JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Reconnecting children with families after an emergency poses a stressful and scary challenge for school administrators, but it's a problem that can be solved by communication and coordination.
On Wednesday, Duval County Public Schools hosted a hands-on training for parents and teachers to streamline that process.
"It's very relatable because our highest priority is keeping our students safe," said Lisa Vincent, who volunteered for the training. "It's on everyone's mind, especially after what happened in Uvalde."
Vincent spends most days patrolling the halls at Lorretto Elementary as an assistant principal.
However, on Wednesday, she played the role of a parent following an active shooter incident.
"We need to know how it works," said Vincent. "There are going to be a lot of upset parents. The schools are going to be dealing with a lot of phone calls. We have to know what is the plan, and it has to work."
The parent and teacher volunteers were broken up into four different roles - greeters, runners, parents and students.
Those designated as greeters and runners practiced using Raptor, technology that allows the school to track as students are reunited with parents.
For DCPS Board Member Lori Hershey, the training hit especially close to home.
Both of her sons experienced active shooter threats at FSU and UCF.
"I know what it's like to get that text in the middle of the night, and how important it is," said Hershey. "You want information, and you can't get enough of it."
Vincent was eventually reconnected with her student, but it took time.
It's an experience she'll take back to her staff.
"I will know the process," said Vincent. "I'll know what to expect, heaven forbid this should ever happen."
Duval County Schools Police Chief Greg Burton says they'll use the data collected from the training to incorporate in their plan going forward.