The Cambrian

Cambria Grammar School evacution drill works well

At left in red safety vest and helmet, Transportation Director Carrie Brown and other adults guide students along the narrow evacuation route.
At left in red safety vest and helmet, Transportation Director Carrie Brown and other adults guide students along the narrow evacuation route. ktanner@thetribunenews.com

An evacuation drill at the Cambria Grammar School Oct. 8 “went very well,” according to Principal Bob Watt, who said the 280 students, 18 staff members and all the support personnel evacuated the hilltop campus within 26 minutes, including the time it took to load the children and staff on four waiting buses. 

Watt said “having really clear protocols and preparing the teachers … was really helpful,” and that staff learned that “if we take it seriously and law enforcement takes it seriously, the students will as well.” 

He said students had practiced going down the steep, narrow trail from the school to Main Street (exiting along the wall near the former home of Grammy Swanson), which helped a lot. 

The entire evacuation, including taking the buses to the high school, returning to the grammar school, giving the students bus-evacuation instructions, going back to classrooms and having teachers take a third roll call, took less than an hour. 

A Sept. 24 drill at the high school also was deemed successful, with various lessons learned by all.

More drills are ahead, Watt said. These won’t be announced ahead of time, he said, and there will be no rehearsals.

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