Parents will be notified through the School Reach Emergency Notification System. They are also announced on local radio and most area television stations and at the St. Mary’s County Public School web site, http://www.smcps.org/schoolstatus.aspx. Local radio stations include 98 Star FM, 97.7 WMDM and 102.9 WKIK. Local television stations include WRC-TV Channel 4, WTTG-TV Channel 5, WJLA-TV Channel 7, and WUSA-TV Channel 9.
Hazardous weather conditions, such as excessive heat, hurricanes, snow, or ice may require schools to remain closed or to close early. Because we have County bus transportation, we abide by the decisions made by the St. Mary’s County Public Schools. Calls to verify closings should not be made to the rectory, school, or teachers’ homes. In the event of a school closing or unscheduled early dismissal, school will be closed for all after-school and evening activities.
As with school closings, these announcements are made through the School Reach Emergency Notification System. Announcements are also made on television, on radio, and at the St. Mary’s County Public School web site, www.smcps.org. If the parochial school system is scheduled for an early dismissal and a delayed opening is announced, the early dismissal will be cancelled. The dismissal time will change to that which is normal for a full day-3:00pm. There is no half day Pre-K on delayed openings.
The students have early dismissal at 12:55 for faculty meetings usually once a month as scheduled on the calendar. If an emergency early dismissal should occur, parents will be notified by the media and by phone when possible. Please check school status at www.smcps.org. Once an emergency closure has been decided, parents are encouraged to pick up their children. Buses will make their normal runs.
Each year, the parent for each child completes an emergency form. This form is filed in the school office and entitles the school to call a parent (or designated persons when the parent cannot be reached) when a child is ill and needs to go home. In case of an accident, this form directs the school to contact the preferred medical care providers. Parents are required to keep all emergency information current, especially phone numbers.
If the school receives a telephone or written bomb threat, the school will notify local law enforcement personnel immediately and respond as directed. Management of the emergency will be turned over to local authorities.
In the event of a disaster, the school will follow the plan implemented by the local civil defense authorities. Listen to your local radio stations for directions. If the disaster requires that students be evacuated from the school, parents will be directed to the evacuation center. The designated evacuation center for St. John’s is St. Mary’s Ryken High School. Parents cannot pick up students from St. John’s while an evacuation is in progress. Students may be released to their parents from the evacuation center.
Crisis Management Plan
In accordance with Archdiocesan requirements, a Crisis Management Plan has been developed for the school and implemented by the faculty. Information is updated annually—or more often as needed. The parochial schools work in partnership with the public school system and the St. Mary’s County Emergency Management to coordinate responses. In the event of a crisis where student pick-up is seriously delayed, the manager of our lunch program will assure that the staff and students will have food and bottled water.
In the event of an emergency or crisis, the Archdiocese of Washington may send a team of school counseling professionals to St. John’s School. One-time, initial counseling services may be rendered to students by school or archdiocesan counseling staff in the event of a crisis or emergency.
The Archdiocesan insurance policy requires a minimum of 6 fire drills per year. Students exit quietly to designated areas. Roll is then taken to assure that the building has been vacated.
In a radiation emergency, radioactive iodide could be released into the air. Because St. John’s School lies within the ten-mile boundary of Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, the school is in possession of potassium iodide (KI) tablets. In the event of a radiation release, a tablet will be given to all students, except those whose parents or guardians request, in writing, that their child not be given the tablet. In addition, a student whose parents have listed on the school emergency form that s/he has an allergy to iodine or shellfish will not receive the tablet. Taking KI will saturate the thyroid with non-radioactive iodine preventing the thyroid from absorbing radioactive iodine. KI is stored in the school and will only be issued to children upon order of the Health Officer and/or his designee from the St. Mary’s County Health Department. For further information, contact the school office or the Health Department at 301-475-4316.