Supts eNews - Oct 6, 2022

October is Safety Month: Disaster Preparation and Practice

safety month logoDear Parents,

Students have to be - and feel - safe in order to learn. Our District is responsible for the safety of 4,500 students and more than 600 staff members every day.  The reality is there is a lot in the world that we can’t control, but we can do all that’s possible to prevent issues and be ready to act when dangerous situations arise. 

Safety in MVWSD is all encompassing. It means programs for prevention, such as bike safety, mental health, disaster training, and digital citizenship. It means physical improvements, such as improved lighting, ventilation and secure campus perimeters. It also means procedures that guide our actions in times of bad air quality, dangerous intruder, COVID, earthquake, fire, etc. 

safety photos

Our schools practice safety drills annually that are crucial for preparing us for potential crisis events. Drills are an opportunity for staff and students to test our emergency response actions and make improvements.

* During the week of October 24, our schools will review what to do in the event of a dangerous intruder or similar event on campus. The dates for each school’s practice will vary depending on scheduling. Practice at the elementary schools means students will view an age-appropropriate “dangerous intruder” video (which you may preview here) and talk with their teacher. The video and classroom discussion will encourage children to stay calm, follow directions, and listen to trusted adults. Middle school students will learn what they should do in the event of an active shooter from a presentation and by participating in a drill. The training is held in conjunction with the Mountain View Police Department and is aligned with the protocol recommended by the Santa Clara County Police Chiefs’ Association.

* On October 27 we will hold an earthquake drill so students and staff members can practice strategies for evacuation, accounting for students, parent-student reunification, search and rescue techniques, first aid, and school operations without power, food or water.

* Our schools have already held fire drills to practice how to evacuate in the event of a fire or other emergencies, and how students are accounted for. Fire drills will continue throughout the year.

We approach our practices with sensitivity and age-appropriate activities. In these uncertain times, it is imperative that our students and staff members know what to do to keep themselves and others safe. While talking about and practicing for these events is uncomfortable, we believe that if students know what to do, they will feel more confident, and ultimately be better equipped to react with safety in mind. 

The Mountain View Police will be practicing alongside us during the drills at several of our schools. Please do not be concerned if you see police vehicles on campus during the week of Oct. 24.

As I reported to the Board in September, we are taking on a holistic review of safety this year. We are in the process of creating a Safety Advisory Task Force with representatives from parents, staff and community. We are also working with a security consultant to identify areas that need improvement. We’ll be engaging school communities in discussions about their needs and priorities for safety. We’ll be reporting regularly to the Board, families and staff about our progress. All of these actions will create even safer campuses for us all. 

We appreciate your support of these efforts. For videos and more details about safety, please see


Dr. Ayindé Rudolph, Ed.D.


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