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District Plans

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District Safety Plan

Marcus Whitman Central School District

District-wide School Safety Plan

Commissioner’s Regulation 155.17

Adopted 11/14/16

 Introduction

Emergencies and violent incidents in school districts are critical issues that must be addressed in an expeditious and effective manner. Districts are required to develop a District-wide School Safety Plan designed to prevent or minimize the effects of serious violent incidents and emergencies and to facilitate the coordination of the district with local and county resources in the event of such incidents or emergencies.

The district-wide plan is responsive to the needs of all schools within the district and is consistent with the more detailed emergency response plans required at the school building level. Districts are at risk of a wide variety of acts of violence, natural, and technological disasters. To address these threats, the State of New York has enacted the Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) law. This component of Project SAVE is a comprehensive planning effort that addresses risk reduction/prevention, response, and recovery with respect to a variety of emergencies in the school district and its schools.

The Marcus Whitman School District continues to support this integral component of the SAVE Legislation through the regular review and updating of its contents. The Superintendent of Schools encourages and advocates this ongoing district-wide cooperation and support of Project SAVE.

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                                                                Page Number

 

SECTION I: GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS AND PLANNING GUIDELINES………….          2

A. PURPOSE……………………………………………………………………………… 2

B. IDENTIFICATION OF SCHOOL TEAMS……………………………………………            2

C. CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS………………………………………………………... 2

·          Chief Emergency Officer………………………………………………………...   2

D. PLAN REVIEW AND PUBLIC COMMENT…………………………………………            3

 

SECTION II: RISK REDUCTION/PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION……………….           3

A. PREVENTION/INTERVENTION STRATEGIES…………………………………….            3

·         Program Initiatives…………………………………………………………………  4

·         Training, Drills, and Exercises……………………………………………………    5

·         Implementation of School Security……………………………………………….   6

·         Vital Educational Agency Information……………………………………………  8

B. EARLY DETECTION OF POTENTIALLY VIOLENT BEHAVIORS………………           8

C. HAZARD IDENTIFICATION…………………………………………………………            8

D. CONSTRUCTION AND CAPITAL PROJECT SAFETY…………………………… 8

 

SECTION III: RESPONSE……………………………………………………………………… 9

A. NOTIFICATION AND ACTIVATION (INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL  

     COMMUNICATIONS)…………………………………………………………………            9

B. SITUATIONAL RESPONSES………………………………………………………… 9

·         Multi-Hazard Response……………………………………………………………  9

·         Responses to Acts of Violence: Implied or Direct Threats………………………..  9

·         Acts of Violence…………………………………………………………………… 10

·         Response Protocols………………………………………………………………… 11

·         Arrangements for Obtaining Emergency Assistance from Local Government……  11

·         Procedures for Obtaining Advice and Assistance from Local Government Officials 11

·         District Resources Available for Use in an Emergency……………………………  11

·         Procedures to Coordinate the Use of School District Resources and Manpower

during Emergencies………………………………………………………………..  10

·         Protective Action Options…………………………………………………………  10

SECTION IV: RECOVERY……………………………………………………………………   12

A. DISTRICT SUPPORT FOR BUILDINGS……………………………………………  12

B. DISASTER MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES………………………………………..  12

 

SECTION I: GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS AND PLANNING GUIDELINES

A.        Purpose

The Marcus Whitman Central School District-wide School Safety Plan was developed pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation 155.17. At the direction of the Marcus Whitman Central School District Board of Education, the Superintendent of Marcus Whitman Central School District appointed a District-wide School Safety Team and charged it with the development and maintenance of the District-wide School Safety Plan.

B.        Identification of School Teams

As referenced in the previous section, the Marcus Whitman Central School District has appointed a District-wide School Safety Team consisting of, but not limited to, representatives of the School Board, students, teachers, administrators, parent organizations; school safety personnel; and, other school personnel. The members of the team and their positions or affiliations are as follows:

Member’s Name

Title

 Jeramy Clingerman

Superintendent

 Zoe Kowlinski

Business Official

 Sheila Brown

Board of Education

 Susan Wissick

Principal

 Dan Blankenberg

Safety Coordinator  

 Scott Lambert

School Resource Officer

 Art Rilands                                                             

Rushville Fire Department

Beth Mineo Teacher

           

C.        Concept of Operations

General protocols reflected in the District-wide School Safety Plan guide the development and implementation of the Building Safety Plans. The District-wide Safety Plan sets forth the general procedures and protocols to be adhered to at each school and serve as the standard operating procedures.

In developing the district-wide plan, key internal and external stakeholders were involved in order to garner the best local operational knowledge and the best emergency management and safety expertise in creating and revising the plan. The Marcus Whitman Central Schools are an integral part of the community and, as such, it is important that community stakeholders are involved and understand the role of the school district and its relationship to the safety of the community at large.

In the event of an emergency or violent incident, the initial response to all emergencies at an individual school will be by the Building Emergency Response Team (BERT).

Upon activation of the Building Emergency Response Team, the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee will be notified and, where appropriate, local emergency officials will also be notified. Efforts may be supplemented by county and state resources through existing protocols.

Chief Emergency Officer

  •          The Superintendent of Schools is the District’s Chief Emergency Offer.  The responsibilities of the Chief Emergency Officer are:
  •          Coordinating communication between school staff and first responders
  •          Ensuring understanding of the district-wide safety plan
  •          Ensuring completion and of building-level plans
  •          Ensuring the amendment of all plans as needed

 

D.        Plan Review and Public Comment

Pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation, Section 155.17 (e)(3), this plan will be made available for public comment at least 30 days prior to its adoption. The district-wide plan may be adopted by the School Board only after at least one public hearing that provides for the participation of school personnel, parents, students and any other interested parties. The plan must be formally adopted by the Board of Education.

Full copies of the District-wide School Safety Plan and any amendments will be submitted to the New York State Education Department within 30 days of adoption. In addition, the Building Safety Plans will be sent to the New York State Police and the Ontario County Sheriff’s Department.

This plan will be reviewed periodically during the year and will be maintained by the District-wide Safety Team. The required annual review will be completed on or before July 1 of each year after its adoption by the Board of Education. A copy of the plan will be available on the district website.

SECTION II: RISK REDUCTION/PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION

A.        Prevention/Intervention Strategies

Initiatives that improve the culture and climate in our schools and improve communication at all levels can substantially enhance our ability to truly prevent any negative event from occurring. Prevention would always be preferred over risk reduction. However, not all such events will be prevented despite our best efforts. Therefore, we must formulate plans to intervene and reduce risk by minimizing the impact of any negative event.

This section will identify specific prevention and risk reduction strategies that have been implemented within the Marcus Whitman School District. Many of these components serve as both prevention and risk reduction tools.

·         Program Initiatives

The Marcus Whitman Central School District recognizes the importance of programs and activities that improve the school climate and communication throughout the school community and that encourages the reporting of potentially dangerous, suspicious or violent behavior. Such efforts serve to improve the security, safety and quality of life for all those in the Marcus Whitman school community. The following is a partial list of such current initiatives:

Marcus Whitman High School

§  School Resource Officer Presentations

§  Big Brother and Big Sister

§  RTI behavioral supports as needed

§  Distracted Driving presentation

§  Health Classroom Instruction

§  County Probation Officer meeting once a Month

§  REACH

§  Student Support Team Meetings weekly

§  Bi-monthly new letter

Marcus Whitman Middle School

§  School Resource Officer Presentations

§  RTI behavioral supports as needed

§  Health Classroom Instruction

§  Prevention Specialist on site

§  Big Brother and Big Sister

§  REACH

§  County Probation Officer meeting once a month

§  Student Support Team Meetings weekly

§  Monthly news letter

Gorham Elementary School

§  School Resource Officer Presentations

§  Monthly newsletter highlighting the news, events, and points of pride of the elementary school

§  RTI behavioral supports as needed

§  Classroom instruction that includes literature and discussion around tolerance,

§  Leader and Me

§  Safe Harbors

§  D.A.R.E.

Valley Primary School

§  School Resource Officer Presentations

§  Monthly newsletter highlighting the news, events, and points of pride of the elementary school

§  RTI behavioral supports as needed

§  Classroom instruction that includes literature and discussion around tolerance,

§  Leader and Me

§  Safe Harbors

The district encourages buildings to develop strategies that support a positive safe learning environment for students, such as community involvement in the schools, mentoring programs, or adjusting scheduling to minimize potential for conflicts or altercations.

Training, Drills, and Exercises

The District will provide annual multi-hazard school safety training for all staff and students. The components of this training will be consistent across the district while the means of dissemination will likely be varied due to the grade levels involved and other building specific issues. Staff training will be routinely conducted at the school level followed by age-appropriate drills with the entire school population.

The District will ensure that each building conducts drills and exercises to test the components of their respective building-level plan. The use of tabletop exercises to accomplish this task in coordination with local and county emergency response and preparedness officials may be considered when live drills are impractical or not sufficient to meet training goals. Specific drills and training will be conducted for selected response protocols including: Shelter-In-Place; Hold-In-Place, Evacuation, Lockout, and Lockdown. Additionally, fire, natural gas, bomb threat and alternate site evacuations will be conducted annually and may involve a staff drill or training session only or the entire school population.

In addition, Early Dismissal drills will not occur more than 15 minutes earlier than normal dismissal time. Transportation and communication procedures will be included in the test, and parents and guardians will be notified in writing at least one week prior to such drill.

The emergency back-up generators and lighting are also tested annually and all systems verified functional without electricity.

The following are mandated as of July 1st 2016:

         8 - Evacuation Drills (fire drills) and 4 lock down Drills every School Year.

         8 - Drills by December 31st

         4 - Evacuation Drills using secondary means of egress

         1 – Drill during lunch or assembly unless instruction is provided on how to do same.

         After school programs, events, or performances: Attendees must be notified on emergency procedures at the beginning of the program, event, or performance.

 Implementation of School Security

Routine Precautions by all staff

All staff is expected to immediately report to their building principal any information they have received or observations they have made regarding anything that could possibly impact the safety and security of anyone within the school community.

Note: Staff should always err on the side of safety and share such information each and every time. No detail is too small or inconsequential as individual staff may not be aware of all circumstances surrounding a particular student or concern.

Limited Access

Each school district building is tasked with implementing this policy while tailoring it to the specific needs of their building. Generally, this means that the fewest exterior doors necessary to maintain normal business will remain unlocked during portions of the regular school day – most commonly to facilitate morning arrival. Those doors that may need to remain unlocked during a portion of the school/business day should be monitored in some fashion. All entrances are to be secured shortly after the start of the instructional day.

Once secured for the instructional day, the schools may utilize an audio and/or video electronic, visitor access control system at their primary entrances that provides a means for school staff to remotely screen and approve visitors prior to actually granting them access into the building.

The schools also utilize a keyless entry / electronic access control system allowing specific access (designated days/times, buildings and entrances) to authorized personnel by presenting a programmed proximity identification card to a reading device at those entrances. This system also automatically unlocks and locks specific entrances to accommodate normal arrival, dismissal and after school activity.

Staff Photo Identification Badges

All Marcus Whitman School District employees are issued photo identification (proximity) badges that are to be displayed at all times while on school district property to assist visitors, students and staff in identifying employees as well as possible intruders.

Visitor policy

Policy 5300.65, Visitors to Schools, will provide the detail related to how visitors are handled at each building. Should an unannounced visitor appear at a classroom, office or be observed in the hallways without proper identification (visitor pass or a note from the office), staff may approach and inquire as to a subject’s business or contact their school’s main office immediately.

Student Sign-Out Procedures

Schools are diligent in ensuring that only those persons authorized to sign-out students are allowed to do so utilizing the applicable data maintained within School Tool. Staff may also require a photo ID if the requesting party is unknown to them and may contact a parent or guardian for confirmation when deemed appropriate.

Video Surveillance

A digital video surveillance system is in service at all Marcus Whitman schools to assist in monitoring, deterring and recording activity in high use areas, as well as areas of chronic concern or perceived vulnerability.

It is the recommendation of the District-wide Safety Team that the video surveillance system be expanded at all buildings in order to provide more coverage.

Fire Alarm

A fire detection alarm that is linked to a central monitoring station is in service at every Marcus Whitman school building. These alarms and fire response procedures are tested regularly consistent with New York State Education Department regulations.

Mass Communication System (Blackboard Connect)

The School District utilizes the Blackboard Connect mass communication system capable of making emergency notifications to all or a portion of the school community.

School Resource Officer

The District contracts with Ontario County to provide a School Resource Officer on campus during the school day and at other district events.

Random Drug Sniffing Canine Search

The District will occasionally conduct canine searches throughout the school year.

Vital Educational Agency Information

The District maintains general information about each educational agency located in the school district, including information on: school population, number of staff, transportation needs, and the business and home telephone numbers of key officials of each such educational agency.

B.        Early Detection of Potentially Violent Behaviors

The District recognizes the importance of early recognition and intervention into conflicts and potentially violent or threatening behaviors. As such, the District will ensure that appropriate school violence prevention and intervention training will be incorporated into all phases of staff professional development.

Informative materials regarding the early detection of potentially violent behaviors shall be made available to the school community through various means that may include brochures, district–wide newsletters, and the district website.

Students, parents, and all staff are encouraged to share information regarding any student conflicts, threats or troubling behaviors with the appropriate school administrator so that an investigation can commence in a timely fashion if deemed necessary.

This communication may extend beyond Marcus Whitman School District personnel to include members of the District’s Safety Team, Law Enforcement, Mental Health Professionals, etc., when deemed appropriate and within existing legal parameters.

C.        Hazard Identification

The list of sites of potential emergency include: all school buildings, playground areas, properties adjacent to schools, on and off-site athletic fields, buses, and off-site field trips. Each individual Building Health and Safety Team has assessed their own facility for any unique hazards and has documented them on their respective Building Safety Plans.

D.        Construction and Capital Project Safety

Each school under the direction of the Business Official and the Director of Facilities as well as the involved construction manager (if applicable) will take steps to ensure the safety and security of the students and staff during periods of construction. This requirement may include conducting background checks on workers, maintaining sufficient and appropriate emergency egress routes, and notifying building occupants of any changes.

The District Safety Committee, or a subcommittee thereof, will be involved in monitoring safety during construction projects as needed. The Committee may include the Director of Buildings and Grounds, Assistant Superintendent for Business, a principal, architect, construction manager, and contractors. The Committee will hold additional meetings as needed to review issues and address complaints related to health and safety resulting from the construction project.

SECTION III: RESPONSE

A.        Notification and Activation (Internal and External Communications)

Incident Commanders are authorized to and will initiate contact with the appropriate law enforcement officials in the event of a violent incident. The district maintains a list of local law enforcement agencies, and the designation of the individual who is authorized to contact the law enforcement agencies.

The process for informing educational agencies within a school district of a disaster or an act of violence include the following possible forms of communication: telephone, e-mail, district radio system, NOAA weather radio, district website, intercom or PA system, local media, Blackboard Connect Emergency Alert System, others as appropriate or necessary.

The system may specify that in the event of an emergency, or impending emergency, the district will notify all principals/designees within the district to take the appropriate action. The District will utilize the School Messenger Automated System to contact parents, guardians or persons in parental relation to the students in the event of a violent incident or an early dismissal. The district might also use local media in some instances or post information on the district website.

B.        Situational Responses

Multi-Hazard Response

In the event of a catastrophic emergency (fire, building collapse, etc.) the evacuation of the building and the preservation of life is the only consideration. It is anticipated that specific procedures outlined in this document, particularly as they relate to notifications, line of authority, etc., may well be violated in cases involving catastrophic emergencies.

There are many variables that could impact the manner in which the Building Emergency Response Team responds to a particular occurrence. These variables could include: time of day, weather, age of students, and location of students, anticipated response time of emergency responders, availability of support personnel, and availability of transportation. Specific emergency situations are identified and standard response procedures are detailed in Building-level Emergency Response Plans; however, given the aforementioned variables, it is impractical to try and map out the specific steps to take for every conceivable scenario. It is more practical to focus on just a few critical decisions that need to be made in every emergency pursuant to our primary goal of preventing injury and loss of life.

The building principal is designated as the person in charge – the Incident Commander – during the initial response to any emergency at their respective school. The principal will provide leadership, organize activities and disseminate information with the assistance of the Building Emergency Response Team (BERT) and the District Emergency Response Team (DERT), if needed. If the principal is unavailable, or not on site, the Designated Alternate will act in their absence with the same authority and responsibility.

In most instances where this level of school response is warranted, the school will be seeking assistance from outside emergency responders in resolving the situation. As such, the immediate objective is generally to contain and manage the incident until the emergency responders arrive on scene.

Procedures for obtaining advice and assistance from local government officials including the county or city officials responsible for implementation of Article 2-B of the Executive Law. By contacting 9-1-1, the system for coordinating the delivery of assistance from both the county and local agencies will be activated.

Each Building-level Emergency Response Plan includes procedures and actions that will be implemented in the event of the occurrence of a hazardous event. Such plans are not available to the public, nor are they to be included in the District-level Safety Plan.

Responses to Acts of Violence: Implied or Direct Threats

The District’s policies and procedures for responding to implied or direct threats of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel and visitors to the school will be included in the Building-level Safety Plans. The following types of procedure(s) may be used by the district:

§  Use of staff trained in de-escalation or other strategies to diffuse the situation.

§  Inform Building Principal of implied or direct threat.

§  Determine level of threat with Superintendent/Designee.

§  Contact appropriate law enforcement agency, if necessary.

§  Monitor situation, adjust response as appropriate, include the possible use of the Emergency Response Team.

Acts of Violence

The District’s policies and procedures for responding to acts of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel and visitors to the school will be included in the Building-level Safety Plans. The following types of procedure(s) could be used by the district:

§  Determine level of threat with Superintendent/Designee.

§  If the situation warrants, isolate the immediate area and evacuate if appropriate.

§  Inform Building Principal/Superintendent.

§  If necessary, initiate lockdown procedure, and contact appropriate law enforcement agency.

§  Monitor situation; adjust response as appropriate; if necessary, initiate early dismissal, sheltering or evacuation procedures.

Response Protocols

The District’s selection of appropriate responses to emergencies, including protocols for responding to bomb threats, hostage takings, intrusions and kidnappings will be included in the Building-level Safety Plans. The following possible protocols are provided as examples:

§  Identification of decision-makers

§  Plans to safeguard students and staff

§  Procedures to provide transportation, if necessary

§  Procedures to notify parents

§  Procedures to notify media

§  Debriefing procedures

Arrangements for Obtaining Emergency Assistance from Local Government

Arrangements for obtaining assistance during emergencies from emergency services organizations and local government agencies include contacting 9-1-1 immediately. Additional support can be obtained by contacting the Ontario County Sheriff’s Department Chief, the Gorham Fire Department Chief, the Rushville Fire Department Chief, the Town Supervisor, the Town Supervisor, the Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES BOCES Safety Office, the Yates County Sheriff’s Department, and the Yates County Emergency Services.

Procedures for Obtaining Advice and Assistance from Local Government Officials

See above

District Resources Available for Use in an Emergency

District resources which may be available during an emergency include all of our facilities at the campus, our buses, and other vehicles trucks. We can also contact the Town Highway Department for access to heavy equipment and other resources.

Procedures to Coordinate the Use of School District Resources and Manpower during Emergencies

The Marcus Whitman Central Schools will use the Incident Command System to coordinate the use of school district resources and manpower during emergencies.

Protective Action Options

Plans for taking the following actions in response to an emergency where appropriate will be included in Building-level Emergency Response Plans: school cancellation, early dismissal, evacuation, and sheltering.

SECTION IV: RECOVERY

A.        District Support for Buildings

After an incident, the District Crisis Plan will be initiated by the appropriate level emergency response team. Necessary resources will be deployed in order to support the Emergency Response Teams and the Post-Incident Response Teams in the affected school(s).

B.        Disaster Mental Health Services

Mental health services needed will be addressed by the appropriate emergency response team using the District Crisis Plan. The Marcus Whitman Central School District will activate its Critical Incident Team to address the personal and psychological needs of the students and staff following a traumatic incident.  The District’s Employee Assistance Program is available for staff members.  The Superintendent of Schools will make the determination for the need for outside mental health resources in the event of a disaster or other traumatic event.

The Health Association–Employee Assistance Program (585) 423-9490 or (800) 417-6304

 For incidents of a larger magnitude, the District may need to request the services of the County and State Mental Health Agencies for support services.  New York State has a statewide plan for the delivery of mental health services.  These services can be accessed through Ontario County Mental Health Services or directly from the State of New York at the following numbers:

Ontario County Community Mental Health Services                                               (585) 396-4363

Yates County Community Services Department                                                        (315) 536-5115

NYS Office of Mental Health Services - Disaster Mental Health Services             (518) 474-2578

  Once the incidents have been resolved, the Superintendent will hold a Post Incident de-briefing to discuss what transpired during the event and how the District and the Emergency Response Team can improve their response to bring resolution to the matter more quickly and efficiently