Almaden Country Day School is a safe place for children. It is so because each student, teacher and parent remembers, “Safety begins with me.”
- Visiting Campus
- Administration of Medicine
- Emergency Contact Procedures
- Emergency or Disaster Procedures
- Emergency Notification System
- Student Injuries and Insurance
- Volunteer Drivers
- Severe Allergy and High Risk Medical Condition Guidelines
- Air Quality Protocol
- Power Outage Protocol
We welcome parents to campus and ACDS employees are vigilant about challenging visitors who lack a visitor’s badge. Therefore, when you visit school for any reason, please follow these steps:
- Use designated visitor parking spaces only.
- Check into the office to obtain a visitor badge or permit to leave for your child.
- Check back into the office when you return with your child or conclude your campus visit.
Students May Take Medication at School When:
- A physician has prescribed the medication.
- Parent and physician have provided the school with a “Permit to Take Medication at School.” This form can be obtained in the office or online.
- The medication is supplied by the parent and is in the original prescription container, clearly labeled with student’s name, medication, dosage and directions.
Storing Medication at School
All medication must be stored in the office. Students may not keep medications of any type in their possession except for inhalers for asthmatic students, or Epi-pens and Benadryl for children with severe allergies, with a physician’s authorization on file in the office. No medication, including aspirin or over-the-counter drugs, will be stored or dispensed without written authorization.
Please provide accurate, contact information for home, work and mobile phones, e-mail and home addresses, emergency contact and physician names and numbers. Please be sure that you update your Emergency Contact Information in the electronic database (accessed through Veracross in the Parents Corner section of the website).
Students must have office permission to use the telephone, and then only for urgent matters. Student cell phones are not to be used during school hours.
To Deliver an Emergency Message to Your Child
- Contact the front office Administrative Assistant either in person, by phone or email. Please do not go directly to the classroom without first contacting the office.
- The Administrative Assistant will phone your child’s classroom and have the child brought to the office.
Practice drills for campus emergency situations, including fire, shelter in place, lockdown and earthquake procedures, take place on a regular basis during school hours. In the event of an actual emergency situation, parents will receive phone messages, emails, and/or texts from the school administration alerting them about the emergency and providing instructions. In this case, parents will be required to sign their children out through administration from a “safety zone.” Children will not be permitted to leave the campus with anyone other than their own parent or designated individuals during an emergency event.
The safety of your children and everyone on campus is our most important responsibility and something the school takes very seriously. We are constantly improving our procedures, making sure everyone knows what to do in an emergency, and adding safeguards. The information for parents about emergency preparedness, dismissal procedures in an emergency, and communication in an emergency is posted on the school website. It is important that all parents read this information.
The school subscribes to ParentReach, an Emergency Notifications Service. ParentReach permits us to contact ACDS parents, guardians, and staff quickly and efficiently in the event of an emergency or a school closure. We have tested the system each year with good results. Please read over the information below to learn, or be reminded, how the system works.
In an emergency, a member of our staff will call in to the ParentReach emergency notification system to record a message and send it out. The broadcast will begin immediately and will reach you within approximately three minutes. If your line is busy, or your phone rings but you don’t answer, ParentReach will retry every three minutes up to a maximum of ten times. You will recognize this call as coming from us (ACDS) via ParentReach Caller-ID: “408 997-04-24.” We recommend that you enter this number in you cell phone contact list with a name such as ACDS. The system will consider the message delivered when it connects to you live or to your answering machine or other recording device.
When you see this caller ID and answer your phone, be sure to say, “Hello” or whatever you would normally say, but then remain silent for a second or two. The system will begin delivering our message if it hears a response followed by a one- or two-second silence. If your answering machine picks up, the system will wait until the end of your outgoing announcement, and then after a second or two of silence, begin delivering our message to be recorded on your machine.
You can replay the message again and again by pressing the pound or number sign (“#”) while the message is playing. Alternatively, if you’ve missed the message entirely, you can call into the ParentReach Notifications Hot-Line to replay it. The hotline will always play the last notification we sent that day. It clears itself daily at 6 pm our local time. A message we send after 6:01pm local time will be present for replay on the hotline until 6 pm the following day. To reach the hotline call 770-406-5581, and enter our school’s four-digit code when prompted: 2734. Our messages are available on the hotline within two minutes after our initial broadcast. The hotline will always play our latest message as we continue to send updates throughout the day on an unfolding event.
The system also sends emails and text messages to the addresses and numbers you have provided. While there may be differences in specific emergency situations, the normal procedure will be to send out emails, texts, and voice messages when we are contacting the community using this service.
Please be sure to keep your emergency contact information current using the Veracross parent portal. If you have supplied us with multiple numbers, you will likely receive our message on more than one phone, especially in a real emergency.
Since it is critical that you treat any message from this system as important, we will only use it for emergencies and to test the system once annually.
Almaden Country Day School does not carry medical or accident insurance for individual students. Parents are responsible for emergency medical costs beyond first aid provided at the school site. Student accident insurance is available for purchase from a variety of insurance agencies. If emergency medical or dental treatment is needed and the parent or listed emergency contacts cannot be reached, 911 will be called. The school is not responsible for charges incurred as a result of 911 calls or ambulance transfers.
Persons volunteering to drive for school business or school-sponsored events must be 21 years of age with a valid California driver’s license. The number of passengers per vehicle shall not exceed one per passenger seat belt provided. Volunteer drivers should know that they are assuming certain responsibilities and possible risks.
In accordance with the requirements of the school’s insurance policy, all persons/volunteers that may use their own personal vehicle to drive students for school-sponsored events or school purposes will be required to provide proof of insurance and authorize the school to conduct a motor vehicle record (MVR) check with the State of California.
The purpose of the MVR check is to insure that only the most competent persons operate vehicles for school business and the safety of the children. The administration, in its sole discretion, may determine those persons who are eligible to drive on school business.
Volunteer drivers shall not use cellular phones or other electronic devices while driving unless the equipment is specifically designed for and configured to allow for hands-free talking and listening, and is used in that manner while driving. This policy does not preclude, however, the use of such equipment for emergency purposes, including but not limited to an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, a health care provider, the fire department, or other emergency services agency or entity.
The ACDS protocol is to monitor the air quality using a variety of sources and along with our best judgment, to determine whether we should keep our students indoors for parts of their day or take further actions as needed to keep the children safe.
We make these decisions based on the activities that students might be doing during:
- Recess and lunch
- Physical education
- After-school sports
Generally, on days when the air quality is unhealthy, we will keep students indoors as much as possible. On days when the air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups, our staff on duty will welcome students to come indoors if they are bothered by the smoke.
In the event that the AQI reads or predicts air quality in the very unhealthy range, we may be required to cancel school in order to keep children safe and healthy.
In all of these scenarios, the ACDS Administration will be in contact with our families so that we can provide as much advance notice as possible to enable you to prepare.
As in the past, please let your teacher know if your child has any special needs that would make them sensitive to air quality issues. Please contact Division Heads, Ms. Murphy, Mrs. Robb, and Mr. Adams, if you have any questions.
What is a Public Safety Power Shutoff?
When a combination of factors including wind, humidity, and temperature combine to create a high risk of wildfire, PG&E will shut off electricity to keep downed trees from contacting power lines and causing fires.
During these shutdowns, entire regions may lose power for an extended period of time, including residences, schools, hospitals and more -- all of us.
PG&E is to notify its customers impacted by a shutoff, but at this time it is uncertain how much advance warning we will have, so we are preparing a series of steps we will take depending on the circumstances and situation of a shutdown at school.
What Will ACDS Do During a Public Safety Power Shutoff?
We've been told to expect a warning before a shutoff, but in the event PG&E cuts power during the school day, we will plan to finish that day as usual.
In the event a shutoff is scheduled to occur while school is in session, we will plan to operate the school on our usual schedule for up to two days, if feasible. This will involve a reduced scope of resources (i.e. technology, lights, air conditioning, etc.) depending on the capacity of our generators and other variables.
In these circumstances, the administration will monitor the status of the shutoff and alert parents with as much advance notice as possible if school is to be closed.
Generally, if the shutoff is limited to a weekend, school will open as usual on Monday.
Obviously a Public Safety Power Shutdown may be unpredictable, and parents are urged to monitor communications from ACDS continually when it happens.
What Can I Do to Prepare for a Public Safety Power Shutoff?
It is important to prepare an emergency plan in advance in the event your family is affected by a power shutoff -- or any other emergency.
- Have a personal safety plan in place for every member of your household (including pets).
- Plan for any medical needs like medications that need to be refrigerated or devices that require power.
- Build or restock your emergency supply kit, including food, water, flashlights, a radio, fresh batteries, first aid supplies, and cash.
- Identify backup charging methods for phones.
- Learn how to manually open your garage door.
- If you own a backup generator, ensure it is ready to safely operate.
- To learn more ways to prepare, download our fact sheet.
Be sure that you are familiar with all the applicable safety guidelines and manufacturer instructions for backup power sources or other emergency kit supplies. It is important not to put yourself or your family at risk by using these items improperly. Download our generator fact sheet to learn more.
What Can I Expect if a Public Safety Power Shutoff is Going to Occur?
If a Public Safety Power Shutoff is needed due to extreme weather conditions, you can expect:
- Early Warning Notification - Your energy company will aim to send customer alerts before shutting off power.
- Ongoing Updates - Your energy company will provide ongoing updates through social media, local news outlets, and their website.
- Safety Inspections - After extreme weather has passed, your energy company will inspect the lines in affected areas before power is safely restored.
- Power Restoration - Power outages could last multiple days depending on the severity of the weather and other factors. It is important that you and your family have an emergency preparedness plan in place.
For more information and additional resources, please visit this website.