Dear Cross Oaks families,

    Should an emergency or disaster situation ever arise in our area while school is in session, we want you to be aware that the Denton Independent School District and Cross Oaks Elementary are prepared to respond effectively to such situations. Public schools in Texas are required to meet stringent disaster response standards, and this is a responsibility we take very seriously at this campus.

    In the event of an emergency during school hours, your student(s) will be cared for at this school. In addition to campus procedures that are practiced routinely during the school year, Denton ISD has formulated a detailed disaster plan to respond to any crisis situation.

    The cooperation of our parents is vital in any emergency.  In case of emergency, please help us by following these guidelines:

    1. Do not telephone the school.Telephone lines will be needed for emergency communication. Any large overload of services may result in the entire phone system shutting down, disabling phone contact with emergency personnel. It is important that parents not call the school, although we recognize this expectation is likely in contradiction of your parental instincts. In the event of an emergency, we will work with the district to communicate with all Cross Oaks parents through mass phone and email messages.
    2. In the event of a serious incident, students will be kept at the school until they are picked up by an identified guardian or other responsible adult designated by parents as emergency contacts during the registration process. Please consider the following criteria when authorizing another person to pick up your child from school:
    • They are at least 18 years or age,
    • They are usually home during the day,
    • They are known to your child,
    • They could walk to school if necessary,
    • They are both aware of and able to assume this responsibility.
    1. Turn your radio to KNTU (88.1 FM) for emergency announcements.
    2. Discuss emergency procedures with your child and impress upon them the need to remain calm and quiet while following the directions of all school staff members in times of emergency. Ensure your child understands that it is the responsibility of school staff to keep them safe and cared for during an emergency.

    Students will be released only to parents and persons identified as emergency contacts by parents. They will be required to show picture identification. During an emergency that requires us to evacuate the building, students will be released at a designated reunion location, which will be communicated to parents via mass phone and email communication. If necessary, school buses will be provided to transport students and maintain their safety at the reunion location. Parents are asked to remain patient and understanding with the student release process. It is a methodical process designed to ensure that children have been released to responsible adults designated by parents or is being cared for until parents arrive. Please instruct your student to remain at school until you or a designee arrives.

    A variety of drills are practiced routinely during the school year. Our disaster responses include: 


    Fire drills simulate incidents such as fire or explosions and are practiced every month that has 1 0 or more instructional days. Each classroom has a fire evacuation route posted on the wall. Students are instructed to quickly and quietly exit the building. In the event of a real fire, students will evacuate the building, load onto school buses, and wait for reunification with families at the designated location communicated to parents.


    Shelter in place procedures are implemented in the event of a police emergency near the school or intruder in the school. Also known as lockdown procedures, the hallways are cleared and all classrooms are locked. A hazardous event in the area, like a chemical spill, could also require us to initiate shelter in place procedures.


    Weather drills are held at various times during the year to practice procedures to move students and staff to safe locations within the building in the event of severe weather or tornadoes. Our campus is equipped with several weather-safe spaces that do not have windows and are removed from exterior walls of the building. In the event that a tornado warning is issued, students will be moved to assigned weather safe locations until the severe weather subsides. When severe weather is possible, staff members monitor the weather carefully and continuously so that we are prepared to move students and staff quickly. Parents are welcome to enter the building and take shelter in a weather-safe space designated for guests and visitors. For their safety, we will not release students to parents during a tornado warning or other weather emergency. Please trust that all students will be kept safe until the threatening weather subsides.

    Please discuss our safety procedures with your family, and families are highly encouraged to develop safety plans of their own. We value the support of our families in our ongoing work to maintain a safe and secure learning environment for all Cross Oaks students.


    With respect and appreciation,


    Shelley Maxwell


    Cross Oaks Elementary