Wednesday, January 30, 2013

School evacuation drill was top notch

    I am a substitute who has been working in the Blaine County School District for 11 years. While working at Woodside Elementary School, we had a Code Red, building evacuation and school ground evacuation.
    After witnessing how extraordinarily the whole process played out, I couldn’t have been more impressed. We went from being in lockdown to evacuating the building into the field and then walking single file down Woodside Boulevard, away from the school grounds, to Spirit in Motion Athletic School. Once there, everyone removed their shoes, held on to them and moved onto the mats in perfect lineups with their classes.  All that, and being silent.
     These kids had never done this before, as this was a new evacuation plan implemented by the principal, Brad Henson. After confirming that everyone was safe, we were dismissed by class, putting shoes back on and returning to Woodside, again, in perfect order. I don’t think the neighborhood even knew we did this. I understand that the walk from Woodside Elementary to SMAS took 21 minutes—and that is with tiny preschoolers.
    I am bursting with pride for the amazing jobs accomplished by Woodside students and staff. Officers from the Hailey Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office lined the streets, letting the children know they were protected. The officers’ smiles and calm demeanor made everyone feel safe. In the event of a real evacuation, the children now know where they would go. I also want to commend SMAS for announcing to all students and staff, “This is always a place for anyone to come and feel safe at any time.”
    Accolades to the principal and staff of Woodside Elementary for a job very well done!
Kathy Haskell
Sun Valley

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