Bainbridge Elementary School students earned an A+ during an off-site evacuation drill Tuesday, October 28.
"It was phenomenal," said Dfc Stavros Plagianakos, the school's resource officer. "The kids were quiet and stayed in a straight line with their class. They did a wonderful job, a lot better than I thought they would do."
During the drill, students made the short walk to River City Baptist Church. In the event of an actual emergency such as a fire, gas leak, or threat, the church would serve as shelter and allow parents to pick up their children while emergency personnel handles a situation at the school.
In the drill, each of the approximately 517 students gathered at the church before beginning the trip back. The drill took 53 minutes to complete, a bit longer than the one two years ago, but Bainbridge now has an additional 200 students because of the temporary closure of Perryville Elementary.
"The drill was outstanding especially considering we have 200 students who are not familiar with the school or procedures," principal Regina Roberts said.
Roberts praised the work of the sheriff's deputies, Plagianakos and Dfc. Thomas Groce, as well as assistant principal Kim Sands, who organized the drill.
Sands acknowledged planning the drill is "a point of stress". She cited the cooperation from River City Baptist and the efforts of the teachers and staff with making sure things ran smoothly.
"It was executed flawlessly," said Sands. "Everyone knew their roles and knew the importance of the drill. The teachers prepared the students well."
Each school conducts a variety of different drills but Plagianakos and Groce, who typically works with the Chesapeake City schools, don't know of any other off-site evacuation drills.
Plagianakos is the school resource officer for Perryville High School and its feeder elementary schools Bainbridge, Charlestown, and Conowingo. He also teaches D.A.R.E. at Perryville Middle School.
Plagianakos says the drill also provides another chance for the students to interact with police in a positive way.
"It gives school resource officers an opportunity to interact with the students and show them we're not just out to arrest bad guys," he said.