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Alice Birney School executed a well planned Great California ShakeOut drill Thursday, Oct. 18, that involved the entire school from the first alert until the last child went home.

The drill began in each classroom with a signal to Drop, Cover, and Hold. After the “all clear” announcement, teachers and staff walked the children to assembly areas on the playground. Roll was taken to make sure all children were accounted for.

Next, a remarkable component of the plan began. The students were regrouped according to their after school departures: to the After School Program, to the Boys & Girls Club, bus riders, walkers, or those to be picked up by a family member.

The Alice Birney student council members helped with this part of the drill. Each member had a job and they took their responsibilities seriously. Some went to each classroom teacher to collect the walkers or the bus riders. Others escorted children from their classroom teacher to their waiting family members.

The entire drill required the coordination, communication, and cooperation of teachers, students, school staff, and staff members of the After School Program and Boys & Girls Club.

I was fortunate to have observed the drill. I feel confident that if, or when, an actual earthquake or other disaster occurs, Alice Birney School is well prepared.

Sunny Falling-rain, Cutten

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