Tuesday was the day for a dry run for the reunification event for the Sioux Falls School District.  Mark Twain elementary 4th and 5th graders were chosen as the group to be evacuated to undisclosed location.  Parents gave prior consent and were notified to pick up their children.  
 

As the event gets under way, a school official gives the notice for the process to begin.

In one of the classes, some time is given for students and instructors to interact and understand why the drill is taking place.

To get the full scope of student understanding, Taye is given the opportunity to expand upon the learning experience.  

As the students file out to the awaiting bus to take them to a different location, the atmosphere is relaxed but not overly boisterous.

 

The full scope of what the Sioux Falls School District is trying to accomplish is below from an original article published in October 2014. 

 

If you heard that a catastrophe happened at your child's school and students are being evacuated to another location, certainly you'd want to know that a plan is in place to keep your kids safe until you can meet them and take them home.

Sioux Falls Public Schools will conduct an exercise next month to run through the protocol of reuniting parents with evacuated students.  During the drill, a selection of 4th and 5th graders from one central Sioux Falls school will be evacuated, taken to an undisclosed location while parents will be notified to pickup their child.  This mock emergency management procedure involves parents agreeing to the activity prior to the event taking place.

DeeAnn Konrad of the Sioux Falls School District commented on student safety in the event of a catastrophic event such as a tornado or act of violence:

"It's the last place we want kids to be, is in the middle of all that.  So you pick them up, you take them to a safe location away from the situation...We have to maintain our responsibility for that student until we can ensure that the parent is matched up to the appropriate child."

Whether its a mock event such as the one planned next month or an actual event, parents must show identification to be reunited with their child.  Finding a secure way to access the school system's computer system has been recently devised, providing pertinent information to enable the student reunification with a parent or guardian.

Emergency responders including police, fire and ambulance will participate in the exercise as they are able.