Emergency Notifications

The safety of students and employees is a top priority of the Cherokee County School District.  The School District has its own certified police force with full arrest powers, as well as K-9 officers. All schools are equipped with multiple safety measures, and School Safety Plans unique to each facility are updated annually and exercised by the School Police Department’s Emergency Operations Facilitator, who is certified by the Georgia Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency as an Emergency Manager.  Schools annually practice emergency drills and evacuations for fire, intruders, tornadoes and other potential emergencies.

EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION

In the event of an emergency (i.e., inclement weather closing or a school evacuation), parents will be notified by text, email and/or phone via School Messenger, CCSD’s vendor for emergency notification.  Email addresses and phone numbers must be current in our Student Information System (Aspen/Parent Portal), so parents are asked to verify this information at the start of each school year.  To receive text messages from School Messenger, parents must opt-in for the service by texting any one of the following words to the number 68453: subscribe, opt-in or yes. You should receive an automatic response that you’re registered for messages. If you don’t receive a response, please contact your wireless provider, as some do not accept SMS messages.  School Messenger is only available to parents of CCSD-enrolled students.

Emergency notifications will also be posted on the CCSD website homepage, as well as on social media (Facebook and Twitter)  and sent to local and Metro Atlanta media outlets.

EMERGENCY TERMINOLOGY

CODE RED:  A situation is occurring on school grounds or inside a school of School District facility that potentially endangers the health, welfare and safety or students, staff and others.  All interior doors are locked, students remain in classrooms, and exterior doors are locked if  appropriate.  No student check-outs can occur under a Code Red situation; and, parents are asked NOT to drive to the school campus during a Code Red event, as the additional vehicle traffic will impede public safety response.  Schools practice Code Red drills annually.

CODE YELLOW:  A situation presents no immediate danger to students, staff or others, but there is a situation in the immediate vicinity of a school, as advised by law enforcement or the Office of School Operations.  All outside activities will be discontinued and students and staff will return to the building.  Exterior doors are locked.  Normal operations continue inside the school; student check-out is allowed.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING:  An impending storm of heavy rain, lightning, thunder, high winds and/or hail. Outdoor activities are discontinued; weather conditions are monitored for further action.  Buses will continue routes under extreme caution.

TORNADO WATCH:  Weather conditions are favorable for the development of a tornado.  Outdoor activities are discontinued; weather conditions are monitored for further action.  Buses will continue routes under extreme caution.

TORNADO WARNING: A tornado has been sighted or has been observed on radar.  All mobile classrooms are evacuated to the main building.  Student dismissal is delayed until after the warning is lifted. If a tornado warning occurs while buses are running routes, drivers will proceed to the nearest education facility or suitable public building (such as a police or fire station) and take students inside.  Drivers remain with the students until the warning is lifted.

INCLEMENT WEATHER

snowy road

School closure announcements due to inclement weather are made public within minutes of the final decision.  School closure announcements are posted on the CCSD website, posted on social media and shared with local and Atlanta media.  For more information on the inclement weather decision process, please see:

School Closure in Inclement Weather

When inclement weather interrupts the school day, the dismissal patterns for elementary, middle and high school will depend upon what time the event occurs.  Parents are asked to complete a form at the start of each school year detailing how they wish their child to be transported in the event of early dismissal (bus rider, parent pickup, etc.).  Please discuss these plans with your child so that he/she is aware of transportation arrangements should an early dismissal become necessary.  Details about the dismissal plan can be found in this document:

CCSD Inclement Weather Early Dismissal Schedule

IN THE EVENT OF A SCHOOL EVACUATION

The School District has a Disaster Emergency Response Team (DERT) specifically trained to assist in the reunification of parents and students should an emergency require that students be evacuated from a school campus to a remote location.  CCSD’s designated reunification site is First Baptist Church of Woodstock, located at 11905 Highway 92, Woodstock GA 30188.

In the event of an emergency where the reunification process is needed, anyone picking up a child MUST be listed as a contact for that child in the Family Portal (Aspen student information system), and that person MUST have photo identification. Parents should check their contact list in Aspen and be sure it is up to date (after log-in, click on the Family tab at the top, then click the Contacts tab on the left). Any changes should be submitted to your child’s school as soon as possible. NO STUDENT WILL BE RELEASED TO SOMEONE NOT LISTED AS A CONTACT OR WHO DOES NOT HAVE PHOTO IDENTIFICATION.

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CCSD Staff practice a reunification drill.