Communicating with Families During an Emergency
Information About Closures & Delays
The decision to cancel or delay school depends on many factors, the most important of which is student and staff safety. We strive to make our decisions about school closings or delays as early as possible.
In The Event of a Crisis, Emergency or Natural Disaster
In situations like these, families may need to come to the school to pick up their student, or go to a different location to be reunited with their student. No student will be dismissed from school unless a parent or designee comes for him/her.
Students will be released only to parents or others who are listed on the student's emergency information card. If a parent is forbidden by a court order or divorce decree from seeing his or her child, the custodial parent should make sure that this information is noted on the student’s emergency card. (With this in mind, is your contact information up-to-date?)
Schools are often among the safest places that children can be during a crisis, emergency or natural disaster. Staff members will remain with students until all have been reunited with their parents or approved persons.
Every effort will be made to keep secondary students on campus as well. Due to unknown dangers on the roads and in neighborhoods, older siblings will not be allowed to pick up younger children.
If an emergency occurs during the school day, students may or may not be sent home. Depending on the type of emergency, this decision will be made by the superintendent’s office with input from Federal Way Police and our local Fire Department. Listen to the local radio and television stations, or check the district’s website at www.fwps.org, before proceeding to school or home.
If children are on the bus, the driver will make every effort to return them back to their home school or to the nearest school possible. In the event a bus is not able to return to a school, the students will remain on the bus, with the driver, until assistance can arrive. All buses are in radio contact with the Transportation Office and are equipped with standard first aid kits. If a child has been let off at his/her regular bus stop prior to the disaster, you should expect to find your child at home or wherever they would normally go after school.
In the event of an emergency or crisis situation, we will contact parents and guardians communicate using:
- FWPS Mobile App Notifications
- Automated Notification System
- Voice message to every telephone number on record for a student
- Email to each email address on record
- District and School Website Announcements
- FlashAlert Newswire Announcements for TV and radio
Arrangements have been made with the radio and TV stations listed here to broadcast information regarding the operation of school during emergency conditions, including inclement weather. Information will be delivered to these stations by 5:30 a.m.
Radio Stations Television Stations
KIRO FM 97.3 KOMO TV CHANNEL 4
KOMO AM 1000 KING TV CHANNEL 5
KING AM 1090 KIRO TV CHANNEL 7
KVI AM 570 KSTW TV CHANNEL 11
KLSY FM 92.5
KUBE FM 93.3
KMPS FM 94.1
How Families Can Help During an Emergency
We understand that parents want to come to the school or call the school during an emergency.
Families can support the school by remaining calm and waiting for information from the district.
Do not go to the school
Update all emergency contact info
We will communicate with you as quickly as possible. Your child's safety is our priority.
Make a Family Plan
Each family should have a plan covering what to do in an emergency or weather-related situation. The American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency recommend that each person be able to be self-reliant for three days.
Please develop a plan and discuss it with your child.
- What is the best route home if your child's bus must use an alternate route?
- Where could your child go if he or she needed help?
- Who would care for him or her until you arrive?
- Is there someone your child could call to calm any concerns he or she might have?
If you will not be home, instruct your child as to where he or she should go in the event of an early dismissal due to emergency conditions.