Safety Protocols at Summa Academy | Portland Independent School

We take your child’s safety seriously and have implemented protocols and precautions to keep them safe, but not fearful at our downtown school location.

Building Safety

Summa Academy is located in downtown Portland. Our building, built in 1964, is a brown brick building with steel framing and concrete reinforced walls. In March of 2012, the building was completely retrofitted, including a seismic retrofit for our occupancy. We are compliant with the city of Portland’s “E” Occupancy.

The doors into the school are locked from the outside at all times. Access is permitted to authorized personnel and parents/students only.  All families are issued a keypad code to enter the school. All staff have a fob for access. Codes are changed annually. No person without a code or a fob is allowed into the building without visual/verbal confirmation by the receptionist or staff member. Our front office is staffed at all times during school hours or program hours so visitors and parents can enter and sign in with the receptionist. As a visitor you are asked to present identification at the reception desk. All visitors must sign in and sign out at the reception area. Students are not permitted to leave the building with anyone other than a parent or an adult pre-authorized by a parent.

Water Quality
With all that has been in the news recently about water quality in Portland school, we had our water re-tested in June of 2016. We used the First Alert water test kit and tested the water from faucets on both floors. See results here. Even though our water is 100% safe, we keep several Koldkist water coolers on each floor with cool, clean spring water available for our students at all times. Students fill their water bottles from the Koldkist water coolers to stay hydrated throughout their school day.

Air Quality
We have high-quality air filters on our air intake system, which was installed new when we moved in, and we change them on the recommended schedule. Our building has no operable windows, so all our air circulation comes through that filtered system. When the city issues an air quality warning for downtown, we keep the kids inside and have inside body breaks and recess

Inclement weather
Decisions about school closure or delayed opening are made based on the decisions of Portland Public Schools. Every attempt will be made by Summa Academy to post to the website and send an email before 7AM when there is school closure or late opening due to inclement weather. On questionable days, please listen to the radio for school closures on the west side of the Willamette. In addition, class phone trees may be implemented to communicate closures under extraordinary circumstances.

Student Safety

Fire & Lock-down Drills
Summa has a fire alarm system that meets county and city required code for a school. In addition the basement and emergency exits from the basement are equipped with a sprinkler system. In the case of fire, the system is automatically activated. Alarms are loud. The elevator is equipped with a smoke door that automatically closes when smoke is detected. Evacuation routes are clearly marked and fire extinguishers are kept up to date and accessible. We execute regular fire drills and lock-down drills according to the Portland Fire Marshal’s office. Once a month we practice fire evacuation. Once a quarter we execute a lock-down drill. We talk with our students about safety, and we have had the fire trucks come and the firefighters talk with us about proper fire safety, calling 911, strangers, etc. We take safety seriously, and we are prepared. We do not teach fear, we teach how to be safe.

Disaster Plan
Summa Academy staff and administrators have regular training in emergency response procedures. We are trained to respond to a range of disasters including fire, earthquake, lock-down due to danger, and chemical spills.

Summa Academy requires evidence of immunization as required by the Oregon State Health Department. To protect children from diseases that are preventable by immunization, all children who are enrolled in the Academy must receive immunization appropriate for their age prior to the start of the school year. The immunization forms must be turned in prior to the first day of school. Thank you on behalf of every child in the Academy. Summa Academy will not discriminate on the basis of a religious or medical exemption.

Please notify the school of any allergies your child may have. If your child has any life-threatening allergies, please contact us directly as well as indicate the allergies on all medical forms. Allergies are listed in the Emergency binder which is kept at the front desk for easy access by staff. We also take this binder on all field trips so that we are never without this important information. Summa Academy maintains a nut-free environment (currently allowing almonds).

Field Trip Safety

At Summa Academy, we take many field trips (or field learning as we prefer to call it). Whenever we are away from our building, we maintain an 11:1 student/educator ratio. Often, parents join us for field learning and the adult to student ratio becomes even lower.

During our trips, one staff member carries a packed first aid kit and has a current CPR/First Aid card. Another staff member is in charge of all permission slips and first aid forms for every for every student on the trip. In addition, we always have at least one cell phone with us, and carry walkie-talkies so we can easily and clearly communicate from the front of the line to the back.