Marie Murphy Chronicles

2 March 2018

"Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?" ~ Abraham Lincoln

You Should Know...Marie Murphy School Safety

In light of the school shooting in Florida last month, Marie Murphy has spent time over the past few weeks reviewing our emergency protocol with staff and students alike. As school safety continues to be at the forefront of many's thoughts, using this medium is a good opportunity to ensure that our parents are as informed as our students when it comes to responding to an emergency situation.


At Marie Murphy, we have six emergency drills/scenarios that we prepare for. Some will be familiar to you while others will contain new information. Please know that the Wilmette and Glenview Police Departments are wonderful partners in helping developing emergency protocol and review our emergency procedures every June. We do this annually to make sure we are up to date with best practices.


Bus Evacuation: We practice this drill first week of school. All students, even if they are not a bus rider, review bus safety and emergency evacuation procedures. The drill closes with students practicing a rear bus evacuation.


Fire Drills: We conduct a minimum of three fire drills per year. In the event of a fire, the alarm is triggered manually or automatically. Students follow their teacher to evacuate the building. We practice exiting the building using multiple routes of egress in case a normal route is blocked. Students congregate on the back blacktop where we account for all students. In the event of a real fire where we could not re-enter the building, students would be escorted by emergency responders to our reunification site. There we would coordinate a pick up effort to ensure all students get home safely.


Shelter in Place (Tornado) Drill: Practiced every early spring (taking place today, March 2), teachers lead their classes ot the safest, lowest part of the building, away from windows and doors. This is our T-Junction in the center of the building, as well as the guys and girls locker rooms off the gym. Students are led to these areas by their teachers and assume the position - kneeling down, head low, facing towards the wall and lockers, with hands, binders, laptops or books covering the back of their heads and necks to protect from falling debris. In the event of a real tornado, the township's tornado sirens would signal the need to shelter in place.


Suspended Schedule: Used when there is a situation in the hallway that requires students to stay in their rooms (power outage, injury in the hallway, skunk in the building, etc.), the front office simply uses the intercom system to announce a "suspended schedule" to everyone in the building. During a suspended schedule, the clock "stops". Instruction continues in the classroom, but no one leaves class and no classes transition to a new period until the situation is resolved.


Closed Campus: Used when there is a threat in the area, outside of the school. Examples could include a chemical spill on the highway, a robbery at Eden's Plaza, etc. As with a suspended schedule, teachers can be notified of "Closed Campus" status via the intercom system. A follow up email to the teachers offers information/rationale for closing the school. All doors are locked, all windows are closed, all blinds are drawn. No one may enter or leave the building. Staff not involved in direct supervision of students are positioned at doors around the school. Instruction in class continues, and the class schedule progresses normally. If the threat gains proximity to school, we can shift into "Lockdown" status. If the situation is resolved, we end our closed campus status.


Lockdown: Used when there is immediate danger to staff and students. Either the "Lockdown" announcement is made, or teachers can go into lockdown at their discretion. 911 is called. Teachers do a quick visual sweep of the hallway, gathering any student into their room, before locking their doors. Teachers then make the decision for students to "Run, Hide, or Fight". A "run" decision is made if the threat location is known and the teacher feels they can get students safely to the reunification site point. If the location of the threat is unknown, teachers will instruct students their locked classrooms to hide/fight. Doors can be barricaded, students arm themselves with anything to protect themselves, and we go silent. The lockdown does not end until either an emergency responder, administrator, or custodian unlock the door to the classroom.


Preparing for these situations supports our greatest goal and responsibility - providing for the safety of all students. Please be sure to ask your child(ren) about our safety protocol; being informed and prepared is critical in the achievement of this goal.

A Day In the Life at Marie Murphy!

Marie Murphy Student Government Tackles the Avoca Center Question

Student Government, not to be confused with Student Council, is a club where students get a better understanding of the workings of local government and school board policy. This year, working with club sponsor Mrs. Stewart, 8th graders Emily V., Amelie P.-S., John F., Louis G. and Jake D. successfully completed their mock School Board Meeting at Wilmette Village Hall on February 26.


Focused around the topic of how the Avoca Board of Education should move forward regarding the Avoca Center property (located just west of Marie Murphy School), the students assumed the role of adults, grappling with a challenging real world problem. The Student Government members were articulate, professional and made Marie Murphy proud!


You can watch the video below to see the Student Government members in action by clicking on the link below!

7th Grade Celebrates Olympics with Ice Skating & "MIracle" Viewing Celebration

Spanish & French Build Connections with Preschoolers

Marie Murphy's foreign language students continue to connect with preschoolers to build language skills and friendships. In mid-February, 6th grade French students worked with preschoolers to create masks to celebrate Mardi Gras. Then on Valentine's Day, preschoolers celebrated the day with their junior high friends by playing Valentine's Day Bingo in Spanish. Highlighting this activity were current Marie Murphy Spanish students who were preschool students years ago!

Avoca West, Marie Murphy, & New Trier Join in Song for Winter Choral Concert

The Avoca West and Marie Murphy Chorus' were joined by the New Trier Varsity Voices for their annual winter choral concert on February 15th. Highlights of the evening included included Avoca West's rendition of "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off", Marie Murphy's performance of Hamilton's "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story?" and a rousing end to the show number aptly named "Stand Together" performed by all three choruses. Congratulations to all of our performers on a wonderful show!

Upcoming Events at MM

March 3: Science Olympiad Pancake Breakfast

March 5: Board of Education Committee of the Whole Mtg

March 7: PTC General Membership Meeting

March 12: 7th Grade to Chicago Art Institute

March 17: Science Olympiad Regional Competition

March 19-20: Guys Volleyball Tournament

March 21-22: Parent Conferences; 1/2 Day Attendance

March 23: Teacher Institute Day; No School

March 26-March 30: Spring Break