School District 25 changing crisis response plan after recent events

Jul 6, 2017 By Daniel Bendtsen, Staff Writer

This past year, Riverton public schools have tapped their crisis response plans in reaction to diverse situations, from threats of school shootings, to roaming mountain lions.

The school district is now revising those plans so that its responses are more isolated to individual buildings.

Previously, if one school went on lockdown or stay-put, so did all other schools.

Now, when one school is put on lockdown, other schools will simply be in stay-put mode. When one school is put on stay-put mode, other schools with engage a new procedure: "be alert."

Under "be alert" mode, staff members are instructed to monitor two-way radio communications while still allowing students to leave the classroom if necessary.

Jeremy Hill, the principal at Willow Creek Elementary who heads the crisis response plan, said some stay-put situations have caused unnecessary concern among parents whose children are not at the affected schools.

The new system, Hill said, is more appropriate in certain situations. For example, when a mountain lion was spotted wandering near Jefferson Elementary School, there was practically no threat to other campuses.

"(The mountain lion) wasn't going to teleport itself to another part of town and suddenly be a threat there," he said.

Hill said the new standard practice won't necessarily supersede a more stringent approach in case of severe crises.

"If there's an active shooter, then of course we're (still) all going to go on lockdown," he said.