Tornado Shelter - 8/19/2021

August 19, 2021

Providing every student with the keys to open the doors of their future.

Regarding the Tornado Shelter and Dismissal this Afternoon

Dear Padilla Community:

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your support and understanding this afternoon during dismissal. Just before 3:00 PM, 27J Schools issued a district-wide “Shelter” alert due to a tornado warning in the area. At that time we initiated our Emergency Response Protocol to move students into safe locations in the building to protect them in the event of a tornado. In less than two minutes all students were in shelter locations and were supported by staff in ensuring they were sheltering safely.

As the tornado warning wore on and was extended, it became clear that we would not be able to dismiss as normal. In emergent situations, our first and only goal is the safety of our students. As a result, we were not able to dismiss students to you on time as we would normally do. I know that such a change can be disruptive to your families, but keeping students safe was most important to us at that time. Keeping your child safe by holding students in our shelter response until the emergency is over allows us to do that.

As soon as we received the all clear from the 27J Schools Crisis and Emergency Response team we began our normal dismissal process. That process does take a bit of time for students to return to their classrooms, pack up their materials, and leave the building. Thank you for your patience with the delayed dismissal so that we could get kids home to you safely.

Please pass along my thanks to your children for handling this situation masterfully. There were some tears shed during the shelter, but your children handled the scariness of this situation incredibly. I encourage you to take some time to talk with your children about their experience with it and if your child needs to speak to someone about that experience we would be more than happy to facilitate that.

I am incredibly grateful that you have trusted us with your children here at Padilla. While situations like this one can be disruptive, we will always continue to put the safety of your children at the forefront of what we do. Thank you for your trust, your understanding, and your grace as we experienced our first tornado shelter on only our sixth day ever open!

If you have any questions, concerns, or thoughts regarding our tornado shelter process today I encourage you to reach out to me using the information below.


Kevin Purfurst


Padilla Elementary School

27J Schools