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Foundation providing reunification training to educators

Kent ISD — A critical part of emergency response is reuniting students with their parents or guardians after an emergency or disaster, which is why the Kent Intermediate School District and the Michigan State Police will be hosting a two-day reunification training open to all school districts.

The two-day course, scheduled for March 12 and 13, will be put on by the ‘I Love U Guys’ Foundation, nationally recognized for its crisis response and post-crisis reunification programs. There will be a day in the classroom and a day in the field, taking participants through focused classroom training, tabletop discussions and functional reunification exercises.

“The importance of having several districts participate in the training is that when a district is faced with an act of violence, school staff will be focused on the incident and its students,” said Region 1 Safety Coordinator John Wittkowski. “We want to have people from other districts come who can handle the reunification process while the district’s team facing the crisis can be focused on their students and parents.”

The goal would be that those individuals from other districts would organize and direct the reunification process, including set up and flow, Wittkowski said.

The training will follow the Standard Reunification Method, where schools establish a reunification site that will be used if a major disaster takes place at a school. SRM outlines protocols and procedures designed to safely reunite students with their parents or guardians. 

Registration for the two-day course is free, but capacity is limited. The training is open to staff of Kent ISD Service Area Districts until March 1, at which time any available seats will be opened to those outside of the service area. To register, click here or email Wittkowski at johnwittkowski@kentisd.org.

Read more from Kent ISD: 
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Avid outdoorsman aims to be one of his generation’s change-makers

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Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma is a reporter covering Kent ISD, Godwin Heights, Kelloggsville, Forest Hills and Comstock Park. The salutatorian for the Hartland Public Schools class of 1985, she changed her colors from blue and maize to green and white by attending Michigan State University, where she majored in journalism. Joanne moved to the Grand Rapids area in 1989, where she started her journalism career at the Advance Newspapers. She later became the editor for On-the-Town magazine, a local arts and entertainment publication. Her eldest daughter is a nurse, working in Holland, and her youngest attends Oakland University. Both are graduates from Byron Center High School. She is a volunteer for the Van Singel Fine Arts Advisory Board and the Kent District Library. In her free time, Joanne enjoys spending time with her family, checking out local theater and keeping up with all the exchange students they have hosted through the years. Read Joanne's full bio


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