School Cancellation Policy
Very occasionally, the school will need to be closed in the event of severe weather or major facility failures (heat, power, water, etc.). The decision to close the school will be made by the Executive Director. When making the decision we consider the need to be able to get children, teachers and families to school safely, keep them safe while in school and be able to evacuate safely in the event of an emergency (have a place to shelter: Sharon Public Library, Cottage Street School, etc. ).
If the Sharon Public Schools are closed:
If the Sharon Public Schools are closed, the Sharon Cooperative School will be closed. Alert notices will be put on sharoncoop.org, be sent out by email and blog post and be updated on the school’s voice mail.
If the Sharon Public Schools have a delay:
If Sharon Public Schools have a one-hour or more delay, the Cooperative School may or may not be opened dependent upon the circumstances.
- If the Sharon Public Schools have an hour or more delay the school will not open until after 8:30 AM due to the need to clear paths and driveways.
- Families are asked to please call the school at 781-784-2966 before 8:30 AM and leave a message to notify the school if your child is going to attend or not.
If the Cooperative School needs to close early:
In the event of an early closing, parents or the people designated on your Emergency Release Form will be notified by phone to come pick up your child. All families are required to have someone who can pick up quickly (under 60 minutes) in the event of an emergency.
The cooperation and understanding of all guarantees everyone’s safety, which is our first priority in times like these.
Evacuation and Emergency Procedures
Authority and overview:
In the event of an emergency situation, the Director shall implement an emergency evacuation plan. In the case of the Director’s absence, the Director will designate a person in charge who will assume his/her role and will leave contact information in case of an emergency. This designated educator shall assume the authority to take action in an emergency or event that requires evacuation of the premises and act as the coordinator for the evacuation. All educators and the Director are responsible for insuring that all children with special needs are evacuated safely along with their peers.
Children are instructed in outside and inside emergency evacuation procedures. Emergency evacuation drills are conducted by the school administration bi-monthly and by the Sharon Fire Department four times a year.
The building is equipped with a fire alarm system directly wired to the Sharon Fire Department. Fire extinguishers are located in the hall outside Room 10 and 16 and in each classroom. Each classroom has a phone and educators are allowed to carry their personal cell phones for emergency purposes.
These protocols are reviewed regularly in educators’ meetings, published to all members of the school community, posted in the classrooms, shared with Town of Sharon safety officials, and practiced at least once a year.
Evacuation of the Building:
In the event of an emergency situation that requires an evacuation of the school, the educator in charge of each group when evacuating shall take their emergency bag containing:
- An accurate attendance list
- Emergency contact information for the children in their care.
- Emergency medications and consent forms as appropriate for all children.
- A count of all children and educators at every transition and at all times.
- Supplies and materials to keep children busy as needed.
- A cell phone to be used for emergency notifications.
Each teaching team is responsible for insuring that all children are evacuated safely and for meeting the designated coordinator of the evacuation at the specified location. All educators and the Director are responsible for insuring that all children with special needs are evacuated safely along with their peers.
Families will be notified of the circumstances and the location of the children in any of these events, by phone call, email, school voice mail, school blogs, etc. The DEEC will be notified as soon as possible in the event of an evacuation or emergency. The numbers of locations available to us:
- Congregational Church 781-784-2631
- Sharon Public Library 781-784-1578
- Cottage Street School 781-784-1580
- Sharon High School 781-784-1554
- Norwood Hospital 781-769-4000
- Sharon Fire Department 781-784-1522
Outside emergency evacuation drills:
- If the emergency allows us to stay on the property, classes will meet at their designated places on the front lawn. Teachers will take attendance, report it to the person in charge, and everyone will wait until allowed back into the school. If a class is in the playground, they will gather and take attendance there and move to the front of the building if directed to do so.
- If the environmental emergency is confined to the immediate area of the school, e.g. fire or toxic fumes, and the children cannot stay on the premises, the children will be brought to The Sharon Public Library at 11 North Main Street by foot where they will remain accompanied by educators while families/emergency contacts are notified and arrangements for transportation home are made.
- In the event of exposure to toxic materials or gasses and a physical examination is recommended, children will be transported by the Sharon Fire Department to Norwood Hospital or another local hospital where they will be examined and families/emergency contacts will be notified.
- If the environmental emergency is more widespread and encompasses a larger area such as a neighborhood or several homes, due to a non-confined environmental threat, e.g. toxic fumes from a spill, floodwaters, brush fires, etc., and the children cannot remain in the area, the children will be brought to the Cottage Street School or Sharon High School by foot where they will remain accompanied by educators while families/emergency contacts are notified of the situation and arrangements for transportation home are made.
- In the event of a major environmental hazard that necessitates a larger area evacuation such as several neighborhoods, the town or geographical area, due to a large non-confined hazard, e.g. a nuclear incident, earthquake, hurricane, etc. the children will be transported to a Red Cross designated shelter by the Sharon Fire Department where they will remain accompanied by caregivers while families/emergency contacts are notified of the situation and arrangements for transportation home are made.
Indoor Safety Drills/Sheltering in Place:
In some emergency situations it may be safer to remain on site until the emergency has ended. Once alerted that there is a situation, the town emergency service personnel will help the Director or educator in charge make the determination of whether to remain in place or to evacuate.
Indoor safety drills are conducted regularly during the year. The Director or educator in charge will quickly and quietly alert each classroom that we are doing a safety drill. When notified that there is a drill:
- Teachers close and lock their doors from the inside and pull down the shades.
- Children get under or behind tables and out of view. Attendance is taken.
- Everyone is silent.
If told to, educators can also shelter the children in the school bathrooms, which can be locked from the inside. Classrooms and bathrooms have access to water and educators will have their emergency bags. Educators will remain in this state until the Director or educator in charge or the police or firefighters releases them.
In the event of a missing child, the educator in charge will call an inside safety drill. Classes will follow the procedures for sheltering in place. When the attendance is confirmed for all other children, the lockdown will be released, and educators will remain inside with children in ratio. At this point, one educator will call 911 and the Church secretary to report a child missing. All other educators will commence a building and property search starting downstairs within the school and moving upstairs room to room and then outside around the building. The missing child’s family and the DEEC will be notified as soon as possible.
Injury Prevention and Safety
• Classrooms and playground are inspected daily by educators for safety hazards.
• The Building Inspector, Health Care Consultant and Fire Department make periodic announced and unannounced inspections.
• Safety caps cover all electric outlets when not in use. Electrical cords are inspected and caution is used to insure that they are kept out of reach of children
• All chemicals and cleaning compounds other than hand soap are kept in the secured janitor’s closet or in secured closets out of reach of children in the classrooms.
• All medications and first aid supplies are secured and out of the reach of children.
• Children are instructed in safety rules for inside the classroom and outside in the playground. Supervision is provided at all times.
• Children are instructed in emergency evacuation procedures. Emergency evacuation drills are conducted bi-monthly as individual classes, the entire school or unannounced by the Sharon Fire Department. The building is equipped with a fire alarm system directly wired to the Sharon Fire Department. Fire extinguishers are located in the hall outside Room 10 and 16 and in each classroom.
Accidents and Emergencies
In the event of an accident, emergency or injury, the same procedures will be followed as If your child became ill at school: you will be called and if not reached, the next person on your Emergency Form will be called.
All educators are certified in First Aid and CPR. Educators may administer minor first aid and will attend to minor incidents and injuries and an Incident and Accident report will be completed. Two copies of the report will be made: one for the child’s record and one for the family. Please sign both copies. You will be called whenever and if ever your child requires first aid.
In the event of a more serious injury requiring a 911 call, educators will administer first aid until relieved by EMS. In this case the classroom educator of injured child stays with the injured child. Other educators will stay with the other children in a separate area. Educators will call the EMS and the child’s family or emergency contacts. If the child needs to be transported, the ambulance will transport the child to the nearest hospital deemed by the EMS able to stabilize the child. An educator will accompany the child in the ambulance and will stay with them until family arrives.
First Aid Kits and Emergency Medications
First aid manuals and kits are located in each room at the sign of the Red Cross and in the playground shed. Ice packs are in the freezer. Emergency information for children is kept in each classroom in the attendance books. First aid supplies are checked monthly for expiration dates. All EMS numbers are posted in each classroom. All known allergies for children and educators are posted on each classroom door.
Epi-pens and other emergency medications will be kept readily accessible but out of children’s reach in the classroom per state regulations. Children requiring emergency medication must have an Individualized Health Care Plan per state regulation detailing all measures to be taken as needed and any qualifications or training required of the educators that administer the medications.