WORCESTER COUNTY, Md. – The school year has started and new safety protocols are underway for Worcester County Public Schools.
“We can’t choose our crisis, but we can choose how we handle a crisis,” Worcester County Public Schools’ Manager of School Safety, Shawn Goddard emphasized.
All staff and students across Worcester County Public Schools are using one system to respond to emergencies. “There’s 5 different response protocols, there’s hold, secure, lockdown, evacuate, and all of our staff has this on their lanyard so they have it easily accessible,” Worcester County Public Schools’ Chief Saftey and Academic Officer, Dr. Annette Wallace explains.
Its an effort to create uniformity across all of the schools. “So in any sort of emergency event, we have across our district, we have a standard protocol for what this word means and how students are to respond to it,” said Dr. Wallace.
All staff across Worcester County Public Schools are prepared to handle an emergency. “Trained all of our administrators, as well as their administrative teams and all of our emergency responders and law enforcement. So from there, our school administrators with the support of our safety manager have trained all of their staff,” said Dr. Wallace.
Dr. Annette Wallace says this change was needed as more parents look to get involved with their children’s education. “Because communicating with our families is a big piece of this. One of the things as we reinvigorated our safety committee last year as a district that we heard from parents loud and clear was that they wanted more communication and more clarity around communication,” said Dr. Wallace.
Shawn Goddard the Manager of School Safety says this is what the school system needed: “It’s the right direction to be going. There’s numerous schools throughout the country that are using it and the state of Maryland. This direction that we’re going with – same language and everyone knows what to do wherever they’re at is the direction we need to be going,” said Goddard.
Worcester County Public Schools also use the Maryland Center for School Safety’s anonymous tip line 833 – MD – B – SAFE.
More information about the new school safety protocols can be found on the school system’s website.