In the event of inclement weather or an emergency situation, the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center takes every precaution to ensure the safety of students. Our staff work continually with local police, sheriff, fire, and emergency management teams to improve and fine-tune emergency plans.
Emergency Contact Information
During an emergency, please do not call the school, transportation department, or Central Office. If the phone lines are working, they are to be used only for emergency communication.
The school will keep parents and the public informed through the Public Schools Emergency Communications System on the following radio and television stations:
- WLAN 96.9 FM
- WLAN 1490 AM
- WGAL TV Channel 8
In addition, the One Call automated parent notification system can rapidly alert parents of weather-related school closures or changes in start or dismissal times. One Call has the capacity to reach all families in a given school, or the entire district, within five to 10 minutes from the time the first call is placed. In an emergency, the system is programmed to call the home and work phone numbers of parents/guardians listed on the child’s enrollment card.
In a non-emergency situation, if you have questions about potential emergencies or preparedness, call your child’s school office. You can also call the district at (717) 464-7050.
Emergency Operations Center
Each school has a centralized Emergency Response Team(ERT). These ERT’s have developed plans for and hold drills on a variety of crises including fire, earthquakes, Shelter-In-Place, and intruders.
As a part of these emergency plans, there is trained staff in the schools to respond to these various incidents.
The Lancaster County Career & Technology Center will continue to make every effort to communicate the status of emergency plans to parents and the community. Our number one priority is always the safety and security of students.
Due to situations beyond our control, sometimes there is a need to close schools or modify their start times. The reasons for this are varied, but will most likely be due to one of the following reasons:
- Severe weather (snow or ice storm)
- Loss of electricity (due to downed power lines or utility brown-out for a given area)
- Water loss (watermain break, contaminated water supply)
Closures and delays are determined by the majority of the sending school district actions (9+ districts). For example, if 9 or more school districts close, the LCCTC will also close. Closures typically involve all campuses. However, occasionally there is a need to close down an individual school due to an isolated problem.
Swine Influenza (Flu) Information for Parents/Guardians
As you may be aware, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued several statements and updates on recent clusters of Swine Influenza (Flu) cases that have affected U.S. citizens in different parts of the country. Please know that our school district has many practices in place for preventing the spread of disease in our schools and for responding to a variety of emergency situations. Additionally, school districts in York and Adams counties have been working together with state and local health and emergency officials to determine and share ways to best prepare for the possibility of a flu pandemic or other infectious disease. This on-going effort will result in a coordinated response to help reduce the impact of a potential pandemic or other health emergency on our schools and our communities. The CDC advises the following tips to help prevent the spread of the Swine Flu or any infectious disease:
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing to prevent the spread of germs.
- Clean your hands often to protect yourself from germs.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Practice good health habits, such as getting plenty of sleep, eating nutritious food, drinking plenty of fluids, and remaining active.
As always, if you have a health concern regarding your child, we encourage you to consult with your family physician or pediatrician. The following links provide helpful information and checklists for families on preparing for/handling the flu: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/ the World Health Organization at http://www.who.int/en/ and the American Red Cross at http://www.redcross.org/.
Raptor Technologies’ V-Soft Visitor Identification
The Lancaster County CTC and Joint Operating Committee have approved the purchase and installation of Raptor Technologies’ V-Soft visitor identification program. This system will be used at all campus locations and in full operation beginning September 1, 2009. Robust in application, this system will enable campus principals to gain a better understanding of who is attempting to gain access to the campus, as well as to track those visitors and volunteers who routinely visit their campus. Most notably, this system tracks all Registered Sexual Offenders (RSO) in the United States and alerts law enforcement and district/campus administration when and if an RSO attempts to gain entry.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there are an estimated 603,000 RSOs in the U.S. Of this number, an estimated 100,000 are absconded; meaning, they are unaccounted for and missing. The V-Soft system tracks all RSOs better than any other similar system in existence today. As an example, consider the following situation: Should an RSO live in New York and move to another state, assuming the RSO notified New York of his/her move, that state, in time, would delete the RSO’s name from their database. That person could then move to Pennsylvania, establish a residence without registering as an RSO, and then attempt to gain access into one of our schools. With Raptor’s V-Soft system, once a person enters their database as an RSO, that person is never deleted from the system. In our example then, if the RSO attempted to gain access at one of our schools, V-Soft would identify the person as an RSO. Law enforcement could be notified and legal action taken.
Parents should access the website at http://www.city-data.com/so/so-Lancaster-Pennsylvania.html for information pertaining to any known RSOs residing within the City of Lancaster. If any of these RSOs should attempt access into our schools, the V-Soft system will identify them. Our protocol calls for an administrator to speak with the person. If the person has legitimate business in the school, escorted and limited access may be granted.
This system will identify all visitors to a campus. State law allows public schools to require that all visitors present a picture identification card. Upon entering a school, a visitor will proceed to a registration desk staffed by a member of that particular school (as selected by the campus principal). The staff member will take the ID (usually a person’s driver license) and scan it into the V-Soft system. The ID is compared to the RSO database, along with any “private alert” information entered by campus administration (such as information pertaining to parental custodial issues). Once completed, a visitor’s badge will be issued with the person’s name and photo, the day’s date, the time, and the destination within the building for the visit. When the visitor leaves the building, an entry will be made that the person has left the building.
The motivation behind the move to use the system is to continue to provide a safe and secure environment for our students, staff, and community visitors.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How does the system work?
Our visitors present a valid state or government issued photo identification card to the school’s receptionist. This ID is scanned into the V-Soft system and the personal information from the ID is cross-referenced against names of Registered Sexual Offenders (RSO) in a database maintained by Raptor Technologies, Inc. Within moments, the receptionist will know if the visitor is an RSO. If this is the case, then guidelines are in place to positively engage the visitor and consider the validity of the request to visit the school. If this is not the case, then the V-Soft system will print out a visitor’s pass which includes the person’s name, photo, date of visit, and destination within the building.
2. Who manufactures the V-Soft system?
Raptor Technologies, Inc. is the manufacturer of this system. You can learn more about the company at http://www.raptorware.com/.
3. If a person is identified by V-Soft as an RSO, will that person be allowed into our schools?
If the system identifies a person as an RSO, the Principal of the school and other senior district administrators, will immediately receive an alert message from V-Soft on their cell phone via text message and e-mail. The Principal would invite the person into a private office to understand the need for the visit. If the Principal agrees to the visit, the person would receive a visitor’s pass and then be escorted to his/her destination. The entire visit would be closely monitored.
4. What types of identification are acceptable to be used in the V-Soft system?
The following IDs are known to work within the system: Pennsylvania Driver License; State ID Card; Concealed Handgun License; Military ID; Government ID; Mexico Driver License; Mexico Consulate ID; Canada Driver License; and, Alien Registration Receipt Cards. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, or to exclude other forms of valid state or government issued photo identification cards. If another form of ID is presented, we will evaluate its use for the V-Soft system.
5. If I show my Pennsylvania Driver License, does Raptor maintain a picture of my license in its database?
No, Raptor only keeps the identifying information from the license, such as name, date of birth, photo, and address; once obtained, it discards the picture of the license. Raptor also keeps the Drivers License number in the event law enforcement should need assistance in identifying a visitor to our campus. If a person rejects to allowing Raptor to maintain the DL number, an alternate form of photo identification can be used. Please refer to number 4, above, for acceptable forms of identification.
6. Do I have to present my photo ID each time I enter a school?
A visitor will need to present the photo ID on the initial visit at each school visited. With subsequent visits, the receptionist will simply enter your name; other pertinent information will be displayed from the system’s memory. It is important to note that even though a visitor does not have to provide the photo ID with subsequent visits to the same school, before a visitor’s pass is printed out the V-Soft system will check the name against its updated database of Registered Sexual Offenders. It is also important to remember that if, for any reason, announced or not, a principal wants to require photo ID for all visitors, this will be strictly enforced.
7. What if I don’t have a district-approved photo ID; can I still get into the school?
It depends on the purpose of your visit. A campus administrator will evaluate the purpose for the visit and make a determination. If granted, the visit will be monitored and limited solely to the area where you need to go. Before entering the school, you will be asked to provide your first and last name, as well as your date of birth; this information will be manually entered into the V-Soft system and scanned against the RSO database. Assuming clearance, a visitor’s pass will be issued.
8. What if a vendor or contractor attempts to gain entrance and is found to be on the Registered Sexual Offender list; will he be given access to the school?
No. He will be directed to contact the building Principal for further instructions.
9. What about delivery trucks who deliver to the kitchen dock; will those people have to go through the V-Soft system?
No, unless they have a need to go beyond the kitchen area; then they would be escorted by kitchen staff to the front office to go through the system.
10. What if I just need to drop off something for my child at the front office; would I need to go through the system?
Any and all visitors who will interact with any students, for whatever reason, will be entered into the system. If a parent should simply drop off something for the student without interacting with him/her, then the parent would not be entered into the system.
11. What about after-school events that are held in the school; can a parent or legal guardian who has been previously identified through the system as a Registered Sexual Offender go to such an event?
Yes, assuming they have informed the principal of the school that they will be in attendance. It is our expectation that this visitor will be monitored by school administrators while in the school.
12. What if I’m on the Registered Sexual Offender list; can I expect to interact with my child and partner with the district in educating him/her?
Yes, assuming you do not have a court-order restricting access into the school. You will need to check in with the receptionist upon arrival. A school administrator will visit with you to confirm the purpose of your visit. After this, you should expect that your visit will be monitored in its entirety.
The Lancaster County Career & Technology Center recently adopted One Call, a telephone broadcasting service, to help keep our parents better informed about school happenings. The program allows us to contact thousands of households within a short amount of time. While this system can be used to contact parents during emergency situations, it will also be used for regular announcements – school picture days, parent-teacher conferences and other upcoming events.
This is a very important step for our Schools and the families that we serve. After all, research indicates that parent involvement is one of the most important – if not the most important – indicator of student success. One of the first steps of parent involvement, of course, is for the principal and teachers to let parents know what is happening at school.
The Lancaster County Career & Technology Center will continue to report school closings due to snow or weather on local radio and television stations and will use this system as an overlay to the public announcements.
When used, One Call simultaneously calls all phone numbers on our parent contact list and delivers a recorded message from the school principal or another school administrator. The service delivers the message to both live answer and answering machines. No-answers and busies are automatically retried twice in 15 minute intervals after the initial call. It does not call duplicate numbers, so parents will not get multiple phone calls if they have children on the same calling list.
This service requires no registration by the parent on the One Call website. All information and contact numbers are strictly secure and confidential and are used only for the purposes described within the letter that has been sent home with parents.
For this service and for many other reasons, it is extremely important that each child’s school has the most up-to-date contact information for his/her family. If parents have not contacted the school about a changed or new telephone number, please do so immediately. We are only able to call the numbers that we have been given.
Here is specific information parents should know to help make the phone calls more successful:
The Caller ID will display the school’s main number. A phone call from the district office will display: 717-859-5100 (Brownstown), 717-653-3000 (Mount Joy) or 717-464-7050 (Willow Street), which are the main numbers for the respective campuses. If you call the number, it will simply place a phone call to the school; it will not repeat the message.
There is a short pause at the beginning of the message, usually just a few seconds. Answer your phone as you normally would: “Hello” and hold for the message to begin. Multiple “Hellos” will delay the message. Inform all family members who may answer your phone of this process.
The system will detect that your machine has answered and will play the recording to your machine. The maximum number of rings before hang up is 5. Make sure your machine answers after 4 rings or you may miss the message.
At the end of the message you will be prompted to “press one” to hear the message again. This is very effective when a child answers the phone and hands it to a parent, who can then repeat the message in its entirety.
For more information about One Call, please contact an administrator at your childs school:
- Brownstown: 717-859-5100
- Mount Joy: 717-653-3000
- Willow Street: 717-464-7050
Shelter In Place
The District Emergency Response Center (ERC) and building ERC teams have developed plans which cover a variety of crises, including fire, earthquakes, and intruders.
As a part of these emergency plans, we have trained key personnel in the schools to respond to incidents that might require Sheltering-In-Place. The Shelter-In-Place plan protects students and staff in the event of potential exposure to a dangerous chemical that could be released through:
- An industrial accident
- A chemical spill
- A break in a natural gas pipeline
- Materials transported through our community
- A terrorist attack.
The Shelter-In-Place plan has proven to be a safer approach than evacuating students into a potentially contaminated outdoor environment. Generally, the duration of these situations would last minutes or hours, not days.
Should one of these situations occur during the school day, we would be directed by Lancaster County Emergency Management or other public health and safety officials to bring all students and staff members into predetermined areas. All heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems would be shut down and all doors and windows would be closed and secured. On the advice of local emergency personnel, no one would be allowed in or out of a building until the authorities give the all-clear signal.
Access to Students During Shelter-In-Place
For many parents, your first instinct will be to come to the school to check on your child or take him or her home. However, to ensure the safety of our students during the brief Shelter-In-Place period, we will not be opening our doors to anyone. As a parent, we recognize how hard this would be. Please know that this action is based on the best advice and counsel we have from all local, state, and national officials. So, as you plan to shelter yourself at home or at work, please know that we will be taking good care of your child by doing the same.
Equipment, Supplies, and Information
In preparation for Sheltering-In-Place, the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center is supporting our school sites by providing:
- Supply kits have been distributed to each building site for any Shelter-In-Place incident.
- District-wide emergency communications systems have been enhanced to allow for building-to-building communications via our hand-held radios and cell phones.
- The Emergency Information Overview section of this page will contain the latest information and communications related to emergency situations.
Special Support Assistance
There is also a plan in place for students who might require further support assistance. Principals, counselors and teachers are available to listen, to be there for questions, and to ease concerns.