guardians on Nov. 4 detailing the process and reasons for conducting the drill, which helps students and staff respond calmly and effectively in the case of an actual emergency.
High school Principal Dave Metz told board members during a Nov. 10 meeting, information was disseminated well ahead of the drill so parents and guardians are not alarmed by any possible social media postings during the event and misinterpret the situation as an actual emergency.
During a school lockdown, students, staff and authorized visitors stay in classrooms or other secure areas, lock doors and windows, turn out lights, huddle out of sight and remain quiet. It provides additional security, isolation and protection in the case of an intruder or other potential threat inside a school building.
According to the notification letter, everyone must immediately clear hallways and other open spaces and go to the nearest classroom or area providing cover. It is important for students to remain calm and quiet and to follow instructions at all times.
“It is essential that parents and their children take emergency preparedness very seriously,” stated the notification. “Parents may wish to discuss the lockdown procedures, reasons for lockdowns and the practice drill with their children.
“Our best defense against intruders is vigilance. Adults and students who see any suspicious person, observe behavior that causes concern or hear of any threat should notify an administrator right away.”
For more information and ways to prepare students, call the district office at (614) 879-7654.
Hunger Games Food Drive
In other discussion, the middle school is in the midst of conducting a Hunger Games Food Drive in cooperation with Sufficient Grace, a non-profit foundation started by Tracy Kronk, which provides meals for 54 students across Jefferson Local’s three buildings.
Students participating in the drive receive points for their “districts” by donating money and/or items such as toiletries, microwaveable soups/ravioli/pasta with peel-top lids, Easy Mac, granola bars, individual pretzel bags, fruit juice boxes and fruit cups.
“This is the first year of having the program at the middle school,” said organizer and guidance counselor Amy Conkel. “Teachers know about (needy) families and those struggling. Then I contact the families to see if there is a need in their homes.”
Middle school students also earn points by writing poems, doing math problems and completing special academic work. The high school student council is encouraging their student population to bring their donations to their favorite middle school teachers.
Winning “districts” are rewarded on a daily basis with games in the gymnasium. The top group at the end of the week will be rewarded with an ice cream sundae bar.
For more information or to make a financial or food donation, contact the middle school office at (614) 879-8345 between 7:25 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.