Like any emergency, a reunification process must be planned prior to any event. These are resources that help you plan to ensure that parents and families know where to go to pick up their child and the process for staff to follow to release students to their families. Establishing a relationship with your families prior to any incident is critical. Working with your local PTAs and parent leaders to inform families is paramount to ensure the safety and well-being of all children. Successful reunification is based on pre-planning and integrating first responder personnel.
Tips for reunification:
- Establish a parent check-in location.
- Deliver the students to the student staging area, beyond the field of vision of parents/guardians. “Greeters" direct parents/guardians to the parent check-In location, and help them understand the process.
- Parents/guardians complete reunification release forms. The procedure allows parents/guardians to self-sort during check-in, streamlining the process.
- Parents go to the family waiting area for students.
- Runner recovers student from the student staging area.
- Controlled lines of sight allow for communication and other issues to be handled with diminished drama or anxiety.
- Medical or investigative contingencies are anticipated.
- FEMA Parent/Student Reunification Plan - Great resources in this pdf if you are looking for parent/student reunification plans and sample release forms.
- National Association of Secondary Principals - This provides quick tips and guide on how to prepare for crisis and reunification plans from the secondary perspective.
- Center for Disease Control - The CDC has information for reunification after any type of emergency.