We had an unexpected evacuation today due to a Carbon Monoxide monitor going off. Our Reading Fire Department recommended that in order to ensure the safety of all students and staff, doing an evacuation to Austin Prep was an appropriate preventative measure. Our Reading Police Department and Fire Department provided support to ensure student transport happened in an efficient and safe manner, while our School Department worked to help us communicate with families and provide transportation for our students.
Austin Prep was a gracious host and provided us with staff, space, microphones, and continued support for our students (including those few last students waiting to get picked up with some waters and snacks!)
I was so proud of the Barrows Staff members for their calm interactions with students, which contributed to the calm, positive tone! I enjoyed the squeals of delight of the students when they heard they got to ride the bus, or thought they were famous seeing the news helicopters above! The students did a wonderful job, were so patient, and listened to their teachers while going through a process that might have been scary for some.
Finally, my appreciation to our families. I know that it was an inconvenience for parents and family members, but the fact that our Barrows parents were willing to patiently wait in the rain, readily show their IDs, and reached out to other parents on the phone to confirm permission made the entire process move as smoothly as possible.
We will be meeting to debrief the situation with staff, school administration, and get feedback from police and fire to ensure that we make adjustments as necessary to any evacuation plans (hoping that they will only be needed in ”drill” form in the future!) If you have any feedback please feel free to get in touch with me, as it only helps us do better for our students.
The Reading Facilities Department, along with various experts and technicians, examined all potential causes of the Carbon Monoxide increase. They identified and remedied the concern. As a preventative measure they will be installing additional Carbon Monoxide detectors while also having periodic checks from the Fire Department to ensure our continued safety.
Thank you again (and enjoy the photos below from our Library/Media Specialist Lori Hill!)
Our students wait to be picked up at Austin Prep
The happy Barrows Staff heads back to school after all students are picked up!