Reunification Overview

Modified on Wed, Feb 14 at 1:03 PM


The Reunification module is provided to facilitate the reuniting of students with their parents or guardians following any crisis situation in a school or schools which requires organized, well documented, reunification procedures.  The system is designed to replace and streamline the paper-based procedures described in the Reunification literature.

The Reunification Process in Genesis

Genesis conforms to the standard 3 stage Reunification Method documented by various sources.    The screens and physical locations are described here.   Links to web resources regarding Student Reunification in a crisis are provided at the bottom of the article.


  1. Setup:  A Reunification "event" is 'opened'.  All students are assumed to be in a "Holding Area".  This does not need to be a single location.  There are three screens that are part of the Reunification process:
  2. Parent Check-In:  Parent/Guardians/Other Adult arrives at a central "Check-In" area and checks-in.  The Reunification→Parent Check-In screen is used to validate the parent/guardian and select the students to be released.   This causes the selected students to automatically appear on the Student Holding screen.   Parents are sent to the Release/Hand-Off waiting area.   Student status is changed to "available for release".
  3. Student Holding: Staff at the Holding Area see the selected students appear on the Student Holding screen.  Student status can be updated at this point (e.g. "location unknown" or "receiving medical attention".  The selected students are sent/brought from the Holding Area to a "pre-release" area.  
    1. When the student arrives at the Pre-Release area, via the Student Holding screen their status is changed to "Sent to Check-Out".
  4. Student Release:  Student appears on the "Student Release" screen.  Parent/Guardian signs for the student(s) and the student(s) are released to the parent/guardian.

Genesis carefully guides and documents each step as well as electronically capturing the parent/guardian's signature.

Process Summary

Comparing Genesis with a Paper Reunification Process

The goal of the Genesis Reunification Module is to eliminate the paper reunification process and to make sure that student status information is shared electronically to all staff members monitoring the Reunification screens.  This contrasts with the paper process where student status is conveyed through the use of paper cards carried around by 'runners' who also move students through the process.

A comparison of the two processes is below:

Paper Process (from FEMA document)

Genesis Process

Requesting adult fills out Student Release Form, gives it to staff member, and shows identification.

'Requestor' arrives in the Parent Check-In location, produces identification and states which students they have come to collect.

No Release Form need be filled out – optional.

Staff verifies identification, pulls Emergency Card from file, and verifies that the requester is listed on the card.

No paper is pulled;  student’s set of contacts and contact status are displayed on Parent Check-In screen for student.  Requestor should be listed in the student’s contacts.

Optionally, a new entry can be created during this process if the requestor is not already listed for the student but can prove they have a right to collect the student.

Staff instructs the requester to proceed to the Release Gate.

Same – Proceed to Release/Hand-Off area.

Runner takes the card with the Student Release Form, and staff files a blank card with the student’s name on it in the out box.

No runner is involved.  No paper card is prepared. No 'outbox'.

Student’s status is updated to “Approved for Release” and the student now appears on the Student Holding screen.

All staff viewing the Student Holding screen can now see the student listed there.

Runner takes form(s) to the designated classroom.

Unnecessary – Student listed on Student Holding screen.  Staff in Holding Areas should be monitoring Student Holding screen. When a student appears on the Student Holding screen, if they are present in the Holding Area, they should be automatically sent to the Pre-Release area. See below.


Runner shows Student Release Form to the teacher Teacher marks box, “Sent with Runner.”

Student Holding screen is used to update student’s status.  Student is sent to the “Pre-Release” area with a staff member ("the runner").   No paper.

If appropriate, teacher sends parent copy of first aid form with the runner. 

If nurse has provided a printed visit report this is feasible – no first aid form is included in Reunification screens.

Runner walks student(s) to Release gate. Runner hands paperwork to release personnel. 

Student status updated via Student Holding screen to “Sent to Check-out”.  Student in Pre-release area. Having delivered students, the “Runner” returns to holding area. The runner's only function is to move students.

Release staff match student to requester, verify proof of identification, ask requester to fill out and sign the lower portion of Student Release Form, and release student.

Parents are given the Notice of First Aid Care Given, if applicable.

Requestor signs for student on the Student Release screen.  May be handed Nurse Visit printout.  Student released to Requestor.


Teacher makes appropriate notation on Student Release Form:

  1.  “Absent” if student was never in school that day. 
  2. “First Aid” if student is in Medical Treatment area. 
  3. “Missing” if student was in school but now cannot be located. 

Student Holding screen is used to update student’s status to:

-    Receiving medical attention

-    Location unknown

Attendance is automatically displayed with student. There is no paper form.

Runner takes Student Release Form to CP. CP verifies student location if known and directs runner accordingly. 

Student status appears on Student Holding screen for all staff reviewing that screen.  No paper movement, no runner necessary.

If runner is retrieving multiple students and one or more are missing, walk available students to Release Gate before returning “Missing” forms to CP for verification.

Not applicable – “Runner” only involved in walking students to the Pre-Release area.

Parent should be notified of missing student status and escorted to crisis counselor. 

If student is in first aid, parent should escorted to Medial Treatment area.

If student was marked absent, parent should be notified.

Staff in Release/Hand-Off area should look up student if the student does not automatically appear on the Student Release screen.  Student status will appear on the Student Holding screen.

Beyond the scope of Genesis:  Student status should be reviewed when parents arrive in the Release area and crisis counselors intervene as necessary.

Reunification Resources

Additional Reunification Genesis Articles:

Creating a Reunification Event 

Reunification Setup

Parent Check-In - Step 1 in Reunification

Student Holding - Step 2 in the Reunification

Releasing Students - Step 3 in Reunification

Medical Attention 

Reunification Training Videos

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