Successful Lockdown Drill

Posted by Becky Catlett on 9/5/2022

ECS families,

We had our first lockdown drill of the year today. Our friends from the Wake Forest Police Department came on site to oversee the drill for us. It was announced over the intercom, and then a slow methodical review of the school took place. This drill lasted significantly longer than previous drills have and….. our students and staff were amazing! The rooms were silent! I truly was not sure if classes were inside the locked rooms. Many of our elective and enrichment classes meet in unique locations, yet none were able to be seen. Two students who were in restrooms at the time of the drill did exactly as they’d been trained and stayed hidden in stalls with their feet up and out of sight. One kindergarten student at the restroom was taken into a nearby class where he stayed silent and calm as well. No one was visible from a window. All exterior doors were locked when checked. The feedback the police provided was very positive. They were impressed with our students and our staff! I hate that we have to do practices such as this, but I am so very proud of the seriousness with which this drill was treated.  


We will continue to have lockdown drills and tweak our procedures. This was the only lockdown drill of the year that will be announced to the staff ahead of time. All others will be a surprise, further ensuring that we are prepared for all scenarios. Even the surprise drills will be announced as “drills” so that students and staff will not be frightened.


As we continue looking at our procedures and see incidents at other schools, we realize that our location can have a traffic bottleneck and we’ve been assured that an issue on a Wake Forest school campus will receive an enormous response from first responder departments. So, if we were ever in a real emergency situation, we would need parents to NOT report to our campus and potentially delay emergency vehicles from reaching us. We are working with nearby businesses to finalize off-site locations for our students and parents to gather if ever needed. We will continue to share information as appropriate. Thank you for the positive feedback you've been sending us as we continue looking at our security measures!


On another note, I also wanted to thank our parent volunteers. You are truly the backbone of any charter school, especially ours! The idea that we are looking for 20-25 volunteers every single day is monumental! Yet, most days, those volunteers show up and help us keep our kids safe at lunch and recess! Thank you!! Thank you for the many PAWS volunteers who bring us Café Days, cultural arts events, and all the other special opportunities we only have because of PAWS. We don’t always take the time to say thank you, but please know that you are appreciated!! If you haven’t yet found your volunteer niche, please know that PAWS and our Foundation are looking for help. Lunch and recess happen in every grade every day, so that is also an ongoing chance to support our staff and our school.


I hope you all have a safe, sunny, fun Labor Day weekend!