Improvements ID’d after bomb threat

The March 2 bomb threat at Oak Harbor High School proved to be a test Oak Harbor Public School officials say they passed.

District officials nonetheless identified three areas for improvement, discussing them at the March 13 school board meeting.

One area identified for improvement by the district was in its communication to parents or guardians, said Steve King, assistant superintendent of Oak Harbor Public Schools.

While the district’s communication was prompt and complete, there were problems that arose from having out-of-date information on the interface — called Skyward — which the district uses to communicate with parents and others, according to King.

“We’ve done a push-out for everyone to update their information in Skyward because one of the issues becomes: ‘Well, I’m not getting communicated with,’” King said.

Lack of communication can arise from parents or guardians failing to update Skyward with current information, he explained.

A second area the district can improve upon, King said, is in the utilization of its emergency text-messaging system.

The district could have sent a text to all of its high school students informing them of the situation and calming some of their fears, King said.

A third area of improvement King identified involved clarifying the district’s terminology, ensure the public understands the difference between a “lock-down” and a “lock-out,” specifically.

Despite the needed improvements, King said he is proud of the entire district for how it responded.

“We were able to evacuate about 1,500 students from the high school in about a half hour, and that was during a school lunch,” he said.

“So being able to pull everyone into their rooms, go into a temporary lockdown and evacuate everybody out to a reunification site … was pretty remarkable.”

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