Schools agree student's safety key as severe weather nears Kansa - KCTV5 News

Schools agree student's safety key as severe weather nears Kansas City area

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The Belton campus is unique as they have a FEMA shelter on the southwest corner of the school building. (KCTV5) The Belton campus is unique as they have a FEMA shelter on the southwest corner of the school building. (KCTV5)
FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -

It’s springtime and that generally means two things are true; youth sports are underway and severe weather is a problem.

Some school districts have already made changes to their Wednesday evening sports activities as severe storms move toward the Kansas City area.

Many officials say the same thing when it comes to severe weather, as they agree student’s safety is the number one priority.

Districts on both sides of the state line are monitoring the weather and will cancel after-school activities if storms get too intense.

Many districts have a meteorologist that they are in contact with throughout the year to assist them in making the call to cancel or postpone activities.

Officials at Belton High School have already sent out a letter to families about their protocols when it comes to severe weather.

The Belton campus is unique as they have a FEMA shelter on the southwest corner of the school building.

Throughout the year, student practice evacuating into the shelter. Community members can come and if there is an outdoor event happening, everyone will be moved to the shelter.

Students at Mill Creek Upper Elementary School, Grace Early Children Education and Yeokum Center for Innovation are also evacuated to the shelter during severe weather events.

David Pierce has a junior and a sixth grader in the district and, as a longtime resident of Belton, says severe weather is something he is used to.

“I’ve been through several tornadoes as a kid. I remember it took out the grocery store up the street from us when I was really little,” Pierce said.

With severe weather not expected until later in the afternoon on Wednesday, Pierce took the time to plant vegetables at the community garden across from Belton High.

“We are getting ready to plant a bunch of plants and I hope they don’t get destroyed by everything,” he said.

School officials in Independence say they have an Emergency Response Quality Focus Team that helps develop procedures ranging from medical to weather emergencies to make sure the kids are kept safe.

The Blue Valley School District says student safety is their top concern and they look at the possibility of wet fields, stormy conditions and lightening when deciding whether or not to cancel activities.

In Bonner Springs, KS, school officials use a lightning detector on their field.

Officials say they have a plan in place for shelter, as students and people attending sporting events would seek cover in the school.

Buses for the visiting teams are also kept on-site.

Many districts said they will send mass alerts through email or through the school’s app if any changes are made.

Athletic directors and school officials monitoring the weather, most calls to cancel or postpone the games happen early to allow students to get the message and not be traveling when a storm hits.

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