Superintendent & SRO Message
February 23, 2023
Dear EPSD Family,
We want to make sure that you feel informed and supported. As you saw from our messaging yesterday, Estes Park was one of many communities throughout Colorado that received reports of safety threats to a school. The school district and police department have been in contact with Local, State, and Federal authorities and can confirm that the call received yesterday was in conjunction with the multiple incidents of what the Colorado Information Analysis Center (CIAC) is calling "swatting". These are incidents described by Colorado Revised Statute as those in which a subject knowingly files a false report to authorities indicating an imminent threat to the safety of a person or persons by use of a deadly weapon. Estes Park was included in these calls coming from the same number, a TextNow number.
We want to remind families of what we do to keep our EPSD schools safe and how we respond in emergency situations. Our EPSD Emergency Response Management Plan serves as a general framework for response to safety in our schools, and is a coordinated effort between our schools and our emergency response agencies including Estes Park Police Department, Estes Park Health, Sheriff's Office, Estes Valley Fire Protection District, and RMNP Law Enforcement. It can be found HERE on our District website. Please keep this information handy at home. We want to take a moment to highlight the Parent Response and Reunification Guidelines with our parent community. Your cooperation is paramount to our emergency response and overall safety of our schools. We, along with our Public Safety Partners, are also in the process of planning some additional training and safety drills for our students, facility and staff to help ensure the safety of our children.
Ruby Bode, Superintendent
Paul Mieszala, School Resource Officer
Parent Response and Reunification Guidelines
Parent cooperation is paramount to our emergency response and overall safety of our schools. Please keep this information handy at home. If an actual emergency does occur, every parent must know how to respond. Your cooperation will be essential in the following ways.
How to Check on Your Child
In the event of an emergency, the school will be locked down and will not grant access to anyone but law enforcement. Coming to the school could be potentially dangerous for parents and take emergency resources away from public safety. Immediately coming to school is not the appropriate response. Please, do not come to the school.
Telephone lines must be kept free for outgoing calls to emergency personnel. In a large-scale emergency, telephone lines may be busy and totally unavailable. Calling the school is not the appropriate response. Please, do not call the school.
Check your phone for calls/text messages from the school with updated information.
Check school social media accounts for updated information.
Call the School District Office, not the school directly, at 970.586.2361.
How to Pick Up Your Child in the Event of a Real Emergency
Instructions for picking up children will be made available via phone or text message. In some cases, the students may be evacuated from the school grounds. The only way you will know where to pick them up is through this information.
Again, in most cases, the school will be locked down during and immediately following a crisis. No one, other than emergency personnel, will be allowed to enter until it is determined that conditions are safe. Furthermore, no students will be released to parents until the threat is over unless we can do so safely at unification points away from the school.
When it is safe to release students, there is a reunification plan. Parents need to be prepared to check in at the reunion point with identification. Students will not be released to anyone other than their parent or guardian unless we have written consent by the parent or guardian. This may seem inconvenient, however, we have learned that it can become very difficult to be aware of the whereabouts of every child, if children are sent with a neighbor or friend without the knowledge of their parents.
Information may seem slow getting to you due to the fluid and dynamic situation that will be taking place. Please understand, our first priority will be student safety. Once that is established, we can focus on sending updated information and reunifying parents and students.
Just as we prepare our students to properly respond to a lockdown drill, getting information to parents/guardians ahead of time will help our community be well-prepared in the event of a school emergency.
Another way you can help keep our School District safe is by encouraging your child to follow a simple principle taught by our School Resource Officer, “If you see something, say something.” If you or your child hear of concerning behavior or language, let school administration know right away. You never know what information will be the difference in keeping our students safe. Our students have done an incredible job of this. Keep it up!
Make sure your contact information is current
- If you have an international number, our system is not able to text or call international numbers and you may need to make sure you have an email account that can receive messaging from the school in the case of an emergency.
- To make sure the school has your current information, please call the front office staff at the school your child attends.
- Be aware that if you block our messaging system on your device, you will no longer receive any communications from the school, including emergency notifications. If you think you may have blocked messaging from the school, please call the front office of the school your child attends.