LPS continues work toward keeping staff and students safe

Lincoln Public Schools on Oct. 15 held its third training exercise in the last four years of what’s called a reunification process, another step that LPS takes to ensure the safety of students and staff in case of an emergency.

Reunification would occur after students and staff evacuate their building, walk to their school’s designated relocation site, but are unable to return to school because of continued safety concerns - for example, a gas leak or a fire. At that point, they would be bussed to another safe, alternative site, where parents could pick up their children.

The Oct. 15 exercise involved roughly 165 7th-grade students and select staff from Pound Middle School. After their evacuation and relocation, the Pound students and staff were bussed to Lincoln Southwest High School. Southwest has been chosen as the alternative site for reunification due to its size and design.

LPS administrators and staff were on hand to observe and offer suggestions for improving the process. Representatives from numerous local and state agencies also attended to offer feedback, including the Lincoln police and fire departments, Lancaster County Emergency Management, the Nebraska Department of Education, and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.

A number of parents - including some whose primary language is not English - participated to practice the initial sign-in process and how they would be reunified with their students.

The LPS reunification process is modeled after best practices used nationwide.

“We continue to learn how it can work with Lincoln Public Schools,” said LPS Security Director Joe Wright. “This exercise helped us tweak the process to best support our entire school district.”

Published: October 20, 2021, Updated: October 20, 2021