Superintendent Rundle Message On MISD Updated Emergency & Reunification Preparation Guide
Dear Mercer Island Community,
We appreciate our community’s flexibility this week as we dealt with a two-hour delay for schools on Wednesday. Hopefully the worst of the winter weather is behind us, but if it is not we are prepared. And speaking of emergency preparation and communication, I thought it would be a great opportunity to revisit some of the tools, resources, and things families can access and do to help keep our schools safe and supportive for everyone.
Emergency and Reunification Preparation Guide
The district’s Safety Team has been working on a detailed Emergency and Reunification Preparation Guide for families and the community. The guide highlights information for both parents and students on what they need to do in the event of an emergency (earthquake, fire, lockdown, etc.) at one of our schools. We hope we never have to implement emergency measures but we do know we have to be prepared. This guide will help us work together in the event of an emergency.
Here are two sources of information on our emergency and reunification procedures.
- Quick Guide To Emergency and Reunification Preparation
- Complete Guide To Emergency and Reunification Preparation
Text Messages for Emergencies, School Closures, and Delays
We know how ubiquitous text messaging is culturally and know families rely on texting to send and receive communications. After announcing the two-hour delay for schools on Wednesday, we heard from numerous families that they did not receive a text notification about the delay. We investigated to determine what the issue was and found that with our transition to Skyward’s new platform, Qmlativ, there is a new “Text Contacts” tab in the platform that needs to have the appropriate phone numbers inputted. Our communications team sent out a message to families on Wednesday about how to update this “Text Contacts” tab to confirm you will receive text messages from schools and the district. We have also updated our Weather Closures page with this information on how to confirm you will receive text messages from the district.
FlashAlert Android Updates
We use the FlashAlert platform to communicate school closures and delays to local media, other school districts, and the community. The FlashAlert is an iOS and Android compatible app you, too, can get through your app store. This is another tool families can choose to use to be notified of closure and delays.
We have learned that FlashAlert’s Android app is being updated. If you have a newer Android device and experience a notification issue, the app developer is aware and will be publishing an app update in March that will fix the notification issue on new Android devices. A great workaround for now is to subscribe to our text alerts explained above.
MI Healthy Youth Forum
We are partnering with the Mercer Island Healthy Youth Initiative and the City of Mercer Island on the Mercer Island Healthy Youth Forum on January 31 from 7-9pm at the Community Center.
We encourage our families to register today to attend. This is a great event where parents can hear from students about the challenges and pressures today’s youth face. The forum will discuss ideas that best support Mercer Island youth and educate families on how to have important conversations about health, stress, drugs and alcohol, mental health, and expectations.
Wrapping Up and Looking Forward
With the weather challenges, the four-day school week sure felt closer to six! This coming week will also be a four-day school week as well as there is no school for students on Monday, January 22.
Monday was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on service, compassion, and justice as we celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Our schools and many classrooms engaged in learning more about the impacts, then and now, that Dr. King had. One of the quotes that hung on the wall of a camp I used to take students to when teaching sixth grade has stuck with me: “The time is always right to do what is right.” The time to do what is right is yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Through my leadership, I hope to achieve Dr. King’s challenge each day, and I remain grateful for the many students, staff, and community members who do the same to make our district great.
The Mercer Island School District is hosting a Community Zoom webinar on Tuesday, February 27 at 7pm on the review of the curriculum of the health and physical education programs at Mercer Island High School and Islander Middle School.
Superintendent Dr. Fred Rundle hosted a MISD Budget and Human Resources community webinar on Tuesday, February 6.
Back in August when opening the school year with our staff, I quoted something Pete Carroll said in an interview a few years ago that has stuck with me.
All four Mercer Island School District Elementary Schools will be holding school tours on Thursday, February 8 and Wednesday, April 17. The tours will take place from 9:30am-11am.