Decatur Elementary


Safety and Wellness, Procedures and Practices

What WE do at Decatur to ensure everyone’s safety


Federal and state law requires Seattle Schools to conduct the following minimum number of drills per year:

  • 3 Fire drills requiring evacuation
  • 3 Lockdown drills
  • 1 Shelter-In-Place drill
  • 1 Drop Cover and Hold (Earthquake) drill

In addition, we are required to run no less than 1 drill per month.  The following is a brief description of each:

Evacuation: In the event the building needs to be evacuated, unless otherwise notified, all occupants follow predetermined routes and exit the building, gathering at our emergency staging area located in the northeast area of the playground. Attendance is taken for students, staff, volunteers, and visitors. There we remain until further instructions from administration, school security, fire, or police officials.

Lockdown: A lockdown is called if there is a threat to those on our campus within or near the school boundaries. In the case of a lockdown situation, playground and hallways are evacuated into appropriate classrooms, all exterior and classroom doors are then immediately locked, blinds are pulled, lights are turned off, and allstudents, staff, volunteers, and visitors are hidden in stillness and silence.

Shelter-In-Place: A shelter-in-place is called if there is a threat in the near-by community, which warrants us to take precautions. In the case of a Shelter-In-Place situation, the playground is evacuated, all exterior doors are locked and the main entrance is monitored for those who need to either come or go. Classes remain in session and students, staff, volunteers, and visitors are free to work as usual inside the building.

Family Reunification: A family reunification eventis one in which family members or emergency contacts are required to pick up students. This is a very structured process that requires agreat deal of patience and cooperation on the part of those coming to pick up students in order to ensure the safety of all students. It is imperative that our systems are up to date with your information including who is permitted to pick up our students in case family is not able to. Also,it is imperative that adults coming to pick up students have proper identification on them at the time.

Our philosophy when running drills is to practice well. This means that the first drills of each kind are announced ahead of time so staff can clearly educate students about logistics and expectations.Thereafter, as we continue practicing throughout the year, the later drills are unannounced to better replicate the requisite scenario.

What YOU can do at Decatur to ensure everyone’s safety

Sign in: Whenever you enter our building, please make the front office your first stop. Please sign in and please do not sign out until you leave. Should you be here during a drill or during an emergency event, we need to know that you are in the building to help ensure your safety.

Drills/Emergency Events

Earthquake: During an earthquake or earthquake drill, find the nearest surface under which to duck and cover. There are many studies and theories that suggest other actions to take. This is the action that our local police and fire departments require us to take. We ask you to do the same.

Fire/Evacuation: In the event of a fire or fire drill, unless otherwise informed, please follow the route of the nearest class or office personnel and exit with them. Once you arrive at the staging area, report to the fence. The office staff will be bringing,among other things, the volunteer and visitor check-in notebooks and will be taking your attendance as soon as all student attendance is reported. This accentuates the importance of signing in at the office. If anyone is missing, we have a team of experts to conduct a search and rescue. If your assistance is needed elsewhere,you will be notified.

Lockdown: In the event of a lockdown, please get tothe nearest classroom and respect the charges of the teacher. If you are in or closest to the office, the office is your destination and you will be instructed where to go. Either way, you will need to sit in the area designated by the teacher or office personnel and help maintain silence and stillness around you.

Note: During a lockdown, if you are not already in the building, you will not be allowed in the building once the doors are locked. This is likely the hardest part about being a family member wanting in to be with their child and equally as challenging for administrators who cannot let you in. The best thing for you to do is to seek shelter elsewhere in the nearby community.

Shelter-In-Place: During a shelter-in-place situation, you may move about and within the building freely and continue your work. Please refrain from leaving the building. If you absolutely need to leave, sign out at the office and exit through the monitored front entrance. In any event, the best help you can initially offer is to respect the charges given you by teachers, office staff, and/or administration. If we need your assistance in other ways, we will ask for it.

Family Reunification: In the event of a more serious crisis, there is a plan for reunifying family members with their children. Because we need to ensure that students are going home with atrusted family member or emergency contact, this is a methodical, time-consuming process and we need your cooperation and patience. Your students will be well-cared for by our emergency teams. To reunite withyour children, you will be directed where to go to sign in and present your identification. There, your identity will be checked and cross-checked with the names of people permitted to remove your child/children. You will then be directed to another location to wait until your child is brought to you.

Note: This is obviously a tense time for everyone involved. The better you can maintain civility and respect and follow the instructions given to you, the safer this process will be for all.

Relocation: In the event that we need to evacuate and relocate, our relocation site is soon TBD.

Student and School Safety

Safety and wellness is a top priority for Seattle Public Schools. Students are more likely to be successful when they feel safe and welcome at school.

SPS Safety and Wellness Announcements and Resources

Safe Schools Hotline

The Safety and Security Department is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


What Families Can Do

Understandably, we are all experiencing a heightened sense of concern for student and staff safety due to current issues and events. We encourage parents and guardians to keep an open line of communication with your children.

We all play a role in school safety.

It is important that everyone in our school knows and follows our safety procedures and processes.

  • All visitors should sign in at the main office when on campus.
  • All adults should wear SPS staff or visitor identification while in school buildings.
  • School exterior doors should be kept closed and locked.
  • Please let your school leader and school staff know if you have concerns or questions regarding student safety and well-being.
  • Safety concerns should be reported right away by calling 911 or the Safe Schools Hotline (206-252-0510).
  • Mobile App for anonymous safety reporting app for our community. To download the app, open your phone’s app store and search “Seattle Public Schools.”  You may also use the universal link to download the app.

Read Recent District Safety and Wellness Announcements

Opioid and Fentanyl Awareness and Resources

What is fentanyl? Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid drug that is approximately 100 times more powerful than other opioids.

Are Young People Misusing Opioids? According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, teens and young adults are the biggest misusers of prescription pain medication. 


Safe Storage of Substances

If you share a home with young people, you can prevent accidental and intentional use by reducing access to substances.

Safe storage of medications

Communications and Who to Contact

Who to contact to help resolve concerns

Be sure your school has your current telephone number and emergency contact information. Contact your school to update your contact information. Learn more about staying connected with Seattle Public Schools.

Personal Safety Tips for Children and Families

You can help your student(s) stay safe by talking to them about personal safety. Some tips to discuss include:

  • Report incidents as soon as they happen.
  • Be aware of surroundings.
  • Not talking to strangers or going anywhere with them.
  • Walking to school or activities in pairs or groups.

Reporting bullying or discrimination

Contact the Office of Student Civil Rights for concerns about

  • Bullying
  • Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Intimidation
  • Sexual Assault

Reports can be made verbally or in writing.

District Policies and Procedures

The district is committed to our long-established focus on safety and security for all students and staff. You may want to learn more about our polices and procedures around student and school safety. Below are district resources, board policies and procedures around student and school safety.

Students Rights and Responsibilities Handbook

Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying

Seattle Public Schools Policy 3207 details the prohibition against harassment, intimidation, and bullying.

Superintendent Procedure 3207SP describes the procedures the district uses when addressing concerns that a student may be experiencing harassment, intimidation, or bullying.

Seattle Public Schools 3210 Non-Discrimination

School Safety

Seattle Public Schools Policy 3432 directs all schools to develop a emergency management plan. This includes plans for student and family reunification, a listing of staff assignments and responsibilities during an emergency, location of disaster supplies, and more.

Seattle Public Schools Policy 3143 Notification of threats of violence or harm

Seattle Public Schools Policy 3225 School-based threat assessment

Seattle Public Schools Policy 5201 Drug-free schools, community and workplace

Seattle Public Schools Policy 6800 Safety operations and maintenance of school property

No Tolerance Policy Against Firearms and Dangerous Weapons

Seattle Public Schools has a no tolerance policy against firearms and dangerous weapons and Superintendent Procedure regarding weapons on its campuses and at District-sponsored activities.

No Tolerance Policy Against Firearms and Dangerous Weapons

Seattle Public Schools has a no tolerance policy against firearms and dangerous weapons and Superintendent Procedure regarding weapons on its campuses and at District-sponsored activities.

Gun Safe Storage and Preventing Firearm Violence

Learn how you can play a role in preventing firearm-related injuries and deaths in our communities.

Firearm Safety