Intruder Training & Emergency Preparedness at Valley Park
On August 13, all district staff participated in Tier 1 Tactical Solution’s E4 Active Shooter Training. St. Louis County police officers educated staff on their E4 (educate, evade, escape and engage) tactics for dealing with an active-shooter in various scenarios.
New tactics were introduced at this year's training that could save lives in the event of an emergency.
"Every time a new event happens, we look at how officers and people involved responded and try to figure out how they could have improved that situation. We change up our training to include the new information," said Officer Jason Neuman.
One of the additions to this year's training was the use of tourniquets in the scenarios.
"We've learned that being prepared to do some basic first aid in these situations can have a big impact. If you can stop a bleed, you're saving lives. You can be at home, at the mall, at a concert, and you can be the person to save a life just by knowing the basics,” said Officer Neuman.
According to Officer Neuman, it is critical that staff learn how to improvise and broaden their awareness in an emergency situation.
Another change is the role of School Resource Officers (SRO) in an emergency. St. Louis County SROs (including Valley Park’s Officer Toni Mullins) received additional training this summer to prepare them for increased involvement in an incident.
"They're really going to be the first person in these events on the scene," says Officer Neuman.
The district’s Safety Coordinator, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Tad Savage, says the top priority is preventing an incident from ever occurring.
“A big part of prevention is educating students on doing the right thing and building relationships so that they feel they can report anything of concern. The character education in our schools helps them know when to do the right thing,” says Dr. Savage.
Teachers, custodians, central office, secretaries, bus drivers, and food service workers all participated in the training.
Safety procedures & information for parents:
The district runs drills through the school year.
Fire Drill: Monthly
Intruder Drill: Monthly
Tornado Drill: Twice a year
Earthquake Drill: Twice a year
The district also participates in the Great ShakeOut earthquake drills and the statewide tornado drill each spring.
Evacuations, Rendezvous Point, & Safety Zones:
In the case that we evacuate the campus, we will go to Twin Oaks Christian School at 1230 Big Bend Rd. In an emergency, parents’ first instinct may be to come to campus. You must go to the rendezvous point to be reunited with your child.
In the case of an active shooter on campus, we encourage students who are not on lockdown to get to Safety Zones: The Vance police precinct, behind Sacred Heart, or across Vance behind the businesses.
Remember: Don’t rush the school during or after an incident. Wait for information. We will need space for emergency personnel.
In the case of an emergency, parents should watch for updates on the district website and social media. Parents of children involved in an incident will be contacted directly.
What is the district doing about safety?
- Cameras throughout the campus and monitors in the offices
- Early adoption of regular intruder drills with varying scenarios
- Locking door handles were installed on all classroom and office doors
- Visitors must be buzzed into all buildings
- Panic buttons tied directly to the Vance precinct are installed for each secretary
- Campus-wide announcement and warning systems
- Principals meet monthly for Safety Committee meetings with Officer Mullins
- Police presence at almost all events
- Training and awareness
- Emergency walkie-talkie communications throughout the district
- Working with the fire department to run drills setting up mobile command centers
- District Safety Plan is reviewed annually
- We make safety our no. 1 priority
What you can do:
Please talk to your children at home about the importance of safety and following teacher’s instructions. The safety of your child is their number one focus. The training they’ve gone through will help keep the entire class safe.