For Parents and Families
If you are moving to Emporia, you can enroll your children in school by making an appointment with the Student & Family Resources Office at Mary Herbert Education Center, 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday, by calling 620-341-2396. During June and July, the district will observe summer hours 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday – Thursday.
Please be assured that the safety of our students and staff is our highest priority during all threatening weather conditions and emergency plans are in place. As we all know, Kansas weather can change quickly and become highly unpredictable and dangerous. Decisions regarding cancellations and delays will be based on what is safest for students and staff of Emporia Public Schools (EPS). While we work collaboratively, choices made by other districts or by local higher education institutions may or may not influence the final decision made by EPS because of districts and institutions that differ in size or the operational procedures of that institution. Highlights of the Emporia Public Schools emergency weather safety procedures are outlined below.
Cancellation and Late Start Information:
All weather-related communication to parents will occur through the following channels:
SchoolMessenger for calls and texts, (texts will be received by those families who have opted-in)
district website: www.usd253.org
district social media: Twitter (@Emporia253) and Facebook (Emporia Public Schools)
local media: 1400 KVOE AM/96.9 FM & EmporiaGazette.com
Parents, please make sure you are receiving school notifications. Information for school notifications is exported from your student's PowerSchool account. PowerSchool information can be updated by contacting your student's school.
all parents automatically receive notifications at the phone number listed in your student's PowerSchool record
you can also opt-in to Text Messaging by sending a message of “Y” or “Yes” to 67587 (not all school messages will be available by text)
create a contact preference profile using SchoolMessenger's account sign-up
Kansas safety drill requirements for all public schools per year
- 4 fire drills
- 2 tornado drills
- 3 crisis drills
There is a team of administrators that watch the weather and monitor weather predictions. A decision on any cancellations will be made based on the team's observations for the safety of our students and staff.
Our team will be looking at the following:
- actual and projected snowfall or ice accumulation
- evaluation of city streets, road conditions, and the ability of buses to travel safely
- status of power and heat to buildings
- temperature and windchill factor
If the weather team determines that conditions are such that the overall safety of students and staff would be jeopardized every effort will be made to cancel school by 6:00 a.m. Under certain conditions, the team may elect to cancel school the night before. On days when school is already in session and conditions deteriorate during the day the district weather team will meet to inside the status of after-school and evening activities. Cancellation decisions will be shared through the same communication channels used for all school closings.
Lightning and Severe Storms
Adapted from the Kansas State High School Activities Association.
- School officials monitor weather conditions during practices, competitions, and all daily outdoor activities.
- When thunder is heard or cloud-to-ground lightning is seen, all outdoor activities and indoor swimming pool activities will be suspended immediately and students will be taken to a safe location.
- Once an activity has been suspended it will be at least 30 minutes from the last sound of thunder or lightning strike witnessed before activities resume. Any new occurrence of lightning will begin a new 30-minute waiting period.
- School officials monitor weather conditions when it is possible the weather may turn severe during the school day.
- Anytime a tornado warning is issued for our community or an area in which we have students, tornado shelter procedures will be followed. Students, staff, and any visitors will be directed to a designated shelter location at each school.
- If students are on the bus, they will be taken to the nearest school, and tornado shelter procedures will be followed.
Emporia Public Schools has made many preparations to deal effectively with emergency situations that could occur in or near our schools. While we hope that a natural disaster or other serious incidents ever occurs, our goal is to be prepared for any potential emergency. At all times, our priority is to protect all students and staff from harm.
We require visitors to check in at the office in order to restrict and monitor access to the school. We have many security cameras in place that help us detect situations around the clock. In addition, we have real-time communication systems between emergency first responders and Emporia public schools.
The options-based practice of Run, Hide, Fight was created by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security after much research on workplace and public shootings. Their belief is that this strategy benefits all people when faced with danger at school, shopping, eating out, or in public venues. Therefore, with the research and applicability to many life situations and the directive from the Kansas Board of Education, we are teaching our students these responses.
Please note, that we practice these drills in an age-appropriate manner. All students will practice the three levels of drills, but the drills will be modified in scope and language to match the development level of the school.
Finally, as parents, we value your support of our school safety initiatives. Your cooperation is vital to helping us protect the safety and welfare of all children and school employees. As you often hear in the media, if you see something out of the ordinary, say something. You may report safety concerns to your child's school, the district office at 620-341-2200, local police, or called the Kansas Department of Education school safety hotline at 1-877-626-8203.
Your child's safety is paramount. We are proud of our efforts to keep our schools safe and are doing everything possible to ensure the continued safety of our students and staff. Thank you for your cooperation.
Lockdown Level 1
Emergency Situation is outside of the school. The school responds by locking exterior doors and bringing children inside from recess or PE. Otherwise, instruction continues as normal.
Lockdown Level 2
There is a situation inside the school that is not appropriate for children to see. This could be an extreme medical emergency, an escalating situation with a student or adult, etcetera. Level 2 lockdown does not imply that there is an intruder in the school or that your child was in an unsafe situation.
Lockdown Level 3
Intruder is inside the school. Children will practice running out of the school if it is safe to do so, hiding out of sight / barricading doorways, and, as last resort, defending themselves by throwing books or other objects if the intruder is in their immediate space.
In the event of an emergency
- Talk to your children and emphasize how important it is for them to follow instructions from their teachers and school officials during any emergency.
- Parents and other adults must stay calm and focused in an emergency, mindful that their actions and comments will be the example that, to a great extent, determines the children’s response.
- Do not telephone the schools. We understand and respect your concern, but it is essential that the telephone system is available for emergency communications.
- Do not call your child's cell phone if you hear of an intruder in the school. The noise of the phone could alert the intruder to your child's hiding location.
- Make sure that we have emergency contact information for each of your children at all times period we must be able to contact you or your designated representative in an emergency.
- For accurate emergency announcements and status reports, we will provide information through these methods:
- In the event of an evacuation, you will receive instructions on where you should go and how / when you may pick up your children. Our school emergency plan includes evacuation procedures with several alternative destinations. When appropriate and safe, students may be released to their parents/guardians from these shelter locations. Under those circumstances, we will be prepared to implement procedures for confirming the identity of individuals who arrive to pick up each child. When arriving to pick up your children, please make sure that you have with you your driver's license or government-issued picture identification.