Keeping your children safe during school is a top priority at Otsego Public Schools. In addition to our own safety measures, we comply with the State of Michigan School Safety Requirements. These include a number of drills throughout the year.
Each building must conduct:
- At least five fire drills each year; three must be held before December 1st and the other two must be done during the remainder of the year with reasonable time between each drill.
- Hold at least two tornado drills each year and at least one of those drills must be done in March.
Lockdown Drills (Includes Shelter in Place and Lockdown)
- Practice at least three lockdown drills. At least one of these drills must be conducted by December 21st and at least one must be conducted after January 1st. The drills must be conducted with reasonable spacing between each. School boards must seek input from local public safety officials about the nature of these drills.
- At least one of any of these three of drills must occur during either lunch, recess, or some other time when a significant number of students are not in their classrooms.
- No drills may be scheduled at at time that would interfere with state-mandate testing.
- In addition, the date and time of these drills must documented on the school's website within 30 days of the drill and the documentation must be maintained on the website for at least three years.
- Terminology you will hear: Shelter in Place, Lockdown
When the school district needs to alter the daily routine, you will hear two different terms for our actions: Shelter in Place or Lockdown.
Things to think about:
- It is very easy to become panicked when a school goes into lockdown. Please don’t panic. As adults, we want to keep the situation calm for our students.
- When we are in a lockdown, no one will be allowed in or out of the building. Please do not come to the school to take your child out of school.
- In times of lockdowns, our office assistants and administrators are often busy on the phones with outside officials learning more about the situation and getting directions on how to proceed. Please do not call the school unless absolutely necessary as not to tie up the phone lines. It’s imperative that law enforcement officials are able to get through.
- Please note that in a police matter, it is not the place of the school district to release details of the event. We will do our best to give a brief description for why a lockdown is taking place, but, due to the investigative process, might not be able to release very many details. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
- There are a variety of reasons for a lockdown. Many of them take place because of incidents that do not involve the school directly and are not threatening to the school or students; however, there might be an emergency situation or police incident near the school and officials want to be sure our students and staff stay inside the building as not to hinder or interfere with their jobs.
- Please be aware that some students might be sharing that we are in lockdown and the reasons they believe led to the lockdown before you hear about it from the school. Word can travel fast with technology, where the school needs to take many things into consideration before sending out a communication to our staff and parents. We will communicate what we can with you and will provide an official word of what is taking place. Rumors and theories can run rampant in situations such as these. Stay near your phone/email to receive official correspondence from the District.
- We will alert you when a lockdown takes place and when it is clear. See procedures below for what might happen if a lockdown is taking place at various times of the day.
What happens when:
A lockdown takes place at the end of the day
If a lockdown takes place at the end of the day, we will keep students inside the buildings and halt the buses until we are given the all-clear. If you are in your car waiting for your child, he/she will not be dismissed until the situation is clear. You are welcome to wait in your car or clear the premises and return after receiving the all-clear message.
A lockdown takes place during a mid-day pick-up time
If you are already inside the building waiting to pick up your child, you may be asked to wait in a separate area until we receive word that it is okay for you and your child to leave. This is to keep you and your child safe and to follow the wishes of outside officials.