Montezuma-Cortez High School Principal Jason Wayman thanked students, staff and emergency personnel for participating in its lockdown and evacuation drill on Thursday.
According to district Safety Coordinator Jamie Haukeness, the M-CHS emergency evacuation drill began with a lockdown called by Wayman at 2:15 p.m.
In a letter to parents on Friday, Wayman said staff and students learned a lot.
“It allowed us to identify areas to improve upon, and most importantly for staff and students to understand ... what goes well and what we need to improve in,” Haukeness said. “It also gave law enforcement the opportunity to orientate themselves with the campus.”
As many as six law enforcement, fire and emergency entities participated in or helped plan Thursday’s drill, he said.
“I also thought the high school administration and staff were well prepared (for) procedures and emergency plans, and overall, I thought it was a very good drill,” Haukeness said.
Haukeness noted that he was impressed by the Nixle alert released by the Cortez Police Department that informed Montezuma County residents by email and text message about the drill.
Police also put up two message boards on the sides of the M-CHS campus that read, “School safety drill in progress.”
Wayman added that this year, M-CHS has conducted lockout, lockdown and evacuation drills.
“Evacuation is the last measure,” he wrote in the letter. “Our first measure is our staff and students. It involves how we conduct ourselves and how we treat others.”
He also reminded parents and students about the school’s participation in Safe-2-Tell, an anonymous hot line and mobile phone application that gives students the opportunity to report behavior that does not align with a “positive and caring atmosphere” in the school.
“This is our first line of defense,” Wayman wrote in the letter. “And our best plan to create a safe school environment.”
Wayman also reminded families about the survey on school safety that was sent to families and staff in the district.
Haukeness said copies of the survey were sent home with students and are due back on April 11.
“One of the secretaries is compiling them,” Haukeness said. “She is going to identify common themes and essentially report the responses from each school as well as staff members to the school board at their next meeting.”
The Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 Board of Education’s next meeting is scheduled for April 17 at 7 p.m.