Cyclone Warning Response

Notice to Parents

This is to clarify school procedures in the event of cyclone warning during school hours and is consistent with normal procedures used in schools in the Darwin region.

  • Each cyclone season we can expect cyclones to develop in waters off the Northern Territory coastline. These are always tracked carefully by the Bureau of Meteorology. You would be aware that there are clear procedures in place in the community as to how we are kept informed and the stages involved in cyclone alerts. This information is often highlighted in the NT News and other media in Darwin.
  • At times the Department of Education may decide to close schools if a cyclone is within striking distance of Darwin. In the last nine years in Darwin this has occurred on three occasions.
  • When the Department of Education or the NT Government closes Government Schools we automatically follow whatever course they take. Their decision is communicated to the Association of Independent Schools of the NT and then to our school. The purpose of this prior notice of school closure is to avoid the problem of having students in school when a cyclone or adverse weather could affect the operation of schools during that day. The Government always errs on the side of safety with forewarned school closure.
  • In the event of an unlikely situation occurring where we need to close schools after a school day has commenced, there is a clear plan for this and is set out below:
    • When a ‘School Closure’ instruction occurs during a school day, the school will be notified.
    • Parents/carers or other designated persons will collect students (Child Care, Preschool, Primary and Secondary) from their respective classroom/s.
    • In the event that this person is not a parent or carer, we will need to contact parents by phone. [It is important that parents always inform us of any change of phone numbers or contact details so we can contact parents in an emergency]. Any other person collecting a child must have written authorization from parents in the event the parents are unable to be contacted by phone. It is essential that the children know this adult and are happy to go with him/her. If anyone other than the parent is collecting a child, it is necessary for the teacher to record that person’s name and the address that they are taking the child to. It is important that children are not dismissed to people who are not parents/carers unless we are 100 % confident with the person taking them and know where they are going. (It is best that they are in the care of the Police at the nearest cyclone shelter to the school to allow parents to locate their children).Senior College students are collected from the Senior College campus at Charles Darwin University. All other students (Preschool to Year 9) are collected from the main campus in Nightcliff.
    • Each teacher will record the name of the child/children collected and the name of the person who collected the child/children. In the event of children not being collected within a reasonable time of the announcement to close schools (approx 1 hour), students on the main campus will proceed to the Auditorium where a senior staff member will be on duty. Arrangements will then be made for remaining students to be escorted to the nearest Cyclone Shelter. Students at the Senior College who have not been picked up will be kept in the ground floor Student Common Room at the Senior College (Orange 4 building at Charles Darwin University’s Casuarina Campus).
    • Our closest emergency cyclone shelter is located at Nightcliff Middle School, Ryland Road, Nightcliff.
      All students not collected will be taken to emergency cyclone shelter at the Nightcliff Middle School.
    • Office staff will stay tuned to local media for important updates. The progress of the cyclone will also be monitored on Bureau of Meteorology website
      (www.bom.gov.auphone 1300 659 211).
    • Children and staff should not return to school until advised by the media to do so. Remember, we follow the Department of Education’s closure and opening directions.