Fire Drills

Discussion in 'General Education' started by catnfiddle, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Feb 16, 2017

    We had the first drill since I started at my school. It mostly went well, but I'd like to know how other schools handle them, especially students with special needs like noise / light sensitivity or seizure disorders. As is, we had some issues with our ED kiddos getting resettled and back into the groove.
     
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  3. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Feb 16, 2017

    Well, being that I'm in an all SPE school, drills are so much fun (insert sarcasm and a lot of it). The ones with the sensory issues or that can't handle abrupt change have mini-meltdowns. We go out on the playground. It is fenced in and everyone stays on the sidewalk. Paras hold hands or push the wheelchairs.

    I don't know how the tornado drills go in other classes. We all pile in the time-out room in my class. Not that much space since I have it set up for the para to work with 3 kids in there with no distractions. We also pile in there during hard lockdowns.
     
  4. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Feb 16, 2017

    My class settles down easily. Now when I was still in preschool SPE, that was a different story. Some days we could get right back into routine. Other days it was "screw it. Turn on Barney." It depended on who was there that day and how they handled the situation.

    Years ago my P had a drill in the middle of nap time. It would take forever for my wildest one to go to sleep and dang it, he woke her up! It was pure h-e-l-l! I told him if he had another drill at nap time and woke her up, I was handing her to him. lol. We didn't have anymore nap time drills. haha! He knew how bad she was. We were across from the office.
     
  5. blazer

    blazer Groupie

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    Feb 20, 2017 at 5:18 AM

    In the Uk we are supposed to have a fire drill each term (3 x per year). However we now also have to have a terrorist incident evacuation plan. This is in two parts. In the event of an invasion incident we have a lock down plan. In the event of a bomb scare we have to have an evacuation plan where we have to get everyone off the school grounds completely and to a place of safety. Finding a space big enough to hold the school population that is sufficient distance from the school was a trial but in the event of a threat we have to escort the kids down the street to a patch of parkland where we can marshall and count them all!
     
  6. Obadiah

    Obadiah Cohort

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    Feb 20, 2017 at 6:26 AM

    For elementary, the first week of school I'd have a mock fire drill. We'd observe where the alarm with lights is located; otherwise I'd have an entire class staring and pointing at it while they try to negotiate the steps! We'd practice not holding our hands over our ears, walking and standing quietly, pretending the fire trucks are in the parking lot so they don't point in a real drill (which sometimes includes actual fire trucks). Back inside, we'd discuss the activity and safety procedures, and I'd tell them about the time I substituted at a school and there was an actual (very minor) fire. During the real drill, my class would be the best behaved class there.

    Upon reading the above posts, I had an idea that might help with special needs children. Perhaps a video can be found of a fire drill to show the students prior to a practice.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 20, 2017 at 6:41 AM

    We have either a fire or safety (lockdown/evacuation) once a month. Hasn't impacted any kids with health issues as far as I know.
     
  8. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Comrade

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    Feb 20, 2017 at 7:34 AM

    We have a fire drill 1x/month, so by now my sped kiddos know what to do, and we also know who will react negatively. We have noise reducing headphones on the wall that we can grab on the way out for some of our sensory kiddos. We've also done social stories about emergency drills for some students.
     
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  9. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Fanatic

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    Feb 20, 2017 at 7:39 AM

    We also have fire drills once per month, so the students get used to it. In the past we had one student that would melt down, so we began evacuating him BEFORE the bell went off - so he was nearly out the door when the bell went off. This allowed him to get used to the bell, but not prolong the experience for him.

    A few weeks ago we had a fire drill, and it was the first time for one of our refugee students. She's in kindergarten and THAT was stressful since I couldn't explain to her what was going on. She was very scared, but thankfully we found a staff member who speaks the same language and he was able to console her and assure her she is safe
     
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  10. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Feb 20, 2017 at 1:19 PM

    For our special needs students who are affected by the fire drills, we give them as much warning as we can prior to the drill. Our teachers are made known when a drill will happen a week before it's set to happen. They begin preparing their students as soon as they find out. As it gets closer, the reminders and preparation get amped up a bit. There are a couple of students who do leave a little before the bell so that they are already outside when the bells go off and it is not as loud outside.
     
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  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 21, 2017 at 9:12 AM

    We've got several self-contained classes with students who have pretty severe special needs. As far as I know, their teachers prep them ahead of time whenever possible, much like what stg described. There are situations, of course, where the alarms indicate a real event (not a drill). Without the lead up, I'm sure that those situations can be somewhat stressful for kids with certain special needs. Heck, they can be stressful for kids without special needs. Last year we had a lockdown that required us to stay on campus until around 8 PM. It started at 1 PM. That was rough on everybody. The only ways to make them a little less stressful are to make sure to practice frequently so that they aren't so unfamiliar and for teachers to really get to know their students so that they can be aware of which de-escalation techniques work best and most quickly.
     
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