NORFOLK — False smoke billowed from a corner of the school… the fire alarm blared… and students followed drill protocol and exited the building. But this wasn’t just a fire drill at Christ Lutheran School in Norfolk.
“A fire drill is the part that you normally practice multiple time throughout the year, but what if it’s the real thing? Today we practiced what happens if they can’t go back into the school,” Principal Steven Stortz said.
The school practiced a Reunification Crisis Drill on Wednesday afternoon. The students and staff evacuated the school and occupied the church across the parking lot. Then, parents were notified via email, phone and app that their kids were ready for reunification. Principal Steven Stortz says it’s the reunification step that needs the most work because it’s just never practiced.
“We want to make sure we do it right,” Stortz said. “Practice is something that makes perfect. We found some snags today… (but now) we’ve got that practice.”
Once arriving, parents showed ID, then a staff member went and got their child from the sanctuary. It was a little over two hours from the start of the drill to when every parent and student were reunited. Stortz says he’s glad it wasn’t the real thing, but is happy with how the drill went.
“I really appreciated the cooperation of our parents,” Stortz said. “The kids were very cooperative, we talked with them in the morning about how things were going to go this afternoon – they did a great job as well.”
Stortz says he thinks Wednesday’s drill was the first of its kind in the Norfolk area.