When there is a threat of severe weather, Frisco ISD officials monitor conditions and work with the City of Frisco at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to determine when emergency procedures need to be implemented. The EOC monitors the entire area including the other municipalities we serve – McKinney, Plano and Little Elm. When dangerous conditions exist and plans are implemented, FISD will use every means available to communicate this to families. We believe families know that schools are a safe place and that we will do whatever we can to keep students protected and make the best decisions for their well-being.
FISD will utilize the School Messenger system to send out a phone call and an email simultaneously to keep families up to date of changing circumstances. The email goes out immediately and it takes the phone call 25 minutes to make it through all of the numbers. We also utilize an opt-in text message component through School Messenger. Please always make sure we have your current contact information. Additionally, the Frisco ISD website, Facebook and Twitter will be utilized to provide updates. We will also place a message on our cable channels and will do our best to contact the television and radio stations. Please understand that power outages, network issues and cell tower activity can all impact the rate in which information is received.
At the School
Please know that the safety of your children is our utmost concern. When we are notified that we are under a warning and the decision is made to shelter in place, schools will go into tornado safety mode. Students who are outside will be brought in immediately and staff will begin to move students into the interior areas of the building as they do during tornado safety drills four times a school year. Parents should be aware that campuses will do the best to house students in the safest locations within the building as possible; however, avoidance of all windows is nearly impossible given the design of most of our campuses. This may begin occurring even before the sirens have been heard. There will probably be a short window of time when parents who are there to get their children will be able to check them out, but please know that once the school is in full “shelter in place” mode, it is important for all staff to be focused on the students and keeping things as safe and normal as possible for them in this situation. They do not have the resources available to stop what they are doing and go to find students- it is not reasonable and can create disruptions, distractions, and safety concerns. In addition, it may not be possible to allow new emergency contacts to be added for release of students during this event due to the volume of requests and limited resources. Parents who are on site and waiting in the parking lot will be invited to shelter in place. Although parents will not be able to go back and join their students due to space and other considerations, there will be space in the building for you if you are caught out when the warning sirens are activated. Please remember that just because the sirens stop does not mean the warning is lifted. Schools will be activating a voice mail message that will convey the status of what is taking place if parents call in during this time. As staff members are busy getting students in place, they may not have the manpower available to continue to answer the phones, but someone will remain in the front office area as possible.
Transportation & Dismissal
Buses will not run until the warning has been lifted no matter the time of day, and there may be a delay from when the warning is lifted and when routes are activated. If buses are already running when this occurs, drivers are trained to seek the nearest shelter. We will try to communicate in advance when the buses will run and how delayed they may be. Please understand that we have schools spread across 75 square miles and in four different cities. Weather conditions can vary greatly from one area of the district to another. Administrators have to exercise judgment in these situations. They may need to use discretion on when to release walkers, bike riders and student drivers based on what is best for student safety at the time events are occurring at their school.
FISD has never released school early due to the threat of weather; to do so is a major decision. Students are safe at school and we are concerned with sending students home without supervision in such conditions. Parents may choose to come get their children, if the school is not in weather safe mode, should they feel that is the best decision for them in regard to safety. Please, however, have a plan in place if circumstances did necessitate a release of students at an earlier than normal time. If ever necessary, we will utilize all communication tools at our disposal.