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Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 School Safety Weeks

Each preschool and school in Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 designates a school safety week during the school year. Coordinated drills are an excellent way for staff and students to practice what they would do during a real emergency or crisis. Remaining calm can make a big difference in safety and security, so we are making time to practice these drills with our community partners.

We also want to make sure that parents/guardians know what is going on when your kids talk with you about the drills.

We appreciate your patience and understanding if our drills interfere with your coming to and going from our building! You are welcome to join us.

Generally, this is what will happen during school safety weeks:

Drill 1 - Fire Drill in partnership with Manhattan Fire Department

The fire department watches and evaluates a fire drill. Sometimes the fire department sets up their smoke machine and we block off an exit route. Students and staff practice existing the building using their primary and secondary routes. We make sure that all students and staff are accounted for once they are in a safe zone. Fire personnel check to make sure that students and staff are far enough away from the building so that fire engines and other vehicles can easily get to the hydrants. Fire personnel also learn where all of the controls for the building are located and take a tour of school at the end of the drill.

Drill 2 - Tornado/Severe Weather Drill in partnership with Riley County Emergency Management 

Riley County Emergency Management observes a tornado drill at each location. The emergency manager will walk around the school with the principal to take a look at where we are putting students and staff. They will help us determine if we are putting students and staff in the most secure locations within the school and give us tips for tweaking our plans if necessary. All students and staff are accounted for once they are in a secure location.

Drill 3 - Evacuation Drill in partnership with the community 

Each school will evacuate to their primary or secondary evacuation site. All students and adults in the building will evacuate. Once at the evacuation site, parent reunification will be set up and practiced. This is a great logistical drill – how to get all students and staff from point A to point B and back – and make sure that everyone is accounted for. All of our schools are blessed with wonderful evacuation locations that welcome our students and staff.

Drill 4 - Secure Campus Drill

Secure Campus means that something is happening outside of our school building and we want to keep it outside. Students and staff that are outside are brought back into the building and all doors are locked and secured. No one leaves or enters the building until the situation is over. Activities inside the building remain normal.

Drill 5 - Lock Down Drill  in partnership with Riley County Police Department

Riley County Police Department will present education about lock down drills. RCPD will talk with students (age-appropriate) about why a police officer might be in their school and that the most important thing that kids can do is listen to the instructions of their teacher. RCPD will also go around to each classroom and talk with teachers about the best location for students to be in the classroom and other things that teachers can do to increase the safety for themselves and their students. After the education from RCPD on lock downs, we practice a lock down drill.


School safety week is not meant to frighten students, staff and parents. This week is not meant to demean or punish schools if something goes wrong during one of the drills. This is a week of education. We want to give our students and staff the best safety foundation that we can. We are fortunate to have great community partners that also feel strongly about drills and practicing.

If you have questions about our School Safety Weeks, please contact Michele Jones, Director of Communications and School Safety at 785-587-2000.