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Meet the Principal
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Hi, My name is Mette Thallaug. I have been the principal at Springhill since 2015. However, Springhill is near and dear to me. I taught K and 1st grade at Springhill for 14 years before I moved on to become the reading specialist at Burton Valley for 7 years. I was also a district literacy coach for a year and the vice principal for a year before coming back to Springhill. 

I was born and raised in Southern California and moved to the Bay Area in 1992 with my husband, Haakon. We currently live in Walnut Creek and have raised 2 boys, Andreas (24) and Steffen (20).

The favorite part of my job is visiting classrooms and reading books to the students. I am inspired by the conversations we have together. When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family and being outdoors.

Principal's Message

 Springhill Emergency Plan FAQ’s

In light of recent events, I have received questions from parents about our emergency plans at Springhill. Many of our Springhill families and staff were faced with having to quickly evacuate their homes last weekend. The stress of this was compounded by other factors as well. Events like this make us all reevaluate our current emergency plans and reflect on how we can be better prepared for next time. 

It has been suggested that it would be helpful to share information about our emergency plans with parents and hopefully answer some questions to alleviate some concerns about what would happen if the children were at school during a similar event. In an effort to keep this short enough that people will actually read it in entirety, I realize I will still leave you with questions. Moving forward, I will work with the District Administrators, PFC and Local Police Dept. to see how more detailed information can be shared out in a more effective way.

I think the main questions on everyone’s mind right now is about a fire either on campus or in the Briones open space. I hope you find this information helpful. If you have more questions or concerns, please feel free to email me and I will figure out how best to share it with everyone. 

Sincerely,

Mette Thallaug

 

Q. Does Springhill have an emergency plan? 

A. Yes. We have a plan that gets updated annually before school starts. The plan is shared with the district office, teachers and staff. A copy gets put into all the red emergency backpacks that are kept in every single classroom on campus. The plan is intended as a guide for what to do in the event of an emergency such as an earthquake, fire on or near campus, intruder on or near campus, and environmental hazards on or near campus. In the event of an emergency, all staff on campus are assigned to a team. Each team has specific duties and responsibilities to perform. Each month we are required to practice the fire drill and we also practice the other drills twice a year. 

The plan includes the following:

    • Emergency phone numbers 

    • Information about Basic First Aid

    • School Maps for

      • Evacuation procedures

      • Emergency Shut Off Valves

      • Network Topology

    • Schedule of Monthly Emergency Drills

    • Operations Plan for Staff Assigned Duties

      • Search and Rescue Team

      • First Aid Team

      • Student Care Team

      • Student Release Team

    • Emergency Procedures

      • Duck and Cover

      • Evacuations

      • Lockdown

      • Shelter in Place

    • Classroom Emergency Backpack Contents List

    • Emergency Attendance Form

    • Staff Emergency Contact List

    • Class Lists

 

Q. What would happen if there was a fire on campus at Springhill?

A. In the event of a fire on campus, evacuation procedures would be implemented. The fire alarm or announcement over the PA would signal the evacuation procedures. The Fire Dept. gets automatically notified by the alarm company or 911 would be called. All staff would remain with the students during the evacuation event. Once onsite, the emergency service providers would be in charge of the situation and would either deem it safe for students and staff to return to the classrooms after the event or they would instruct us to initiate our student release procedures. All students would be kept safely on campus until parents or caregivers arrive to sign them out and take them home.  From the beginning of the event, I would be in communication with the district office. Depending on the severity of the event, communication would be sent to families by the school, the district office, or an alert would be pushed out by the emergency service providers in charge of the situation to inform you of what is happening at Springhill. 

 

Q. What would happen if there is a wildfire burning  in the Briones open space?

A. In the event of a wildfire in Briones, we would be alerted to the situation by emergency service providers. We would either be instructed to shelter in place until the fire can be contained or instructed to evacuate the buildings to a safer area on campus. If the fire was not imminently close it might also  be decided that we implement a self managed student release procedure. If it was determined that the school would need to be evacuated to a different location, a safe exit would be the responsibility of the emergency service providers. A plan to evacuate schools was developed by the Lafayette Police Dept. and schools would be a priority if an evacuation were necessary.  Staff would remain with students until they are all safely reunited with parents or caregivers. As with a fire on campus, communication with families would come from school, district or emergency service providers and families would be instructed where and how to safely reunite with their children. 

 

Q. What would parents do if they were notified that students are being released and need to be picked up from school or evacuation center?

A. Follow the directions of the communication sent out and bring identification. We want to be sure that we are only releasing students to parents or adults listed as emergency contacts. It is important to be patient and sign your child out so that we can account for the whereabouts of all the students. Students will be kept safe and secure until they are reunited with parents or caregivers. 

 

Q. What can parents do to help keep students safe if there is an emergency situation on or near Springhill?

  • Keep your contact information and emergency contact information up to date in Aeries.

  • Stay calm and follow the directions of staff and emergency providers

  • Do not take your children off campus without signing them out. It is important that we  are able to account for all the students during and emergency event.