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Jefferson City Schools completes all fire drills for first time in two years

Deborah Kendrick

Up until last school year, nearly two years had passed since Jefferson City Schools fulfilled its yearly requirement for fire drills.

An ABC 17 News Investigation in 2017 uncovered that no schools within the district completed their monthly fire drills and some schools didn’t even record one fire drill for an entire year. Since the investigation aired, the district changed its policy from 10 each school year to seven.

Through a records request, ABC 17 News found that all schools completed their requirement for the 2018-2019 school year.

Frank Underwood, director of facilities at Jefferson City School District, told ABC 17 News that providing better communication and documentation and outlining basic procedures were some major changes the district made to get back on track.

“Back when we were missing logged entries and didn’t have record of those drills I very much believe that every school did their drills,” Underwood said. “So when I came on I said ‘OK, we need to make sure we have a good log going through there and inspecting what you have each month.”

Underwood said changing the drill requirement from 10 to seven a year is something the district will keep moving forward.

“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. If there are other expectations that are needed along the way, then we will definitely meet those and do the same,” Underwood said.

The safety drills the district does would have been put to the test in May when an EF-3 tornado tore through the capital city. The tornado hit during the night, but Underwood said he feels confident that students would have known what to do in the emergency had it happened during school hours.

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Deborah Kendrick

Deborah is a weekday evening anchor and investigative reporter for ABC 17 News.


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