The school newspaper of Oakville High School

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The school newspaper of Oakville High School

myOHSonline

The school newspaper of Oakville High School

myOHSonline

Mehlville School District Implements New Emergency Practice

Mehlville+School+District+Implements+New+Emergency+Practice

OHS students have likely noticed the new district emergency practice, characterized by five colored icons, but may not know its main purpose or the organization behind it. 

“With the rollout of the new school year, we officially converted and changed our language both in the communication plan and in building crisis plans and safety plans,” Dr. Chad Dickemper said, “so that we were using the ‘I Love U Guys’ standard response protocol language, and we’ve seen really good things in response to that change.”

Dickemper serves Mehlville School District as the assistant superintendent in elementary and realized the benefits of the new standard response protocol before this school year.

“One of the things that we were finding was that some of the language that we were using in the past was actually creating a little bit of panic,“ Dickemper said. “If schools would use the term soft lockdown, parents would hear lockdown and parents’ minds would race to all kinds of really scary possibilities, and that was true for students and staff as well.”

Dickemper credits the district’s Director of Communications, Jessica Pupillo, and the communications team for finding ‘I Love U Guys’ and highlighting its advantages. Though the foundation is new to our district, it has been around for some time.

“The foundation began in 2006 and it started with the parents of a student who was a victim of a school shooting, and her last text to her parents was ‘I Love U Guys,’” Dickemper said. “They became determined to help schools become safer following that school shooting. So since then, 45,000 organizations have participated in the standard response protocol — everything from schools to businesses.”

The protocol is set up in five clear sections, which Dickemper elaborated on.

The language of these procedures is meant to be quick, clear and easy to understand.

“Just having those five categories has really allowed us to be more accurate and timely with what we’re doing,” Dickemper said. “It really streamlines and makes simple what a school is doing in response to any kind of threat, or medical or emergency or other situation like a water main break or a power outage.”

Dickemper said that individual schools used to utilize different terminology, which confused parents with children in different levels of schools. The district’s main goal is to remove potential confusion during unexpected situations, and ‘I Love U Guys’ is their way to do so.

“Whether that’s at the district level or at the building level or classroom level…we’re always working to make school safer and we realize communication is a part of this,” Dickemper said. “(It’s a) way to make our language more simple and understandable for families when we’re communicating in the event of a school crisis.”

 

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About the Contributor
Sawyer Bess, Reporter
Hello, I'm Sawyer Bess, and it's my first year on the newspaper staff. This is also my third year in the broadcast program. I am a senior at OHS, and other programs I am involved in include Youth and Government, golf and I'm our school's mascot. After I graduate high school, I plan to enjoy my summer and then attend college, majoring in journalism at Mizzou.

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