Charles Co. to make it easier for parents, kids to reunite after emergency

If there was an emergency at your children’s school, and they needed to be evacuated, do you know where they would be taken or how you could get them back?

The process of reuniting parents with children can be long and drawn-out. Past incidents across the United States have shown that it can take hours, which seems like an eternity to parents who are trying to find out whether their child is OK.

In Charles County, Maryland, the school system is working on a plan to streamline the process.

First, Charles County Public Schools already knows where the kids will go.

“We have signed a memorandum of understanding with the College of Southern Maryland,” said Jason Stoddard, the school district’s director of safety and security.

“So, any time that we have to do a mass evacuation of any of our schools — whether from an earthquake, tornado, God forbid an active shooter, or a fire — those children, along with the staff, will be bussed from that location directly to the P.E. building at the College of Southern Maryland.”

Officials are trying to adapt student ID cards to speed things up.

“We are currently working with our database partner, Synergy, and they have taken our model and suggestion to build a family reunification program inside of the ID cards,” Stoddard said. “So, if we ever do have to do a mass reunification, or a mass evacuation from a building, we can utilize their ID cards to check them in and move them around in the reunification process.”

Michelle Murillo

Michelle Murillo has been a part of the WTOP family since 2014. She started her career in Central Florida before working in radio in New York City and Philadelphia.

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