Historic campus’s first fire drill runs smoothly


Malcolm Taylor

Shauna Anderson, math teacher, holds a green card to signify all her students are present for the historic campus’s full-capacity fire drill on Sept. 22.

Amy Ren, Reporter

For the first time since the Laboratory Schools moved to distance learning, the historic campus experienced a full-capacity fire drill at 9:15 a.m. Sept. 22 and administrators said it went as expected.

Ninth grader Tejah Rana was in English class in Judd Hall when the alarm sounded. It was her first fire drill in high school. Her class walked down three flights of stairs, crossed 58th Street and waited on the sidewalk by Kimbark Avenue.

“It was very quick, and I feel like it was planned out well,” Tejah said. “We all stayed calm and just followed directions and it all worked out.”

Compared to the middle school fire drills, Tejah felt this one was more coordinated.

“The evacuation process was a lot more organized, and I think we were very prepared,” Tejah said.

Unlike other fire drills, this one was announced in advance. According to Julia Maguire, a high school math teacher who is also finance and operations coordinator, the advance notice allowed preparation and increased efficiency and safety.

“We have a lot of new faculty. We have students who are in different divisions, we have new students,” Ms. Maguire said. “Aside from life safety, we also want to make sure that we’re staying safe in terms of social distancing and COVID.”

Senior Jesse Gell was in Spanish 6 on the fourth floor of Judd Hall when he evacuated. He went down the stairs, went out onto Kimbark and a little down 58th Street.

“It was pretty crowded, but everyone was still moving,” Jesse said. “It wasn’t slow or anything. It wasn’t jam packed.”

Compared to pre-pandemic fire drills, Jesse said this one was almost the same.

“It felt a little less crowded, but it still felt pretty similar, other than we knew this one was coming,” Jesse said. “We were a little bit more prepared for it, so it was a little smoother.”