(JULIE NGUYEN / EYE OF THE TIGER)
Placer County grand jury issued a report last June evaluating Roseville High School’s emergency preparedness. From this report, the jury formulated a list of 12 recommendations to improve Roseville High’s emergency protocols.
The report states that the grand jury initially intended to examine RHS’ preparation for train derailment, though the jurists did not disclose to administrators the reasons for the investigation while conducting it.
However, greater coordination between the grand jury and RHS staff might have been the formula to a more focused and comprehensive report. The majority of the recommendations are obvious, shallow, and occasionally impractical – in other words, underwhelming, considering they are the results of an emergency preparedness investigation.
Recommendations one, three, seven, and eight concentrate on improving communication between principals and superintendents in regards to emergency procedures across district. Recommendations five and six call for schools to identify people leaving and entering the school. Both of these issues are beneficial to campus safety, and good to keep in mind. For the most part though, RHS already has safety procedures designed to deal with them – making them underwhelming.
Recommendation nine calls for schools to have food, water, and sanitation supplies in classrooms in the case of a lengthy lockdown. The circumstances under which this would be necessary are more than improbable, and the amount of supplies necessary for a class of 34 students impractical. The most it would likely provide to students is comfort; it is for the most part, underwhelming.
Recommendation four advises schools acquire a flipchart to inform students on how to respond to natural disasters. The flipchart might be informative and nice to have, but in terms of its likely impact on the campus, it is for the most part underwhelming.
Recommendation two specifies each district hire a person who “solely” manages safety. Though the district has someone responsible for safety, it is not their “sole” job, nor would the district be necessarily safer if it were.
However, recommendation ten suggests purchasing cell phones for each substitute to use while on campus in order to contact them during an emergency. This is one option to improve communication with subs at time of crisis – an area in which RHS can improve dramatically.
Currently subs do not have access to Catapult, RHS’ emergency response system. They instead will be informed during emergency situations via their cell phones. And despite the recommendations, RJUHSD has no current plans to alter this communication system.
Substitutes need to be connected to the exact same communication system as the rest of the staff. A sub who does not have regular practice with campus emergency procedures, who is less familiar with the campus, who is less familiar with the students than other employee, will be just as responsible for the well-being of students in a time of crisis. And, if RHS is to take anything from the report, communication with substitutes is an essential place to start.