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District-Wide Emergency Response Plan

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 school safety 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 stand at risk from a variety of acts of violence, and natural and technological disasters. To address these threats, the State of New York has enacted the Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) law. 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 Safety Plans were developed by the Orange Ulster BOCES Risk Management Department and the District-wide School Safety Team and Building-level School Safety Team based on previous plans and also from documents created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), utilizing components from FEMA E362, the Multi-hazard Safety Program for Schools, as well as from documents from the FBI Bomb Data Center, NYS EMO, NYS Police, NYS Center for School Safety and NYS Education Department. These were also developed to comply with Governor Pataki’s Executive Order # 26 which requires all agencies, including school districts, to use the Incident Command System (ICS), as developed by the National Interagency Incident Management System, for all emergencies.

Regulatory Description of Components

Potential Emergency: Identification of sites of potential emergency.

Plans for Response to Specific Emergencies: A description of plans for taking the following actions in response to an emergency where appropriate: (a) school cancellation; (b) early dismissal; (c) evacuation; and (d) sheltering.

Implied or Direct Threats of Violence: Policies and procedures for responding to implied or direct threats of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel and visitors to the school.

Acts of Violence: Policies and procedures for responding to acts of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel and visitors to the school, including consideration of zero-tolerance policies for school violence.

Prevention and Intervention Strategies: Appropriate prevention and intervention strategies, such as: (a) collaborative arrangements with state and local law enforcement officials, designed to ensure that school safety officers and other security personnel and adequately trained, including being trained to de-escalate potentially violent situations, and are effectively and fairly recruited; (b) non-violent conflict resolution training programs; (c) peer mediation programs and youth courts; and (d) extended day and other school safety programs.

Law Enforcement in Violent Incident: Policies and procedures for contacting appropriate law enforcement officials in the event of a violent incident.

Assistance During Emergencies: A description of the arrangements for obtaining assistance during emergencies from emergency services organizations and local governmental agencies.

Local Government Officials: The 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.

Identification of District Resources: The identification of district resources that may be available for use during an emergency.

Procedures to Coordinate Use of School District Resources: A description of procedures to coordinate the use of school district resources and manpower during emergencies, including identification of the officials authorized to make decisions and of the staff members assigned to provide assistance during emergencies.

Contacting Parents, Guardians or persons in Parental Relation: Policies and procedures for contacting parents, guardians or persons in parental relation to the students of the district or in the event of a violent incident or early dismissal.

School Building Security: Policies and procedures relating to school building security, including, where appropriate, the use of school safety officers and/or security devices or procedures.

Early Detection of Potentially Violent Behaviors: Policies and procedures for the dissemination of informative materials regarding the early detection of potentially violent behaviors, including, but not limited to the identification of family, community and environmental factors to teachers, administrators, parents and other persons in parental relation to students of the school district or board, students and other persons deemed appropriate to receive such information.

Annual Multi-Hazard Safety Training: Policies and procedures for annual multi-hazard school safety training for staff and students.

Test Components of the Emergency Response Plan: Procedures for review and the conduct of drills and other exercises to test components of the emergency response plan, including the use of tabletop exercises, in coordination with local and county emergency responders and preparedness officials.

Responses to Emergencies: The identification of appropriate responses to emergencies, including protocols for responding to bomb threats, hostage-takings, intrusions and kidnappings.

Improving Communication with Students: Strategies for improving communication among students and between students and staff and reporting of potentially violent incidents, such as the establishment of youth-run programs, peer mediation, conflict resolution, creating a forum or designating a mentor for students concerned with bullying or violence and establishing anonymous reporting mechanisms for school violence.

Hall Monitors: A description of the duties of hall monitors and any school safety personnel, the training required of all personnel acting in a school security capacity, and the hiring and screening process for all personnel acting in a school security capacity.

Informing All Educational Agencies: In the case of a school district, a system for informing all educational agencies within such school district of a disaster.

Information About Educational Agencies: In the case of a school district, certain 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 agency.

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 school safety 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 stand at risk from a variety of acts of violence, and natural and technological disasters. To address these threats, the State of New York has enacted the Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) law. 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 Safety Plans were developed by the Orange Ulster BOCES Risk Management Department and the District-wide School Safety Team and Building-level School Safety Team based on previous plans and also from documents created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), utilizing components from FEMA E362, the Multi-hazard Safety Program for Schools, as well as from documents from the FBI Bomb Data Center, NYS EMO, NYS Police, NYS Center for School Safety and NYS Education Department. These were also developed to comply with Governor Pataki’s Executive Order # 26 which requires all agencies, including school districts, to use the Incident Command System (ICS), as developed by the National Interagency Incident Management System, for all emergencies.

How do you predict?

While schools can act to minimize the risk of violence, we can rarely, if ever, predict when it will happen because of the numerous variables involved. We can only analyze the risk and perform a threat assessment. The purpose of the threat assessment is to identify and understand risk factors, often seen in the form of recurring and escalating behaviors, and not to try to match a student to a predetermined “profile”.

This school district supports the SAVE Legislation, and intends to facilitate the planning process. The Superintendent of Schools encourages and advocates on-going district-wide cooperation and support of Project SAVE.

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

Identification of School Teams

The School District has created 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:

  • School Board Representative: Robert Howe 
  • Student Representative: Madeleine Wadeson                
  • Operations & Maintenance: Steve Salvato
  • Transportation: Debra Weissman
  • Administration: Meghan McGourty                             
  • CSEA: Charles Vealey III
  • Warwick Valley Teachers Association: Carolyn Barnes
  • District Administrator: Cindy Leandro
  • Law Enforcement Officer: Chief Tom McGovern
  • Fire/Emergency Services: Phil Cialella
  • Local BOCES Representative: Jack DeGraw

Concept of Operations

The District-wide School Safety Plan is directly linked to the individual Building-level Emergency Response Plans for each school building.  Protocols reflected in the District-wide School Safety Plan will guide the development and implementation of individual Building-level Emergency Response Plans.

In the event of an emergency or violent incident, the initial response to all emergencies at an individual school will be by the School Emergency Response Team.  Upon the activation of the School Emergency Response Team, the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee will be notified and, where appropriate, local emergency officials will also be notified.  District and building administrators are authorized to call police to respond to the threat or acts of violence.

Threats are alarming statements or behaviors that give rise to concern about subsequent violence.  The Warwick Valley Central School District established a Threat Assessment Team – Team members consist of Superintendent of Schools, Business Administrator, Guidance Counselors, School Psychologist, Head Custodian, School Attorney, Local Law Enforcement, State Police and the County Crisis Team.

  1. All threats will be considered serious until determined otherwise. The Superintendent of Schools and/or his designee will determine if the Threat Assessment Team needs to be partially or fully activated. The range of threats may include bomb threats, threats against children by parents/guardians in custody battles, personal vendettas between students or gangs, threats against teachers or staff involved in domestic conflict, threats of retaliation, efforts to intimidate, and any other type of alarming behavior that involves members of the school community or its property.
  2. Any student observing a student possessing a weapon, alcohol or illegal substance on school property or at a school function shall report this information immediately to a teacher, the Building Principal, or any Warwick Valley administrator. This will be followed by notification of the parent of the student.  The appropriate disciplinary action will be taken up to and including suspension and referral for prosecution.
  3. Parents and visitors are encouraged to tell school staff about any indirect or direct threat of violence to students, themselves, others or property.
  4. The Building Principal must notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency of those violations that constitute a crime and substantially affect the order or security of a school as soon as practical, but in no event later than the close of business the day the Building Principal learns of the violation.  The notification may be made by telephone, followed by written notification on the same day as the telephone call is made.  The notification must identify the student(s) and explain the conduct that violated the Code of Conduct and constitute a crime.
  5. School administrators must keep a record of serious threats and acts of violence and report them annually to the state.
  6. The Warwick Valley Central School District uses a single point of entry system.
    • All doors are locked except the main entrance.
    • Entrance monitored and visitors must sign in and sign out of the building.
    • Visitors are required to wear “identification”, and access is limited to specific locations.  Whenever possible, escorting visitors is encouraged.
    • Staff wear visible identification badges.
    • Visitors without identification will be directed to the sign-in area by all staff.

Secret Service Threat Assessment Suggestions

School and law enforcement officials are frequently placed in the difficult position of having to assess specific people (e.g., students, staff, teachers, and others) who may be likely to engage in targeted violence in which there is a known or knowable target or potential assailant. The following suggestions for threat assessment investigations are based on guidelines developed by the Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC). They were developed primarily for preventing the assassination of public officials so they may not be applicable to all school situations.

To identify threats, school officials are advised to:

  • Focus on individuals’ thinking and behavior as indicators of their progress on a pathway to violent actions. Avoid “profiling” or basing assumptions on socio-psychological characteristics. In reality, accurate “profiles” for those likely to commit acts of targeted violence do not exist. School shootings are infrequent and the great majority of individuals who happen to match a particular profile do not commit violent acts. In addition, many individuals who commit violent acts do not match pre-established profiles.
  • Focus on individuals who pose a threat, not only on those who explicitly communicate a threat. Many individuals who make direct threats do not pose an actual risk, while many people who ultimately commit acts of targeted violence never communicate threats to their targets. Prior to making an attack, potential aggressors may provide evidence they have engaged in thinking, planning, and logistical preparations. They may communicate their intentions to family, friends, or colleagues, or write about their plans in a diary or journal. They may have engaged in “attack-related” behaviors: deciding on a victim or set of victims, determining a time and approach to attack, and/or selecting a means of attack. They may have collected information about their intended target(s) and the setting of the attack, as well as information about similar attacks that have previously occurred.

Once individuals who may pose a threat have been identified, ten key questions should guide the assessment of the threat:

  • What motivated the individual to make the statement or take the action that caused him/her to come to attention?
  • What has the individual communicated to anyone concerning his/her intentions?
  • Has the individual shown an interest in targeted violence, perpetrators of targeted violence, weapons, extremist groups, or murder?
  • Has the individual engaged in attack-related behavior, including any menacing, harassing, and/or stalking-type behavior?
  • Does the individual have a history of mental illness involving command hallucinations, delusional ideas, feelings of persecution, etc., with indications that he individual has acted- on those beliefs?
  • How organized is the individual? Is he/she capable of developing and carrying out a plan?
  • Has the individual experienced a recent loss and/or loss of status, and has this led to feelings of desperation and despair?
  • Corroboration: What is the individual saying, and is it consistent with his/her actions?
  • Is there concern among those that know the individual that he/she might take action based on inappropriate ideas?
  • What factors in the individual’s life and/or environment might increase/decrease the likelihood of the individual attempting to attack a target?

Prevention – The Role of School Administrators, Teachers, and Staff

To be effective, violence prevention programs require community-wide collaborative efforts that include students, families, teachers, administrators, staff, social and mental health professionals, law enforcement, emergency response personnel, security professionals, school board members, parents, the business community, etc. School administrators should bring together all of the above constituencies to develop strategies appropriate for their own particular school and community environments.

While school boards and administrators set the climate of safety within schools, teachers, especially, must be directly involved and supported in all stages of developing and implementing programs to achieve safer schools. Teachers establish the first line of school safety, because they have the most direct contact with students. Often, they also have great insight into the potential problems and realistic solutions applicable to their school. 

School Security

The level of physical security may need to be modified in order to lower schools’ vulnerability to violent behaviors. Different strategies will be required to address needs specific to individual elementary, middle, and high schools.

Administrators should initiate a comprehensive security assessment survey of their school’s physical design, safety policies, and emergency procedures.

The assessment should be conducted in cooperation with law enforcement, school security staff, physical facilities personnel, fire and other emergency service personnel, teachers, staff, students, and other school community members. Using the conclusions of that survey, administrators should assign a safety and violence prevention committee composed of all of the above representatives to develop a comprehensive security plan (School Site Safety Plan). Based on each school’s needs, school safety plans may include some or all of the following suggestions:

  1. Utilize School Resource Officers, who may be provided by local law enforcement. SROs often provide law enforcement, law-related counseling, and law-related education to students, faculty, and staff. Continuity of officers within individual schools should be encouraged, so that students and SROs develop rapport.
  2. Consider seeking one or more probation officers for use on campus to help supervise and counsel students. This would be especially appropriate for high schools with a significant caseload of juveniles on probation.
  3. Utilize paid, trained personnel hired specifically to assist teachers and administrators in monitoring student behavior and activities. Continuity of monitors within schools should be encouraged to facilitate good rapport with students. The number of monitors used should be based on the number of students, the extent of problems at the school, and the space and layout of school grounds.
  4. Encourage screened and trained parents/guardians and other volunteers to provide monitoring of students. Ensure volunteers have adequate training and guidelines outlining their duties.
  5. Develop and enforce restrictions about student loitering in parking lots, hallways, bathrooms, and other areas. Publish restrictions in the student handbook/code of conduct.
  6. Consider the use of metal detectors only in special circumstances to deter weapons on campus.
  7. Adopt policies for conducting searches for weapons and drugs. Publish policies in the student handbook/code of conduct.

  8. Require visitors to sign in and sign out at the school office and to wear visible visitors’ passes. Post prominent signs at all school entrances instructing visitors where to sign in and out. Publish the policy in the student handbook/code of conduct.

  9. Encourage school personnel to greet strangers on campus and direct them to sign in if they have not. Also instruct school personnel to report visitors who have not signed in.

  10. Require students and staff to carry with them and/or wear their school photo IDs during school and at all school-related activities.

  11. Establish a closed campus policy that prohibits students from leaving campus during lunch.
    Establish a cooperative relationship with law enforcement and owners of adjacent properties to the school that allow for joint monitoring of student conduct during school hours.

  12. Encourage neighboring residents and businesses to report all criminal activity and unusual incidents. Establish a protocol within the school to handle calls from the neighborhood.

  13. Consider providing and making use of alarm, intercom, cell phone, building paging, two-way radio, and mounted and hand-held camera monitoring systems on buses and school campuses.

  14. Develop a school bus rider attendance checklist for each bus and use it daily.

  15. Consider the need for employing outside security personnel during school functions.

  16. Patrol school grounds, especially in areas where students tend to congregate such as parking lots, hallways, stairs, bathrooms, cafeterias, and schoolyards.

Reporting

Establish a climate that encourages and enables students, teachers, and parents/guardians to report threats and acts of violence. For an example of a case involving violence that may have been averted with more adequate reporting and assessment.

  1. Within the limits of legal guidelines and statutes, maintain confidentiality.
  2. Develop and adequately communicate reporting procedures with input from district school officials and local public safety agencies. Standard procedures should include definitions of pertinent information and how and where information should be distributed.
  3. Consider establishing a properly staffed, confidential hotline for reporting issues of harassment, safety, vandalism etc. If answering machines are used, calls need to be retrieved in time to effectively address threats of violence. Aggressively advertise the hotline number to students and parents /guardians in student handbooks, on posters throughout the school, on pencils, student IDs, lockers, etc. Parents and students should also be advised when to use 9-1-1 rather than the hotline.
  4. Obtain training to recognize whether reports of threats or acts of violence are false and/or malicious.

Student Rules

Student rules must be communicated, understood, and consistently enforced. They also must comply with constitutionally guaranteed due process procedures.

  1. Establish rules of conduct pertaining to improper student behavior using input from students, parents/guardians, staff, public safety officials, mental health agencies, and legal counsel.
  2. Annually review, and if needed, revise rules of student conduct.
  3. Ensure that all rules have a purpose that is clearly understood. They should be clear and communicated to all students in both written and verbal formats. Students’ comprehension of the rules should be assessed.
  4. Post summaries of rules of student conduct in classrooms and throughout the school.
  5. Send rules home to be read by students and parents/guardians. Include an acknowledgment form for students and parents/guardians to sign and return to the school. Hold meetings to communicate rules to parents/guardians, and to the extent practicable, make sure they understand them. Invite parents/guardians to call if they have questions about the rules.
  6. Communicate rules in as many languages as needed and possible for each school’s population.
  7. Apply rules in a consistent manner. Have pre-established consequences for rule violations.
  8. Develop a consistent, timely, and effective means to notify parents/ guardians of rule violations and consequences.
  9. Establish clearly defined rules and appropriate consequences for all types of harassment, intimidation, and disrespect. Rules should cover adult and student behavior at all school events. Parents/Guardians and teachers need to act as positive role models for students.
  10. Suspend and recommend expulsion of students and dismiss or discipline of staff for serious rule violations. Serious rule violations include:
    1. Possession of a firearm on school property or at school events. The 1994 Gun-Free Schools Act mandates a one-year expulsion for students who bring a firearm to school. The chief administrating officer of the local education agency is able to modify the expulsion requirement on a case-by-case basis. All local education agencies that receive funding from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) must require all students found carrying a firearm to be referred to the criminal justice or juvenile justice system. 
    2. Possession or use of a weapon on school grounds or at school events that is capable of inflicting serious bodily harm.
    3. Physical assault of a teacher, administrator, staff member, or student.
  11. Suspend and consider the appropriateness of expulsion for the following:
    1. Verbal threat to a teacher, administrator, staff member, or student.
    2. Possession, sale, or use of illegal drugs on campus.
    3. Actual or threatened retaliation against persons who report threats or acts of violence.

Anti-Bullying Programs

Bullying is a range of behaviors, both verbal and physical, that intimidate others and often lead to antisocial and unlawful acts. Staff, students, and parents/guardians need to understand that bullying is a pervasive problem that leads to violence. Bullying should neither be thought of as a “kids will be kids” occurrence nor accepted as a way of life. Implement anti-bullying programs that include the following school-wide, classroom, and individual tactics:

  1. Clearly define what constitutes bullying activity with input and involvement from the school community (students, staff, parents, teachers, volunteers, and law enforcement). Communicate that definition to students, teachers, parents, and staff. The definition should include physical, verbal, and psychological aspects of bullying.
  2. Based upon the above, establish specific rules prohibiting, and consequences for, bullying activity as part of a comprehensive school code of conduct.
  3. Seek information about the motivations behind specific incidents of bullying.
  4. Establish a reporting mechanism by which incidents of bullying can be reported and recorded immediately after they occur.
  5. Ensure reporting procedures address with whom and under which circumstances information will and will not be shared. Care should be taken to:
    • Protect witnesses and victims from retaliation.
    • Meet applicable standards for confidentiality.
    • Ensure that personnel involved with victims and bullies have the information they need to effectively work with them.
    • Protect the accused from false allegations.
  6. Notify parents/guardians of both victims and perpetrators whenever a report of bullying is formally filed. Establish a policy regarding the circumstances under which parents/ guardians of bullies and/or their victims should be called in for an on-site conference.
  7. Continually monitor the number of reported incidents of bullying.
  8. Regularly conduct a survey assessing the prevalence, location, and kind of bullying activities that are occurring. Include students, parents, teachers, and staff. Also address bullying activities that occur on the way to and from school. Work with community policing efforts to help make students’ journeys to and from school safe and free from acts of intimidation. For surveys requiring student input, follow administration guidelines regarding the possible need for parental approval.
  9. Consider holding focus groups on an on-going basis to discuss the nature of the problem of bullying and ways to solve it.
  10. Identify community resources that can be utilized to intervene immediately, as well as those that can be used to develop additional intervention and/or prevention programs. Ensure adequate social service and mental health resources are both available and being utilized.
  11. Take actions to identify bullies and victims and to promote intervention at the classroom level and at other student contact points within schools. Develop a program that provides victims with immediate support services and referrals, as well as teaches avoidance techniques and coping skills. Refer offenders to available support services.
  12. Advise teachers and staff to record events, as well as the interventions and strategies that are implemented to address different instances of bullying.

Anti-Gang Programs

Gang membership is destructive to a healthy school environment. Members of gangs are more likely than other students to carry weapons and engage in acts of violence.

  1. Establish partnerships with law enforcement in order to exchange information and educate teachers and staff about the presence of gangs and their activities.
  2. Establish and fund gang resistance and violence prevention teams to implement community, family, and youth education programs and to provide alternative activities in which children can participate. Teams should include educators, law enforcement, probation officers, community leaders, students, school resource officers, gang specialists, mental health professionals, and parents.
  3. Become aware of gang-related clothing, paraphernalia, and behavior. Establish a school dress code that would exclude outward manifestations of gang membership.
  4. Inform parents/guardians if their children are suspected of involvement in gangs and give them relevant information, counseling, and access to available pertinent resources.

Suicide Prevention

Suicide is a far more common form of violence involving students than school homicide. In some cases, perpetrators of school shootings felt their actions would lead to their being killed by police, which also could be considered a form of suicide. It is hoped that effective suicide prevention will decrease the occurrence of both self-inflicted suicide and violence by students who believe their acts will result in their being killed by others.

  1. Develop a plan that specifies how to identify students at risk, how to handle threats, and what actions to take in the event of a suicide.
  2. Ensure that students have, and are aware of, easy ways to get help, such as access to suicide hotlines, counselors, and written/visual materials.
  3. Educate students, parents/guardians, teachers, and other school personnel on how to identify and get help for troubled students before they become victims of suicide. Include how to get immediate help to prevent or respond to suicide attempts.

Programs to Reduce Isolation and Alienation and to Promote Respect

School administrators and teachers should identify and implement programs that increase positive self-respect and respect for others. In general, these programs should:

  1. Establish standards for how people should treat each other.
  2. Promote and ensure that classroom standards are consistent with school and district policies.
  3. Ensure classroom standards are reviewed in class and that a copy of them is sent to the parents/ guardians.
  4. Coordinate a cooperative effort to create and disseminate statements of values that all affiliates of the school will be expected to follow. All members should be able to state their school’s values.
  5. Establish better lines of communication with students who may feel alienated or isolated and/or have low self-esteem.
  6. Increase the number and diversity of positive extra-curricular activities available to students.
  7. Help students become more successful in achieving desirable short and long-term goals and increase the likelihood that their progress is recognized and rewarded.
  8. Teach students how to resist others’ efforts to intimidate or isolate them.
  9. Initiate a community service requirement for middle and high school graduation.
  10. Model and reinforce values such as learning, respect, character, and cooperation.
  11. Encourage students to work together through the use of cooperative learning techniques such as team projects.
  12. Encourage the contemplation of core values (respect, responsibility, trust, sharing, etc.) through the use of age- and curriculum-appropriate writing assignments and class discussions.
  13. Encourage students to become actively involved in the school community.

  14. Recognize and reward students who exhibit positive and responsible behavior.

  15. Offer troubled and withdrawn students, including victims, help outside of class with schoolwork and personal problems.

  16. Develop a climate that encourages open communication between students and adults. It should maximize the options by which students can transmit their concerns about violence to school personnel, foster an environment of trust, and be sensitive to their fears of retaliation.

Plan Review and Public Comment

This plan will be reviewed periodically during the year and will be maintained by the District-wide School Safety Team with technical assistance from the Orange Ulster BOCES Risk Management Department. The required annual review will be completed each year after its adoption by the Board of Education.

Pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation 155.17 (e) (3), this plan will be made available for public comment 30 days prior to its adoption.  The district-wide and building-level plans 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.

While linked to the District-wide School Safety Plan, Building-level Emergency Response Plans shall be confidential and shall not be subject to disclosure under Article 6 of the Public Officers Law or any other provision of law, in accordance with Education Law Section 2801-a.

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.  Building-level Emergency Response Plans will be supplied to both local and State Police within 30 days of adoption.

Risk Reduction/Prevention and Intervention are comprised of activities that are taken prior to an emergency or disaster to eliminate the possibility of the occurrence, or reduce the impact of such emergency if it does occur.

Prevention/Intervention Strategies

Program Initiatives

Listed below are programs and activities the district may utilize for improving communication among students and between students and staff and reporting of potentially violent incidents, such as the establishment of:

Elementary School

  • Character Education
  • PBIS – Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies
  • Strengthening Families Program
  • Therapeutic – Crisis Intervention

Middle School

  • Character Education
  • PBIS – Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies
  • Strengthening Families Program
  • Therapeutic – Crisis Intervention

High School

  • Character Education
  • PBIS – Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies
  • Therapeutic – Crisis Intervention

Training, Drills and Exercises

All district personnel (faculty, custodial staff, office staff and administrators) will receive an orientation to the district’s multi-hazards emergency plan on an annual basis.  The orientation will focus on the district policies and procedures for fire evacuations and emergency response codes procedures, emergency communications and the districts incident command system.  (Substitute Teachers and Teacher Aides will receive a fact sheet on the district’s policies and procedures upon initial assignment).

  • Each emergency response code procedure will be practiced on a semi annual basis as part of a regularly scheduled staff meeting to test the district’s communication system.
  • Building evacuation/emergency drill procedures will be practiced a minimum of 12 times per school year.
  • The district will conduct one early go-home drill to test its alerting and warning procedures, communications, procedures, resources, staff procedures, transportation procedures, public information procedures, and evacuation procedures on an annual basis.
  • The emergency plan for sheltering in the event of severe weather threat such as a tornado or thunderstorm will be practiced on an annual basis to test alerting and warning procedures. Communications procedures, staff procedures and the movement of students to designated areas within the school building.
  • The district will conduct one drill and/or exercises with local law enforcement agencies and other emergency response agencies to practice and review its emergency procedures for  a “violent incident” on an annual basis.

Following a program orientation, drill and/or exercise, participants will forward their observations to their “Building Safety Committee” representative for further review and/or discussion.  If immediate action is needed, the Building’s Principal will be notified in order to take corrective action.  The “Building Safety Committee” will review after action reports and forward their recommendations and suggestions to the “District Wide Safety Committee”.

Implementation of School Security

In an effort to maintain a safe, orderly and healthy educational environment, all visitors to the District must sign-in at the Main Office of the building visited and obtain a visitor’s pass that is to remain visible at all times.  The hall monitor and other school safety personnel acting in a school security capacity direct visitors to various offices and monitors student activities on the playgrounds and athletic fields.  Work is performed under the general supervision of the Building Principal in accordance with established policies and procedures.  

Hall monitors and other school safety personnel will be hired according to State Education and Civil Service Guidelines.

Vital Educational Agency Information

The district consists of six educational buildings:

Kings Elementary (Currently Closed)

Park Ave Elementary (K-4)

Sanfordville Elementary (K-5)

Pine Island (Currently Closed)

Warwick Valley Middle School with attached District Office (5-8)

Warwick Valley High School (9-12)

Additionally there are 18 athletic fields, a custodial maintenance building and a bus garage. 

Information on:

School population, number of staff, transportation needs, and the business and home telephone numbers of key officials of each such educational agency are described within Appendix E.

Hazard Identification

Faculty and/or staff will conduct a daily inspection of their classrooms, specialty rooms, playground, athletic fields and/or office area to identify, evaluate and if needed to control any potential hazards associated within their work area.  All concerns should be forwarded to a member of the facility’s safety committee for further review.  If immediate action is needed, the Building’s Principal should be contacted directly.

The district will continue to work with outside emergency response agencies and Orange-Ulster BOCES Risk Management Department to evaluate potential hazards associated in transporting and/or educating the children within our district.  See “Building Level Response Plans” for a list of Specific hazards associated with each building.

Notification and Activation (Internal and External Communications)

  • In the event of a violent incident, immediately implement “Lockdown” procedures.  Notify administrative personnel by calling the main office and alert office personnel regarding the need to call 9-1-1 for law enforcement agencies.  Office personnel will immediately contact the Building’s Principal and/or Designee, Central Office and call 9-1-1 if a building administrator can not be immediately reached.  If the main office is involved with the incident, the alternative site as designated within the “Building Level Response Plan” will be utilized to call 986-5000. In the event of a weather emergency, central office will alert whenever possible district personnel by telephone chain and/or fax for the need to seek shelter.  “Building Level Response Plans” will be followed to alert faculty, staff, students and guests as designated within each plan.
  • Each school building will organize a Rapid Response Crisis Kit containing:
    • Master Key(s)
    • Blank name tags or identification vests
    • Classroom telephone directory
    • Building floor plans  (supplied by BOCES Risk Management)                   
  • Utility Shut-off master diagram (supplied by BOCES Risk Management)
    • Notebooks, pens, markers
    • Complete student roster
    • Bell and Bus schedules
    • Current yearbook or class photos
    • Daily attendance list
  • Each principal should have a Rapid Response Crisis Kit in the main office & in a secure room or location on the other side of the building.
  • Describe the policies and procedures for contacting appropriate law enforcement officials in the event of a violent incident.  The district’s procedures might include maintaining a list of local law enforcement agencies, and the designation of the individuals authorized to contact the law enforcement agencies.
  • Describe the system that has been established for receiving and disseminating information to educational agencies within a school district of a disaster.  The system could include the following forms of communication:
    • Telephone
    • Intercom
    • Fax/Email
    • Local Media
    • District Radio System
    • NOAA Weather Radio
    • Others, as appropriate
  • The system may specify that in the event of an emergency, or impending emergency, the district will notify all principals/designees of facilities within the district to take the appropriate action.

Chain of Command

  • Superintendent
    Dr. David Leach
    987-3000 ext. 10510, 10511
  • Asst. Superintendent for Curricular and Instructional Services
    James Yap
    987-3000 ext. 10520, 10526.
  • Asst. Superintendent for Business
    Tim Holmes
    987-3000 ext. 10527, 10521
  • Asst. Superintendent for Human Resources
    Cindy Leandro
    987-3000 ext. 10522, 10528
  • Director of Operations and Maintenance
    Steve Salvato
    987-3000 ext. 17510

High School

  • Principal
    Larry Washington
    987-3050 ext. 12510              
  • Associate Principal
    Marguerite Fusco
    987-3050 ext. 12520              
  • Associate Principal
    Stephen Sweeney
    987-3050 ext. 12504

Middle School

  • Principal
    Georgianna Diopoulos
    987-3100 ext. 16510               
  • Associate Principal
    Kris Defilippis
    987-3100 ext. 16521
  • Associate Principal
    Jared Yapkowitz
    987-3100 ext. 16520                                                        

Park Avenue Elementary School             

  • Principal
    Sandra Wood
    987-3170 ext. 14510
  • Associate Principal
    Melanie Lofaro
    987-3170 ext. 14640             
  • Other key personnel
    Jeanne VanHassel: 987-3170 ext. 14501

Sanfordville Elementary School                 

  • Principal
    Johnna Maraia
    987-3300 ext. 13510
  • Associate Principal
    Melanie Lofaro
    987-3100 ext. 16520
  • Other key personnel
    Sheila Scheuermann, 987-3300 ext. 13502

All Emergencies for Fire, Police and Ambulance: 845-986-5000

Assistance from Local Governmental Officials Coordination with Local and County Agencies

The Warwick Valley Central School District has developed an emergency management plan along with specific procedures to follow should an emergency occur.  A copy of this plan is located in each of the building offices.

  • Town Police
    Chief of Police
    986-3423
  • State Police
    Dispatcher
    782-8311
  • Town Government
    Supervisor
    986-1120 ext. 244
  • Village Government
    Mayor
    986-2031 ext. 2
  • Fire Department
    Chief
    986-4000
  • Orange Ulster BOCES
    Superintendent
    291-0100
  • Hospital
    Nursing Supervisor
    986-2276
  • Ambulance
    Dispatcher
    986-4100
  • Risk Management
    Risk Manager
    291-0100 Ext. 10761

Other

  • Poison Control
    1-914-366-3030
  • Gas Hotline – Orange & Rockland
    1-800-533-5325
  • FBI
    633-6000
  • Orange & Rockland Emergencies
    1-877-434-4100
  • Life Threatening Emergencies
    986-5000

Should an actual emergency occur the District Emergency Officer or Incident Commander will contact the appropriate agency with the specific nature of the emergency and request assistance.  Questions concerning these emergency procedures should be directed to: Cindy Leandro, 987-3000 ext. 10522 or 10528

Situational Responses Multi-Hazard Response

Emergency Response Codes

LOCKOUT / LOCKDOWN (Always assume the intruder is armed)

  1. Lock classroom/office door(s) immediately.
  2. Do not allow anyone to leave the room/office.
  3. Follow instructions on whether to allow anyone to enter the room/office.
  4. Stand by for additional instructions from administrative or law enforcement officials.
  5. Perform accountability check based on attendance roster(s).
  6. When all clear is given, resume activities as directed.

SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE – BOMB THREAT

  1. Do NOT activate the fire alarm system; do NOT use portable radios or cell phones.
  2. Perform cursory check of work area for any unusual packages or items.
  3. BRT’s check Shelter-In -Place or Evacuation Areas outside the building as directed.
  4. Be sure to take attendance roster(s) with you for accountability.
  5. Shelter in “cleared & sanitized areas” or evacuate away from the building when instructed.
  6. Stand by for additional instructions from administrative or law enforcement officials.
  7. When all clear is given, report back to classroom for accountability check.

MEDICAL EMERGENCY  “Medical Emergency in  Room ______”

SERIOUS MEDICAL EMERGENCY

  1. All designated administration and health staff report to _________ for a medical emergency at Room ________.

Intrusion

SEQUENTIAL RESPONSE ACTIONS:

  1. Identify Intruder.  Verification should be made that there is indeed an intruder in the building, on the grounds, or if a real threat exists.  Always assume an intruder is armed and dangerous.
  2. Notify the following individuals:
    • Superintendent
    • Assistant Superintendent for Business
    • Bldg. Principal or designees (see chain of command for full list of #s).
  3. Under the direction of an administrator listed in item 2, notify all building occupants using the public address system that “There is LOCKDOWN / LOCKOUT in the facility, all occupants follow LOCKOUT / LOCKDOWN Response Guidelines.”
  4. Notify local law enforcement agencies by telephone at 911.  NOTE: The Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent for Business, or Building Principal should notify law enforcement agencies.
  5. A lockdown of all rooms and assembly halls should take place immediately.
  6. Isolate the area of the incident from all staff and students.  Do not allow anyone to enter the area without the advice of law enforcement officials.
  7. Based on advice from law enforcement officials, consider implementing the following response actions:
    • Isolate the area of the building involved
    • Develop class changes
    • Evacuate staff and students from uninvolved areas
    • Notify parent(s) and/or spouse of victim(s)
    • Set up a receiving area (isolated) for family members of any victims
  8. Inform (update) Superintendent of situation and actions taken.
  9. When school district administrator(s) and/or local law enforcement give “all clear”, direct staff to  conduct accountability check.  When accountability check is complete, staff and students may resume  normal operations.

Hostage Taking/Kidnapping

Sequential response actions:

  1. Identify Situation. (All school staff members are responsible for this.)
  2. Notify the following individuals:
    • Superintendent
    • Assistant Superintendent for Business
    • Superintendent of Buildings & Grounds
    • Bldg. Principal or designee (see chain of command for full list of #s.)
  3. Notify local law enforcement agencies by telephone at 986-5000 and follow their instructions.  Do not attempt to overtake the assailant.
  4. Notify all building occupants using the public address system that “There is a LOCKDOWN / LOCKOUT in the facility, all occupants follow LOCKDOWN / LOCKOUT Response Guidelines.”     
  5. A lockdown of all rooms, assembly halls and entrances should take place immediately.   
  6. Isolate the area of the incident from all staff and students. Do not allow anyone to enter the area without the advice of law enforcement agencies.   
  7. Inform (update) Superintendent of situation and actions taken.
  8. Based on advice from law enforcement officials, consider implementing the following response actions: 
    • Isolate the area of the building involved
    • Develop class changes
    • Evacuate staff and students from uninvolved areas         
    • Notify parent(s) and/or spouse(s) of victim(s)
    • Implement Go Home Guidelines
    • Set up a receiving area (isolated) for family members of victims

Necessary Resources: Emergency Telephone Roster, Media Notification Plan

Bomb Threat

Sequential response actions:

  1. Upon receipt of a bomb threat by telephone, Initiate Response Form.  Listen for identifying speech Characteristics:  male or female; young or old, etc.  Fill out the response form as complete as possible.
  2. Notify the following individuals:
    • Superintendent
    • Assistant Superintendent for Business
    • Superintendent of Buildings & Grounds
    • Bldg Principals or designees (see chain of command for full list of #s.)
  3. Notify local law enforcement agencies by telephone at 986-5000.
    NOTE: The Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent for Business, Building Principal, Superintendent of Buildings & Grounds should notify law enforcement agencies.
  4. Under the direction of an administrator listed in item 2, notify all building occupants using the public address system of a:
    “SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE Response Guidelines”
    Note: Do NOT activate the Fire Alarm System.
    Do NOT use portable radios or cell phones.
  5. When “all clear” is given by Central Office Administration in consultation with Building Principal (or designee) and the local law enforcement agency, the staff and students shall report back to their classrooms.
  6. Central Office Administrator informs parents and guardians that the school Emergency Management Plan has been activated.

Necessary Resources: Bomb Threat Response Form

Bomb Threat Response Form

Be Alert!  Get Specifics!  Be Responsive!

Person receiving call:

Exact time of call:

Exact words of call

Questions to Ask

When is bomb going to explode?

Where is the bomb?

What does it look like?

What kind of bomb is it?

What will cause it to explode?

Did you place the bomb?

Why?

Where are you calling from?

What is your address?

What is your name?

Caller’s Voice (circle)

  • Crying
  • Giggling
  • Normal
  • Squeaky
  • Angry
  • Accent
  • Deep
  • Lisp
  • Sincere
  • Stressed
  • Broken
  • Disguised
  • Loud
  • Slow
  • Stutter
  • Calm
  • Excited
  • Nasal
  • Slurred
  • Rapid

If voice is familiar, whom did it sound like?

Were there any background noises?

Remarks: 

Person receiving call:

Telephone number call received at:

Date:

Report call immediately to (refer to bomb incident plan):

Background Sounds (circle)

  • Airplanes
  • Street Traffic
  • Animals 
  • Office/Machinery
  • Trains
  • Quiet
  • Factory/Machinery Voices
  • Music

Threat Language (circle)

  • Foul
  • Irrational
  • Taped
  • Incoherent Message read by threat maker
  • Well spoken (educated)

Remarks:

Date:

Name:

Position:

Phone Number:

Response To Situations Of Potential Violence In School

  1. If a staff member becomes aware of a student’s threat or actual act of violence:
    1. Staff member will immediately notify the principal and/or designees
    2. The principal and/or designees will notify appropriate members of the building response team.
    3. The principal and/or designees will arrange to have student immediately escorted to principal’s office
    4. There shall be NO STOPS, NO EXCEPTIONS, NO QUESTIONS
    5. The student will be attended by one or more adults, at all times.
    6. The crisis team will conduct a joint assessment of student
    7. Other staff will simultaneously conduct an investigation of the incident
    8. Student’s parents will be notified and required to participate in an immediate school conference
    9. When a more general threat is made to a large, unspecified group, the principal and/or designees will determine the course of action
  2. As a result of the joint assessment and investigation:
    1. High Risk Determination
      1. Inform police immediately
      2. Mandate parents to have the student receive an immediate psychiatric evaluation
      3. Notify potential victim(s) and potential victim(s)’ parents
      4. Develop a safety plan with the potential victim(s) and potential victim(s)’ parents
      5. Recommend other interventions/services if indicated
      6. Refer for discipline
    2. Lower Risk Determination
      1. Discuss with student and his parents the significance of the incident and                                                                              possible intervention measures
      2. Notify potential victim(s) and potential victim(s)’ parents
      3. Develop a safety plan with the potential victim(s) and potential victim(s)’ parents
      4. Refer for support services, peer mediation and/or outside services if indicated
      5. Refer for discipline if indicated
  3. At the conclusion or the potential incident of violence:
    1. A written summary shall be prepared by a designated staff person
    2. Involved personnel shall debrief

Notify Director of Special Education whenever a CSE student is involved

Potential Violence Incident Summary Form

Student’s Name:
Date: 
DOB:   
Grade:
Name/Title of Person Completing Form:
Parents’ Name:
Address:
Home Phone:
Work Phone:

Description of Incident:
(Include date/time of incident, names/titles of all involved parties and their specific roles):

Actions Taken & Recommended Follow Up:

Notification (names, titles dates):
Police:
Student’s Parents:
Potential victim(s) and potential victim(s)’
Parents:
Others:
Referrals (names, titles, dates):
Psychiatric evaluation:
Community Services: 
In-school Services:

Discipline specify): 
Other:

Imminent Warning Signs for the Potential of Violent Behavior

  1. Talks about violence and has a specific plan.
  2. Talks about violence and/or expresses violence in writings and drawings.
  3. Severe expressions of rage often for minor reasons. (i.e., banging head against the wall, unstoppable screaming)
  4. Severe destruction of property.
  5. Tortures animals.
  6. Frequently fights with peers and/or family members.
  7. Access to family or own firearms and capable of competent use.
  8. History of suicidal or other self-destructive behavior.

Early Warning Signs for the Potential of Violent Behavior

  1. Social withdrawal/lacks commitment or connection to a group or persons.
  2. Excessive feelings of isolation and being alone.
  3. Excessive feelings of rejection.
  4. Often the victim of aggression, bullying, or other violent acts.
  5. Feelings of being picked on/persecuted.
  6. Low school interest/poor academic performance.
  7. Patterns of impulsive, chronic hitting, intimidation, and/or bullying behavior.
  8. Regularly involved in behavioral/discipline problems.
    1. Behavioral difficulties at an early age – the earlier the problems, the higher the likelihood of serious problem in adolescence.
  9. Past history of violent and aggressive behaviors.

Violent Incident Response Plan

An act, perpetrated by a student, faculty member or unauthorized persons entering the school, which results in physical harm to an individual or potential of harm (hostage situation), is reported to the principal or designee.

  1. Notify staff by using the appropriate code via PA.
    1. Codes should be universal to district.
    2. Subs and other “transient” staff/volunteers trained in codes.
    3. An Emergency Information Poster is to be placed in each classroom containing specific instructions for several types of emergency situations.
  2. Lockdown / Lockout will occur immediately.
    1. Teachers should lock doors and windows of their classroom and students should back away from windows.
    2. Students and teachers remain in the secured area until further directions.
    3. Teacher should immediately take attendance.
    4. Teachers should report to a pre-designated individual, the names of students who are out of the room and/or unaccounted for.
    5. Individuals will be properly I.D.
  3. Following calls to be made by principal or designee.
    1. A single call can be made to 986-5000. Give a brief description and state what services are needed.
    2. Superintendent who in turn will make the following calls:
      1. Other building principals
      2. Bus Company
      3. Other directors
      4. Activate crisis response team via BOCES District Superintendent.
  4. Crowd Control – An appointed Assistant Principal and Nurse to go directly to scene to assess situation and to clear area.
    1. Nurse will have an emergency kit ready and accessible (location is known in case of substitute)
    2. Building Response Team (w/CPR knowledge and prior training) to assist at scene as well.
  5. Paraprofessionals/Staff need to do immediate sweep of hallways and have all students go directly into a pre-designated site (not into nearest classroom because intruder could be accidentally placed in room with children).
    **If perpetrator is still at large:

    1. Act in a manner that will not put any more lives in jeopardy.
    2. Avoid any reckless and/or imprudent action.
    3. Obtain for police as much information as possible:
      1. Description/clothing
      2. In what direction they were traveling
      3. Profile – background information
  6. An announcement is made via code on the PA to instruct all available personnel where to go for assignments.  Codes may be helpful to designate targeted area   when possible.
  7. Command Center to be established in each building. If the originally designated control center is in the area in which the incident is situated, another pre-planned site is to be named. (Superintendent, Principal, Police, EMS, Representatives of Counseling Services.)
  8. Secondary staging areas need to be designated with the incident commander for staff assignments, fire, police and EMS, etc.
  9. Restrict access to the crime scene-
    1. Isolate area
    2. Methodically evacuate the immediate area keeping potential witnesses available for law enforcement personnel.
    3. Limit access to only essential personnel.
  10. Media/Press
    1. Develop relationship w/media prior to incident.
    2. No one speaks to press except the public information officer.
    3. Establish an area in district for them to be able to access information. (Preferably the media area should be at the Board            Office and not at the incident site.) * *Can be used to our advantage for communicating w/parents about staging areas to pick up their children, community advisories regarding traffic problem, etc.
  11. Parents
    1. Designate area for parents to assemble for information.
    2. Parents will be notified via area radio station if possible.
    3. Instructions given to parents that students will be kept at school until the crisis is determined to be over
    4. Instructions not to phone the school and tie-up the few telephone lines that will be needed for emergency use.(Good to have limited access number telephone #) (Fax machines can be utilized).
    5. When it is considered safe to release students this will only be done to his/her parent or authorized designee.
    6. Logs will be kept as to whom is released.
    7. Police assistance may be helpful.
  12. Evacuation of school as soon as deemed safe.
    1. Put into effect the Early/Emergency Dismissal Plan.
    2. Prepare special needs students and personnel for evacuation.
    3. Have prearranged alternate site if student cannot be taken home.
    4. In the case of elementary school walkers or unaccounted for children, they will be bused to another school in the district.
  13. Pay particular attention to friends of deceased, and persons with recent losses or a history of suicide threats or attempts.
    1. Set up support rooms/stations and call for backup counselors, if needed.
    2. High School Sudden Adolescent Death plan to be made available and be adapted in each school.
  14. Hold faculty meeting as soon as possible.
    1. Debrief faculty/staff to help process feelings.
    2. Plan for anticipated reactions of students.
    3. Have articles available on signs and normal responses to grief.
  15. Determine the most effective method to inform parents about the crisis/death, what the school is doing and what reactions to expect from their child.
  16. Prepare to hold community meetings, if necessary.
  17. Log activities and decisions (what worked/what didn’t).

After The Crisis

  • Assess the degree of support needed.
  • Notify BOCES in order to activate County Crisis Plan (if necessary).
  • Designate a person to handle crowd control.
  • Gather staff together before dismissal for the day in order to provide an update.
  • Plan for deployment of support staff for the next day.
  • Meet with Central Office (and Board members, if appropriate) to review incident and plan for the next day.
  • Assign a district spokesperson to deal with the media.
  • Assess the needs of community. e.g. community meetings to disseminate information. Contacting PTO’s to provide food and babysitting services for affected families.
  • Provide an early morning debriefing meeting for the next day for all the support service providers and appropriate internal staff.
  • Assign counselors to buildings.
  • Assign staff members to visit hospitals; e.g. nurses.
  • Provide a press release (if appropriate).
  • Monitor needs as the day progresses and modify accordingly (e.g. If a student is critical and should die during the school day).
  • Assess the need to bring in additional experts. Determine need for ecumenical services.
  • Determine need to designate individuals to attend funerals.
  • Continually appraise key people of the status of the situation as it changes.
  • Hold an end of day session with counselors and staff to assess needs for the next day.
  • Repeat this process of holding meetings in the morning and at the end of the day. Hold meetings until it is determined that the crisis stage is over. Anticipate long-term effects on children, staff and community.  The initial crises may give you an inaccurate read of the needs of your district since people are in shock.

Civil Disturbance

SEQUENTIAL RESPONSE ACTIONS:

  1. Identify Situation.  Verification should be made that there is indeed a disturbance in the building or the grounds.  Always assume that weapons may be involved.
    • Notify the following individuals:   
      Superintendent
      Assistant Superintendent for Business
      Superintendent of Buildings & Grounds Bldg.
      Principals or designees (see chain of command for full list of #s.)
  2. Under the direction of an administrator listed in item 1, notify all building occupants using the public address system that,   “There is a LOCKDDOWN / LOCKOUT in the facility, all occupants follow LOCKDOWN / LOCKOUT Response Guidelines.”
  3. Notify local law enforcement agencies by telephone at 986-5000. 
    NOTE: The Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent for Business, Building Principals, Superintendent of Buildings & Grounds should notify law enforcement agencies.
  4. A lockdown of all rooms and assembly halls should take place immediately.
  5. Isolate the area of the incident from all staff and students.  Do not allow anyone to enter the area without the advice of law enforcement officials.
  6. Based on advice from law enforcement officials, consider implementing the following response actions:
    • Isolate the area of the building involved
    • Develop class schedule changes
    • Evacuate staff and students from uninvolved areas
    • Notify parent(s) and/or spouse of victim(s)
  7. Inform (update) Superintendent of situation and actions taken.
  8. When “all clear” is given by school district administrator(s) and/or local law enforcement, direct staff to conduct accountability check.  When accountability check is complete, staff and students may resume normal operations.

Necessary Resources:  Emergency Telephone Roster, Media Notification Plan

Explosion/Fire Emergency

SEQUENTIAL RESPONSE ACTIONS:

  1. Upon the occurrence of an explosion or notification of a fire in a facility, sound the building fire alarm immediately.  Building systems which are not automatically turned off by the alarm being activated should be shut down.
  2. Notify local fire and emergency services at 986-5000.
  3. Begin evacuation of facility in accordance with established emergency evacuation plans.
  4. Notify the following individuals:
    Superintendent
    Assistant Superintendent for Business Bldg
    Principals or designees (see chain of command for full list of #s.)
  5. Initiate accountability procedure to determine if any staff, students, or visitors are injured or missing.
  6. Upon their arrival, advise the fire department of the situation.  Assist the fire department incident command with activities related to the incident.  Such as accountability of building occupants, building plans (maps with building layout), locations of utilities shut down, etc.
  7. Prepare public information release to the media, if necessary. Notify local media (radio and television) if early dismissal is initiated and give appropriate dismissal times. (Superintendent’s Office)
  8. Resume, curtail or cease building operation, as advised by fire department officials. Notify staff, students and parents.
  9. If false alarm, investigate to identify the individual(s) who activated the alarm system.
  10. Initiate “Go Home” procedure if necessary.             

Necessary Resources:  Emergency Telephone Roster, Emergency Evacuation Plan, Media Notification Plan, Public Address System, Transportation Plan

School Bus Accident (Off-Site)

SEQUENTIAL RESPONSE ACTIONS:

  1. Upon receipt of notification of an off-site motor vehicle accident involving a school bus, the following information should be gathered from the caller:
    1. Location of the incident?
    2. Number of injured persons, if any?
    3. Has Emergency Services been called?\
    4. Has Local Police or Sheriff been notified?
    5. Are victims being transported to hospital? If yes, which hospital(s)?
  2. Notify the following district officials:
    Superintendent, 
    Assistant Superintendent for Business,
    Superintendent of Buildings & Grounds,
    Bldg Principals or
    designees (see chain of command for full list of #s.)
  3. A school district representative, including a school nurse, should be sent to assist at On-Scene Incident Command Post wearing school district identification on clothing.
  4. Monitor the situation through Fire and Law Enforcement officials or the School representative on scene and gather accurate information regarding:
    1. Number of injured students and staff;
    2. Names of injured students and staff;
    3. Hospital(s) injured will be transported to.
  5. At the Superintendent’s direction, notify the parents/legal guardian or spouse(s) of the injured as soon as possible.
  6. If deemed necessary by the Superintendent, initiate the media notification plan.
  7. Maintain communication with Emergency Services and hospital for current status of accident scene and patient condition.  Relocate uninjured students to shelter if inclement weather as quickly as possible.
  8. If directed to do so by the Superintendent, activate the critical incident counseling team.
  9. When the incident is terminated by emergency services and local law enforcement agencies, resume normal operations.

Severe Thunderstorm/Tornado

Sequential Response Actions:

  1. Monitor all National Weather Service severe thunderstorm and tornado watch or high wind warnings on  Weather Alert Radio or local radio stations.  Central Office will verify that all schools received the weather alert.
  2. Central Office will verify that all schools have received a weather alert.
  3. Direct weather spotters to take their positions.
  4. Curtail all outside activities when a ‘warning’ is received.  Close shades/blinds.
    • Thunderstorm Watch – This means that weather conditions are such that thunderstorms could develop.  If you receive such a call, you should be alert to the possibilities of an impending storm.
      • Action:  Although no specific action is required, it is recommended that outside   activities be monitored.
    • Thunderstorm Warning – issued when a severe thunderstorm with winds greater than 58 mph is in the area or is possibly occurring in some sections of the county.
      • Action:  All outside activities should be curtailed for the duration of the warning.  While this warning does not immediately necessitate moving students and staff to the safe areas in the building as in a tornado warning, children should be moved away from windows.  If further precautions are necessary, Central Office will issue the directions.       
    • Tornado Watch – This alert suggest that conditions are such that a tornado could occur.
      • Action: Outside activities should be curtailed upon receipt of this alert.
    • Tornado Warning- This alert is given when a tornado has been reported in the county.
      • Action: All students and staff should be quickly moved to the safe areas in the building until further notice.  Be sure to take a cellular phone with freshly-charged batteries with you.  A class register should be taken as well.
  5. Continue to monitor outside weather conditions, Weather Alert Radio and local radio stations.  When “warning” is rescinded or “all clear” is given; organize to resume normal activities if there is no damage to school property. 
  6. If building(s) has sustained damage, refer to “Structural Failure” section of the Emergency Management Plan.  Also ensure that County Emergency Management Office is informed of damage.
    • Necessary Resources:
      • AM/FM Radio
      • NOAA Weather Alert Radio
      • Television
      • Public Address System
      • Predestinated Shelter Areas

Anthrax/Biological Threat

Sequential Response Actions:

In the event of an Anthrax threat, the individual receiving the letter/package should do the following: 

  1. Remain in the room/office where package is opened.      
  2. Do not let any room/office occupants leave after package is opened.
  3. Do not allow anyone to enter the area.
  4. Use the intercom or in house communication system to inform the building administrator of the situation.
  5. The building administrator must then call 986-5000 and the Superintendent’s office and inform them of the “Anthrax Scare”.
  6. Do not initiate an evacuation or make any announcements of the emergency.  However, an announcement should be made to hold all staff and students in their present location until further notice and disregard all class bells for period changes.
  7. Isolate/lock down all entrances and exits and post monitors at each point to prevent unauthorized entry/exit.
  8. If evacuation is necessary, law enforcement and emergency services will determine the need, extent and period.

Hazardous Material Spill – On Site

Sequential Response Actions:

1. Upon discovery or detection of any spill of a hazardous material, petroleum or chemical product, notify the following:
Superintendent
Assistant Superintendent for Business
Superintendent of Buildings & Grounds 
Building Principals or designees (see chain of command for full list of #s.)

Local Fire Department 986-5000
***School administrators will notify local fire and emergency medical services

2.  Based on the advice of the fire department, curtail or cease building operations’, as appropriate.

3.  When deemed appropriate, notify staff and students to evacuate using the fire evacuation pre-plan.  Insure that evacuation route does not go through the spill area.  Re-route evacuees away from spill area.

4.  Notify parents through media. (Superintendent or Public Information Officer)

5. Superintendent of Buildings & Grounds and Fire Department Officials will evaluate the problem.

 a. If trained and adequately protected with safety equipment, determine cause.

b.  If trained and adequately protected with special equipment. mitigate the situation.

c. Notify New York State DEC spill hotline at 1-800-457-7362.

 6. After consulting with fire and environmental officials, resume normal operations.

Necessary Resources:   Emergency Telephone Roster

                                       Evacuation Plan

                                       Public Address System

                                       Material Safety Data Sheets

                                       Personal Protective Equipment

                                       Spill Absorbent and Containment Material

                                       Media Notification Plan

                                       Transportation Plan

                                       AM/FM Radio

                                       NOAA Weather Radio

                                       Television

Hazardous Material Spill – Off Site

Sequential Response Actions:

1.  Upon being notified of an off site hazardous material spill or release, follow the directions of the County Emergency Management, Local Fire Chief, or Law Enforcement Agencies.

2.  Notify the following individuals:
Superintendent
Assistant Superintendent for Business
Superintendent of Buildings & Grounds
Bldg. Principals or designees (see chain of command for full list of #s.)

3.  In the event of shelter recommendation, close off all outside air intakes and curtail  all outside activities.

4.  If evacuation is recommended, institute “Go Home” procedure.      

5.  Monitor the situation with local fire, emergency management or law enforcement agencies, and through the media.  (Attach a school district representative to the Off Site Incident Coordination Team, if possible.)        

6.  When advised to do so by fire and emergency management officials, resume normal operations.      

7.  When conditions permit, re-open school and if appropriate, utilize standard media notification.       

Necessary Resources:     Emergency Telephone Roster     

                                                 Public Address System     

                                                 Media Notification Plan

                                                 AM/FM Radio

                                                 Television

                                                 NOAA Weather Radio

                                                 Transportation Plan

                                                 Evacuation Plan

Food Poisoning

Sequential Response Actions:

  • Person suspecting food poisoning notifies the Building Administrator or Building Emergency Coordinator.
  • Building Administrator or Building Emergency Coordinator notifies Head of Food Service and School Nurse.
  • The Building Administrator or Building Emergency Coordinator determines emergency response and authorizes notification.
  • Provide medical attention to affected persons and contact parents of students needing emergency attention.
  • Request emergency assistance, if appropriate.
  • Contact Dept. of Health, if appropriate.
  • Close food service operation, if appropriate.
  • Gather samples of suspicious foods (either in original container or clean container).
  • Label food samples and refrigerate.
  • Nurse or other health professional examine and interview ill person(s), record signs and symptoms, and collect specimens, if possible.
  • Where possible identify individuals who ate common foods.
  • Dismiss early, if needed.
  • Board of Health gives clearance to resume food service.
  • Notify Superintendent of all actions taken.
  • Superintendent notifies District Superintendent and/or Commissioner of Education that plan was activated as required under CR155.17.
  • Notify parents, if appropriate.

Procedures for Obtaining Advice and Assistance from Local Gov’t Officials

  • Identify the procedures the district will use 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.  The types of procedures for obtaining advice and assistance from local governments during countywide emergencies could include the following:
    • Superintendent/Designee in an emergency will contact emergency management coordinator and/or the highest-ranking local government official for obtaining advice and assistance.

District Resources Available for Use in an Emergency

  • Identify the district resources which may be available for use during an emergency, which could include the identification of resources, such as facilities, buses and trucks.

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

  • Describe the district’s procedures to coordinate the use of school district resources and manpower during emergencies, including the identification of the officials authorized to make decisions and the staff members assigned to provide assistance during emergencies.

Protective Action Options

Describe plans for taking the following actions in response to an emergency where appropriate: (a) school cancellation, (b) early dismissal, (c) evacuation, and (d) sheltering.  Examples of actions could include the following and be made in cooperation with local emergency responders:

  1. School cancellation
    • Monitor any situation that may warrant a school cancellation – decision maker/team
    • Make determination – decision maker
    • Contact local media
  2. Early dismissal
    1. Monitor situation – decision maker
    2. If conditions warrant, close school – decision maker
    3. Contact Transportation Supervisor to arrange transportation
    4. Contact local media to inform parents of early dismissal – Incident Reporting Form
    5. Set up an information center so that parents may make inquiries as to the situation
    6. Retain appropriate district personnel until all students have been returned home
  3. Evacuation (before, during and after school hours, including security during evacuation and evacuation routes)
    • Determine the level of threat – Superintendent/designee
    • Contact Transportation Supervisor to arrange transportation – designee
    • Clear all evacuation routes and sites prior to evacuation sites
    • Account for all student and staff population.  Report any missing staff or student to Building Principal.
    • Make determination regarding early dismissal – designee
    • If determination was made to dismiss early, contact local media to inform parents of early dismissal – Incident Reporting Form
    • Ensure adult supervision or continued school supervision/security
    • Set up an information center so that parents may make inquiries as to the situation
    • Retain appropriate district personnel until all students have been returned home
  4. Sheltering sites (internal and external)
    • Determine the level of threat – Superintendent/Incident   Commander/designee
    • Determine location of sheltering as depending on nature of incident
    • Account for all student and staff population.  Report any missing staff or   student to designee.
    • Determine other occupants in the building
    • Make appropriate arrangements for human needs
    • Take appropriate safety precautions
    • Establish a public information officer to provide information and current status of the situation to parents and other inquiring parties
    • Retain appropriate district personnel until all students have been returned home

District resources will support the Emergency Response Teams and the Post-Incident Response Teams in the affected school(s) in the following was ______________.

The District office will assist in the coordination of Disaster Mental Health Resources, in support of the Post-Incident Response Teams, in the affected school(s) in the following ways __________________.

Appendix A

Planning For The Psychological Aftermath Of School Tragedy

Thomas T. Frantz

Associate Professor of Counseling and Educational Psychology

State University of New York at Buffalo

Our purpose is to discuss a basic postvention plan that can be adopted for use in any school following a death or tragedy. The plan is designed to go into effect the first school day after the trauma has occurred.

To initiate thinking about postvention, consider the following specific questions that will usually arise:

  1. How and when should students and faculty be informed of the pertinent details surrounding it?
  2. How, when, and where should students be allowed to express their reactions?
  3. What should be done for victims’ close friends?
  4. What should be done for “high risk” students?
  5. Should the school hold a special assembly or memorial service?
  6. Should there be a symbolic expression of grief, such as lowering the flag to half-mast?
  7. Should the school close for the funeral?
  8. Who should go to the funeral?
  9. What kinds of commemorative activities or symbols—plaques, memorial funds, etc.—are appropriate?
  10. Should the victims’ parents be contacted and what help can be offered to them?
  11. What should be done about the concerns of other parents?
  12. How should the school deal with the media?
  13. Should the school turn to outside consultation for help?  To whom?
  14. What reactions from students should be expected?
  15. Should a regular school schedule be followed the day after?
  16. How long should the school be concerned about student reactions?
  17. How much grieving or “acting out” should be allowed?
  18. Should students be involved in planning the school’s response?
  19. Who should organize and coordinate the school’s response?
  20. What about siblings or affected students in other schools?
  21. What should teachers say to students in their classes?

Principles of Postvention

Before presenting a plan to respond to the issues raised by these questions, interrelated principles of postvention are outlined. The postvention plan is on the principles of reducing fear, facilitating grieving, and promoting education.

Reduce Fear

Fear is the most overpowering and debilitating human emotion. Fear can cause us to flee in panic, act irrationally, become immobilized, say things we regret, and act in other ways that later are embarrassing to us. To deal with fear, we first recognize that fear breeds in the unknown. People are most afraid of what they don’t understand, of mysterious, dark, different, unknown situations. The neighbor’s’ German Shepherd running at you, riding the subway, or driving to Toronto may each be scary the first time, but once you get to know the dog, have taken the subway a few times, or made the trip to Toronto often, you are much less afraid. Experience reduces the unknown and thereby reduces fear. An earthquake, especially one resulting in death, produces so many unanswered questions, leaves so much unknown, and thus creates fear. What made it happen? Will it happen again? Is the school really safe? Am I safe at home?

Will the next one get me? Why didn’t God do something! Is there any place that’s really safe?

As a result of so many unanswerable questions, the atmosphere in a school following an earthquake may be tinged with fear. Students and staff may feel unsure of themselves, confused, afraid of what else might happen, and not know how to behave or what to say.

Most of us grow up not thinking much about earthquakes. They only happen to other people, people we heard of or read about. It’s hard to imagine that a major earthquake, especially one that kills people, would ever happen to our friends, family, or community, and when it does, many people feel insecure and afraid. Something that wasn’t supposed to be part of the plan, something that wasn’t supposed to happen has happened, and if that can happen, then anything can happen.

An earthquake can pull the rug out from under basic beliefs about how the world is and leave us feeling unsure, unsafe, and wondering what we can count on with certainty. It’s in this sense that an atmosphere of fear may prevail in a school the days following an earthquake. Of course, those friends and staff closest to those who may have died will be most affected; but the tragedy will affect everyone in the school to some extent.

It is very difficult for any constructive activity to take place when people are afraid. It’s hard to concentrate, hard to take tests, write essays, or listen to lectures. It’s even hard to feel sadness, remorse, or other normal grief feelings. Hence the reduction of fear is the first major goal for the school following a tragedy. We can’t expect to eliminate it, but we can reduce it by reducing the unknowns.

While exercising sensitivity, we reduce fear by providing students and staff factual information about what happened, the deaths, and the grieving process to be expected in the days ahead by organizing the school day with as few changes as possible and by providing an open, accepting atmosphere allowing the “secret” fears, questions, and feelings of students and staff to come out.

Facilitate Grieving

Grief is the normal, healthy, appropriate response to death or loss. Anyone who knew those that were killed is going to experience grief, from the parents whose bereavement will normally last 2 to 3 years to tangential acquaintances whose grief will be measured in days. Students and staff don’t get a choice of whether to feel grief, but they do get to choose how they’ll respond to it.

People who deny their grief, pretend it’s not a big deal, or insist they’re not going to let it bother them, or try to cover it up with bravado, laughter, or stoicism usually have a much harder time resolving their grief than do people who are able to grieve more expressively.

Each person grieves in his or her own way, a way that has been learned by experience with loss over the years. A student or staff member’s way of grieving or coping with loss can be predicted (based on past experience with loss) and is not likely to change in the midst of a crisis like the aftermath of an earthquake.

Accordingly, a wide range of grieving behavior needs to be tolerated, e.g., screaming in anguish, pounding the lockers in anger, sobbing in the hallway, stunned silence, inability to answer even simple questions, seeming totally unaffected as if nothing happened, or saying as one boy did upon being told of his friend’s death, “Good, now I don’t have to pay him the ten bucks I owe him.” (This last remark was made in shock and he spent the next month being attacked for it and apologizing over and over for it.)

The initial response of most people to learning that someone they know has died is shock. Shock is usually a numbness, feeling like in a fog or spacey during which the full impact of what’s happened may not have sunk in. People in shock usually don’t talk a lot and mostly need friends to be patient and not assume that they’re unaffected just because they’re not emotional.

Other reactions to be expected for some people following death are anxiety over what else might happen; anger at the person that died (e.g., for not heeding warnings); blame at someone for not doing something to save her; and perhaps guilt for surviving when he didn’t. Naturally sadness and feeling the loss will usually replace shock, anxiety and anger and remain as the major result of the death for a long time.

While each person’s way of grieving needs to be accepted, people who can get their grief out by talking, crying, expressing anger or guilt, writing, reading, exercise, painting, music, etc. are usually better able to resolve their grief and in less time than those who can’t or are not allowed to grieve. Thus, the school’s postvention program needs to allow and encourage the natural expression of grief, especially immediately after the tragedy, but also, for some students, in the weeks and months ahead.

In this vein, one of the most predictable and significant consequences of a tragedy is that it will unlock and trigger unresolved grief in many students and staff. That is, there will be a sadness in the school not only because a student has died, but because grief over people’s previous losses will be activated. For example, the girl whose father drowned last year, the teacher whose miscarriage at 6 months no one would talk about, the boy whose mother has breast cancer, the custodian whose dad is deteriorating with Alzheimer’s disease at a nursing home, the freshman whose parents are fighting out a bitter divorce all will be feeling both the effects of the tragedy and, now even more intensely, the pain of their own life.

The school’s postvention program must take into consideration both grief over previously unresolved losses and give high priority to facilitating the grieving process of students and staff.

Promote Education

The purpose of a school is to educate its students and (if Anna who says in The King and I, “by our students we’ll be taught” is right) staff. Since we learn more from problems, crisis, and tragedies than on average days, an earthquake will be an intense time of learning—not reading and arithmetic, but of things perhaps more important.

The postvention program must be developed to promote constructive and useful learning in the aftermath of tragedy. Students and staff can be helped to learn how they react in a crisis, what people do that help most, how to help other people, what they really believe about death, that people can cry and still be strong, and, measured against the criterion of death, what’s really important in life.

Obviously no one wants a student to die; however, given that the death has happened, inevitably learning is going to take place. The only question is, is the school going to allow it to occur haphazardly or will a postvention program be developed to promote constructive grieving, ways of helping others, and understanding of death and people in crisis.

Postvention Plan

What follows is intended to be a practical step-by-step outline of the tasks to be accomplished in planning a school’s response to tragedy. The planning process should begin, of course, long before the event occurs. It may be initiated by anyone recognizing the need for a postvention plan; however, the cooperation, support, and, hopefully, leadership of key school personnel must be obtained before meaningful planning can take place. That is, the principal, superintendent, and guidance staff clearly needs to be involved and preferably also key teachers, coaches, school psychologists and social workers, nurses, and administrative assistants. Some involvement of an outside expert or consultant may be helpful at varying stages of the planning process. At times in the process it is extremely important to consider the roles that custodians, secretaries, cafeteria workers, substitute teachers, bus drivers and student leaders may play in the planning and/or implementation of the postvention program.

Each school needs to plan how it will carry out the 19 tasks outlined below. A report containing plans for how each task will be accomplished constitutes the postvention plan and should be available to all school personnel. It should be periodically reviewed, especially by the administrative and guidance staff, to update it (key resource people and phone numbers may change) and to keep copies of it at home as that’s where the initial call about the tragedy may come.

To provide a context for the specific aspects of the postvention plan, we’ll assume that the school day after the earthquake would begin with an emergency staff meeting before school followed by each faculty member facilitating a short discussion of what has happened in the homeroom or first period class. Discussion of feelings about what’s happened should be allowed to take as much class time as seems appropriate. A regular school schedule should be followed, but with great flexibility in allowing students to talk in the hallways, go to various individual and group counseling rooms provided, sit quietly in pairs on the stairway, be excused from tests and homework, etc. The structure of a regular school day provides some security and routine in a suddenly topsy-turvy world while the wide latitude given students allows grief to be expressed.

A variety of school and community personnel will be available to help students during the day. After school a second general staff meeting is held to review the day and prepare for tomorrow.

  1. Selection of the Crisis Response Team. A crisis response team of perhaps three to five members with authority to make decisions in the time of crisis needs to be chosen. The team is responsible for both planning and implementation of postvention. Among its members should be staff who have some respect in the school, are sensitive to student and faculty needs, are committed to personal involvement in a crisis response, are able to be decisive, and who are relatively calm under fire. The crisis response team would conduct planning for the remaining tasks and, along with the building principal if he or she is not on the team, be responsible for carrying out the school’s response to a suicidal death on the days succeeding it.
  2. Identification of Media Liaison Person. One person within the school district should be designated to handle all contact with newspaper, television, radio, and magazine reporters and shield school personnel from media intrusion. Media personnel should not be allowed in school. All school students and staff should be firmly instructed to refer any phone or personal contact, whether in school or at home, to the media liaison person whose phone number should be readily available and who should receive instructions on what information to release from the crisis response team. A press release should be prepared to serve as a basis for talking with the media. In general, the less publicity death receives the better.
  3. Identification of Family Liaison Person. The crisis response team should designate a representative of the school to initiate immediate and appropriate contact with the family of the dead student, to express the empathy and concern of the school, to answer parents’ questions regarding school plans; to ascertain family wishes and plans regarding funeral, wake and memorials; to discreetly obtain the information about the death and the circumstances surrounding it; and to offer to help the family with support, contact with community resources, or perhaps tangible help like driving, food, babysitting, or talking with siblings. The family liaison person should be educated about helpful and unhelpful responses to grieving people, be sensitive to family privacy, and use intuition about maintaining some contact with the family during the weeks ahead. The crisis response team may choose one family liaison person for all situations or a different one may be designated for each crisis based on the person’s relationship to the deceased student or his/her family.
  4. Organization of Staff/Telephone Network. A telephone network or tree should be developed wherein each school staff member is called as soon as possible after the incident has occurred, given the brief basic facts, and notified of the time and place of the emergency staff meeting to be held usually before the next school day. Care should be taken to reach not only faculty, but all auxiliary and related personnel as well. Furthermore, selected staff members in schools throughout the district should be notified, particularly in schools attended by siblings or schools from which support staff may be borrowed to help during the crisis.

Appendix B

County-Wide Response Plan To Sudden Child/Adolescent Death

I.    Introduction

The tragic phenomenon of sudden child/adolescent death has, in recent years, represented a significant social problem for many school communities throughout the county.  Unfortunately, several regional and county area school districts have also experienced child/adolescent suicides and deaths from other causes.  Recently, educational leaders throughout the Orange-Ulster BOCES area have recognized the need for an organized approach on a county-wide basis to deal with this potential crisis situation.  In deference to such concern, the Orange-Ulster BOCES has organized an alliance of local educational and public mental health professionals for the purpose of developing a County-wide Response Plan to Sudden Child/Adolescent Death.  The result of this “Response Plan” is to offer local school districts the opportunity to receive supplemental support personnel for one or two days and to provide procedural guidelines should the unfortunate case of sudden child/adolescent death occur.

The County-wide Response Plan to Sudden Child/Adolescent Death contains the following two provisions:

A.  The “Response Plan” establishes a County-wide Crisis Team consisting of professionals from local school districts and from the Orange County Department of Mental Health.  These dedicated individuals are offering their experience and expertise with the support of their respective superintendents of schools on a request basis to local school districts during a time of crisis. school districts without sufficient experience in dealing with the delicate issue of child/adolescent death, or in need of additional staffing, required to implement a response plan, may contact the Orange-Ulster BOCES to request expertise and assistance.  Support may be in the form of consultant services or direct intervention as determined by a requesting district.

B.  The “Response Plan” presents specific Preparatory and Procedural Response guidelines which school districts may follow in the constructive treatment of a sudden death crisis within their districts.

II.  Specific Response To Sudden Child/Adolescent Death

A.  Preparatory (before sudden/adolescent death)

1.  School districts designate which in-district clinical support staff (psychologist, social workers, guidance counselors, etc.) will be assigned, as Crisis Team Members, to each building in the district should a crisis occur.

2.  School Principals designate the potential locations of crisis centers.

3.  School districts should project the extent of their need for support from the COUNTY WIDE crisis team prior to a crisis situation.

4.  School districts designate a primary spokesperson to deal with the media.

5.  School principals designate, in advance, which building staff member will serve as an assistant organizer/decision maker during the time of crisis.

B.  Procedural (after sudden child/adolescent death)

Alert Day

1.  Student found dead of an apparent suicide.  This usually occurs after school hours or on weekends.

2.  District representative (school principal, central office administrator, psychologist) contacts Crisis Team members (in-district) as soon as possible.

3.  District representative contacts the District Superintendent or Deputy or Assistant Superintendent of Orange-Ulster BOCES, requesting assistance from COUNTY WIDE Crisis Team.

4.  Local superintendent contacts and confirms the district professional who is the designated primary spokesperson to deal with the media.

5.  Building principal contacts and confirms as assistant organizer/decision maker to facilitate response plan in the school building which has been affected.

6.  Building principal or crisis team member in building where sudden death has occurred contacts crisis team members in other district schools.  This is important to provide support for siblings, relatives and close friends in other schools.

7.  Building principal designates an individual who will have primary responsibility for answering parent questions.

8.  Building principal activates telephone chain to announce a faculty meeting prior to the opening of school on the next day.

Day One (In School)

1.  Early morning faculty meeting is held with several purposes:

a.  Principal reviews the known facts of the case, in order to establish a common reference base and to dispel rumors.

b.     Principal introduces crisis team members, reviews special schedule for day and communicates the location of the “crisis centers.”

c.  Crisis team members describe the feelings which students may be experiencing and suggest how the teachers might handle them.  Time is allowed for questions and dealing with the feelings of the staff.  Some staff may be particularly upset and require additional support.

d.  Guidelines are provided for helping any students who are upset and for having them escorted to one of the “crisis centers” set up in the building (guidance office, etc.). Faculty should identify close friends of the deceased and other high need students for potential follow-up.

e.  Teachers are encouraged to allow students in their classes free expression of grief.  The guiding principle is to return to normal routine as soon as possible within each class and within the school.  School-wide assemblies or memorial activities are discouraged.  Students (individually) should be allowed time needed to express grief.  Not all students will recover at the same rate, even those who have no close relationship to the individual.

f.   The teachers are asked to dispel rumors wherever possible, and to discourage any “glorification” of the event.  For example, if a student is heard to say, “I wouldn’t have the guts to kill myself,” the teacher can respond, “We all care for the individual and his/her family, but suicide is not really a brave act!  It is far more courageous to go on living and to face your problems each day as you and I do.”

g.  The principal and/or guidance counselors and clinical staff may meet with each grade, either by individual homerooms or by total grade (if possible) in order to:

  • Review the known facts and to dispel rumors.
  • De-mythologize the act. (This is not heroism or a media event.  It is a real concern for the family).
  • Inform students and staff of the location and role of the crisis center.
  • Encourage students to express their reactions in whatever way is appropriate for them. (All responses are acceptable, from severe upset to no reaction whatsoever).
  • Discuss possible feelings of guilt or feelings of responsibility.
  • Discuss possible fears for their own safety and that of their siblings and peers.
  • Ask students to be supportive of one another and to escort any friend who is upset to a teacher or the crisis center.
  • Reassure students that any adult in the building is available to help.

h.Telephone calls are made to parents of individual students who are particularly upset during the day.  The crisis team will collaborate to determine which parents are called.  The telephone contact is ideally handled by clinical staff who can explain the student’s reactions to the parents, and give appropriate advice as to how parents should handle their son/daughter.  Some parents may be asked to pick up the student at the school.

I. All building staff are assembled after school to:

  • Allow for the expression of feeling and mutual support. (After a full day of dealing with their own emotional responses and that of their students, the teachers are generally quite drained).
  • Review the events of the day.
  • Review the characteristics of high-need students (those who seem especially upset or depressed or show other signs of not dealing well) and compile a list, based on staff observations, of individual student reactions during the day.
  • Announce funeral arrangements and encourage staff to attend, in order to provide support to students and their families.

Follow-Up Activities

The Crisis Team shall suggest follow-up activities to the building principal and superintendent of schools who shall determine the most appropriate course of action.  It is further suggested that staff be reminded that there is one media contact person.

A. Outside consultants may be called upon.  At this point, it may be helpful to have “outside” professionals because they are not emotionally involved and can, therefore, provide objective support and direction.  Some of the services they can provide are:

  • Recommend to parents private evaluations for “high-risk” students.
  • Speak at a general faculty meeting on the issue of adolescent suicide; identification, prevention, response.
  • Conduct evening informational meetings for all concerned community members.

B.  Guidance and clinical staff continue meeting with individual students and small groups to provide support, and to further identify “high risk” students and faculty.

C.  Contact all parents of students identified as “high risk” to express concern and to suggest possible follow-up evaluation by informing parents of community and Orange and Ulster County resources available.

D.  Outside consultant and school staff may conduct an evening meeting of all concerned parents to answer questions and allay concerns.

E.  Guidance and clinical staff continue crisis intervention, answer phone calls of anxious parents, and meet with concerned staff.

F.  The principal and superintendent of schools will determine whether letters should be sent to parents of “high risk” students reminding them to seek a private or community professional evaluation, in order to insure the health and safety of the child. (Return receipt mail is suggested).

G. “School/Community Steering Committee” can be formed and can plan a meeting of  the teenagers of the town.

H.  “Front-line” staff who have been dealing directly with the crisis should meet with a consultant for expression of feelings and mutual support. (This is a very necessary ingredient).

Closing Comment:

An outside support consultant can help the superintendent, principal and other key coordinators to examine their own view of the situation and, at the same time, validate key responsibilities toward children, teachers, parents and/or the community as a whole.

Addendum – Event With Multiple Casualties

I.   Introduction

The County-wide Response Plan was developed to provide guidelines for school administrators and clinical personnel in preparing for and reacting to the sudden death of a student, faculty member or staff member.  This plan provided strength and guidance during events on a large scale; specifically, the tornado at East Coldenham Elementary School, Valley Central School District, and the Monroe-Woodbury bus accident. Following these events, it was felt that an addendum should be added which would incorporate the knowledge gained by the individuals who dealt with the aftermath of these tragedies.  The process of identifying the “what to do” has taken many individuals back to a circumstance they would do anything to prevent.  They have given of themselves to develop this addendum in the hope that no one will ever need to use it.  However, should a disaster occur again, they hope their experience will serve to guide staff, students and families through the crisis.

Large scale disasters take many forms and each presents unique situations and needs.  At the time of the event, immediate emergency procedures must be given priority in order to cover medical and safety concerns.  The provision of mental health support personnel to respond to and care for traumatized individuals within the school community is the focus of the Crisis Response Plan.  This addendum identifies procedures for obtaining crisis support personnel by temporarily reassigning local school, county and state employees to the site during the crisis period.  The goal is to assess needs, provide services and resume normal operation as quickly as possible.  It should be noted, however, that major disasters may require two to five years before school functioning returns to normal.

II.  Specific Response to an Event with Multiple Casualties

A.  Pre-crisis Planning

Schools need to be prepared to respond effectively in the event of a major school disaster.  To this end, the following recommendations are offered:

1.  Each school district should develop, review and annually revise a district-wide Emergency Management Plan and a Crisis Response Plan.  Building administrators should annually review with staff the main components of these plans, including personnel assignments.

2.  Key district and building personnel should receive professional in-service training, as identified below:

a.  Key administrators and crisis coordinators should be trained in how to prepare for disasters and in procedures for responding to disasters;

b.  Key administrators, pupil personnel service staff and other designated responders should be trained in crisis intervention techniques; and

c.  Key administrators, pupil personnel service staff and other designated responders should be trained to provide grief counseling and long-term clinical services for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

3.  District administrators should plan a communication mechanism to maintain control of the communication process.  Methods and time frames should be established to convey information to various audiences: staff, students, parents, BOCES, other districts, board members, State Education Department, physicians, clergy, general public and media.

4.  District administrators should develop lists of resources which may be called upon in the event of a crisis, e.g., volunteer service agencies, physicians, clergy, private security companies, State and County resources, insurance contacts, press contacts.

5.  District administrators and/or pupil service personnel should develop a library of crisis-related materials for parents, teachers, counselors, clinical personnel and community members.

B.  The Day of the Disaster

The Superintendent of Schools, District Emergency Coordinator and/or designee(s) will need to:

1.  Notify emergency services, e.g., police department, fire department, mutual aid, ambulance.

2.  Assess the damage and the amount of support needed.

3.  Notify the District Superintendent to activate the County-wide Response Plan.   The District Superintendent will need to know:

a.   the nature and extent of the disaster (numbers of students involved);

b.  the approximate number of Crisis Team members needed (assess high); and

c.  the type of Crisis Team members needed, e.g., school psychologists, social workers, nurses.

4.  Organize school personnel to quickly respond to the disaster by assigning staff to committees to provide the services listed below.  These committees should meet daily throughout the crisis phase in order to

  • Coordination

Assign personnel to coordinate the intervention effort, establish working committees and advise district administration about needs and status of services.

  • Notification of Parents

Assign personnel to a calling committee to inform parent(s) or Guardians about the disaster and related procedures. e.g., bussing, pick up of children, school closing and support services which will be provided.

  • Release of Students

Assign personnel to set up a temporary shelter area, identify procedures for release of students to parents and monitor release of students to parents.

  • Counseling and Direct Intervention

Assign staff and temporary personnel, assigned through the County-wide Response Plan to provide direct intervention to affected individuals.  A team leader from the district should coordinate assignments, brief staff and temporary personnel and provide information to the coordinating committee.

  • Media Control

Assign a person(s) to prepare sample press releases, identify a media center, direct media away from the crisis area until the situation is stabilized, help to conduct briefing sessions, act as a liaison between the crisis area and the press room and establish procedures for photography and/or videotaping.

 Note: The area may need to be secured for police or insurance purposes.

  • Coordinate Volunteers

Assign personnel to coordinate volunteer services such as food, shelter, transportation, babysitting and donations and to maintain lists of volunteers and services provided.

  • Notification of Other Individuals

Assign personnel to coordinate a telephone committee to identify siblings, neighbors and other related individuals (e.g., club members or non-public students) who may need to be informed of available support services.

5.  Designate an Official spokesperson (usually the Superintendent of Schools) to deal with the press.

6.  Obtain additional crisis intervention support personnel from sources such as County, State and State Police, if needed.

7.  If students or staff are hospitalized, assign Crisis Team members to the hospital(s) to work with families, students, faculty and staff, as needed.

8.  Close school in the affected building or district-wide, if needed.  Notify media of closing, following established district procedures.

Note: The integrity of the building may need to be determined by a structural engineer prior to occupying the building again.

9.  Identify counseling support areas.  Large areas should be provided for food and general talk; small, more intimate areas should be provided for private discussions.

Note: Traumatic experiences cause people to forget information, retain only pieces of information or confuse facts-, therefore, important information will need to be repeated frequently.

10. To promote continuity and structure, develop and distribute the following materials:

a.  Crisis Team assignment rosters which lists name, organization, home phone, work phone, length of time available and assignment should be distributed to the Crisis Team and Building Administrators;

b.  A Crisis Plan overview which describes the response plan and the role of the support services should be distributed to the Crisis Team;

c.  Building floor plans should be distributed to the volunteer workers and the Crisis Team;

d.  Lists of community resources and phone numbers should be distributed to the Crisis Team and volunteer workers;

e.  Copies of materials describing reactions and how to cope with crisis should be available for faculty members and parents;

f.   Copies of clinical materials about crisis, expected reactions, Post-traumatic Stress Reaction, etc. should be made available to counselors and the Crisis Team; and

g.  Copies of forms to be used to identify “high risk” individuals who appear to be suffering traumatic reaction should be distributed to the Crisis Team.

C.  The Day(s) After the Disaster

The Superintendent, District Emergency Coordinator, Building Administrator and/or other individuals designated by the Superintendent may need to coordinate long-term response efforts and identify and respond to long-term crisis needs.  Following are suggested activities which will provide this support:

1.  Cancel regular classes on the day(s) following a disaster, if needed.  The Crisis Team should be available to meet with parents, students and staff at the affected site or another designated site.  Provide child care services.  Teachers should be available (in their classrooms, if possible) to provide a sense of “normalcy” and support.

2.  Develop press releases, as needed.

3.  Maintain complete rosters of:

a.  Crisis Team members—name, district or agency affiliation, address, home and work phone numbers and the length of time available; and

b.  Volunteer Workers—name, home and work phone numbers, service provided and date.

These rosters can be used later to generate thank you letters.

4.  Determine the need for attendance at funerals, arrangement of memorial or ecumenical services and provision of counseling services.

5.  If students or staff are hospitalized, daily hospital visits by teachers and administrators are advised.

6. Determine the need, nature, content, timing and location of public meeting(s) to review the disaster; describe crisis intervention, insurance and other responses; and allow structured community comment.  Obtaining an outside expert on disaster or trauma may be advisable; a “neutral” expert may help to defuse some of the emotion surrounding the incident.

7.  Arrange for direct billing to the insurance company or school to avoid billing the families of injured students.

8.  Conduct regular briefing meetings with all administrators, Crisis Coordinating Committee, Crisis Team leaders, Crisis Team members, teachers and staff (this should be continued daily throughout the crisis phase).  The focus of these meetings should be to:

a.  provide current information regarding the event such as medical conditions of the injured, funeral arrangements for the deceased, role of the Crisis Team members, role of district staff, daily response plan and overall Crisis Response Plan;

b.  distribute materials (items b, e, f and g, above), as needed;

c.  announce daily Crisis Team assignments;

d.  review organization and communication chain;

e.  provide daily contact with coordinating agencies to define needs and roles of support personnel;

f.   determine a need for teacher substitutes.

g.  share information about perceived student, staff and community needs; and

h.  provide a mechanism for interaction among teachers, support personnel and clinical staff.

Note:  It is important that the Principal retain control and authority in the building; students, faculty, parents and the community will look to the Principal for leadership and stability.  Other Administrators and the Crisis Coordinating Committee should support the Principal’s role, providing direction and advice to him/her, as appropriate.  If possible, the Principal should make personal daily contact with injured students and families.

Also Note:  Personnel who have been directly involved in the disaster may be traumatized; additional support and/or temporary relief from decision making processes may be needed.

9.  Provide follow-up counseling sessions for staff, faculty and transportation personnel, emergency workers (e.g., police, rescue squads or hospital staff) and Crisis Team members, as needed.

10. Obtain a trained trauma counselor to debrief traumatized teachers, students, support personnel and community members.

D.  Long-term Response

By the second or third day of the crisis, district personnel should be assigned by the Superintendent and Building Administrator to:

1.  meet with the Crisis Coordinating Committee to determine long-term needs;

2.  arrange for replacement counselors, if needed;

3.  arrange for long-term clinical personnel (District, County, State, Private) to be available for intervention or referrals;

4.  identify high-risk individuals and arrange for continued support services;

5.  designate an individual to document and summarize the Crisis Response efforts in a written report;

6.  review staffing patterns in anticipation of increased mental health needs in the school(s) and community;

7.  meet with representatives of mental health intervention resources to ensure that the “hand-off from the crisis phase to the long-term phase is organized, defined and efficient; and

8.  formally acknowledge, in writing, the voluntary contributions of all personnel engaged in the crisis response effort.

Appendix C

Sites for Potential Emergency

High School
89 Sanfordville Road
Warwick, NY 10990

Potential Emergencies:

  • Traffic Accidents
  • Train Derailments
  • Petroleum Underground StorageTank Failures
  • Jones Chemical

 

 

Notes:

  • 3 AEDs
  • 1 Farm Tractor with Backhoe
  • 2 “6 Yard” Dump Trucks
  • 2 Pickup Trucks
  • 3 Mason Trucks
  • 2 Cube Vans (Cargo vans)

Middle School
225 West St. Extension
Warwick, NY 10990

Potential Emergencies: 

  • Traffic Accidents
  • Train Derailments
  • Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Failures
  • Jones Chemical

Notes:

  • 2 AED
  • 1 Farm Tractor with Backhoe
  • 2 “6 Yard” Dump Trucks
  • 2 Pickup Trucks
  • 3 Mason Trucks
  • 2 Cube Vans (Cargo vans)

King’s Elementary
199 King’s Highway
Warwick, NY 10990

Potential Emergencies: Currently Closed

Park Ave. Elementary
10 Park Avenue
Warwick, NY 10990

Potential Emergencies: 

  • Traffic Accidents
  • Train Derailments
  • Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Failures
  • Jones Chemical

Notes: 

  • 2 AED
  • 1 Farm Tractor with Backhoe
  • 2 “6 Yard” Dump Trucks
  • 2 Pickup Trucks
  • 3 Mason Trucks
  • 2 Cube Vans (Cargo vans)

Pine Island Elementary
20 School House Road
Pine Island, NY 10969

Potential Emergencies: Currently Closed

Sanfordville Elementary
144 Sanfordville Road
Warwick, NY 10990

Potential Emergencies: 

  • Traffic Accidents
  • Train Derailments
  • Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Failures
  • Jones Chemical

Notes:

  • 2 AED
  • 1 Farm Tractor with Backhoe
  • 2 “6 Yard” Dump Trucks
  • 2 Pickup Trucks
  • 3 Mason Trucks
  • 2 Cube Vans (Cargo vans)

Appendix D

Job Descriptions

  1. Title:  School Monitor  /  School Security Aide
  2. Responsibility: The roles of the School Monitor and School Security Aide are to give support to programs through activities related to school security specifically through welcoming and directing visitors.  Work is performed under the supervision of the building Principal or Administrator.  Provides clerical support as requested.
  3. Reports to:  Building Principal or Administrator
  4. Training to carry out Primary Duties:

The candidate will be trained by the New York State Division of Licensing Services and locally by New York State Police Community Outreach Officer and/or Orange Ulster BOCES Health and Safety personnel. Upon completion of this training the individual will be able to carry out the following Duties:

School Monitor

  1. Monitors visitor activities in immediate area.
  2. Assists administrator in performing clerical duties (i.e. collating, sorting, filing when slow activity allows).
  3. Participates in workshops and in-service trainings and demonstrates level of understanding.
  4. Provides assistance to visitors (i.e. phone calls to programs) to locate staff and/or student.
  5. Maintains and keeps safe the visitor sign-in and sign-out register.
  6. Issues visitors badges.
  7. Follows up to ensure all visitors signed-in have signed-out upon leaving.
  8. Refers difficult situations to administrator.
  9. Responsible for ordering necessary registry materials and badges through assigned secretary.

School Security Aide

  1. Patrols parking lots, being alert for unauthorized individuals and vehicles.
  2. Patrols hallways and monitors student movement for evidence of unusual or disruptive behavior
  3. Intervenes in student disturbances as needed.
  4. Reports all instances of intervention and observation of unusual activity to Building Principal or Administrator.
  5. May notify other school personnel, i.e. School Nurse, Guidance Counselor, of a student’s unusual behavior.
  6. Provides security and crowd control for after school functions such as dances and sporting events.
  7. Directs visitors to various offices within the school.

Hiring Practices

A School Monitor candidate must meet the minimum qualifications of the County of Orange Civil Service Commission requirements for Job Classification Specification Title # 1562. Upon fulfilling those requirements the candidate must pass the screening process described below.

A School Security Aide candidate must meet the minimum qualifications of the County of Orange Civil Service Commission requirements for Job Classification Specification Title # 1566. Upon fulfilling those requirements the candidate must pass the screening process described below.

Screening

Commissioner’s Regulations require the district to request a fingerprint-supported criminal history background check for applicants for certification as well as for prospective employees. An individual has their fingerprints taken, and sends them to NYSED/OSPRA. OSPRA then electronically forwards properly completed fingerprint cards to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for processing.  DCJS and the FBI provides OSPRA with a copy of the individual’s criminal history background, if any, so that OSPRA can make a determination on clearance for employment or certification.  If there is no criminal history OSPRA will automatically issue a clearance. If there is a criminal history, the matter is reviewed by OSPRA to determine whether there is any basis for a possible denial of clearance. Full clearances for employment will be forwarded directly to the prospective school employee and the school district. A full clearance for employment does not entitle the individual to a job. Final employment decisions rest with the school district. In the event that the FBI criminal history report is delayed and there is no possible basis for denial based on the DCJS report, OSPRA may issue a conditional clearance for employment. A conditional clearance for employment would permit the school district to hire the prospective employee on a conditional basis while OSPRA is waiting for criminal history results from the FBI. A conditional clearance for employment does not entitle the individual to a job. Final employment decisions rest with the school district.

Appendix E

Emergency Plan Definitions

Building Response Team or Emergency Response Team:

Designation of an emergency response team comprised of school personnel, local law enforcement officials and representatives from local, regional and/or state emergency response agencies, other appropriate incident response teams.

Chain of Command:

A series of management positions operating under the Incident Command System (ICS) in order of authority. Individuals in the chain of command may be from different agencies and positions.

Cleared and Sanitized Area:

A Place of Public Assembly, such as the auditorium or gymnasium, which is used to shelter students, faculty and staff after it has been thoroughly searched by trained school volunteers and law enforcement personnel for suspicious packages and objects.

Crisis Response Team:

A post-incident Crisis Response Team includes appropriate school personnel, medical personnel, mental health counselors and other groups who can assist the school and the community in coping with the aftermath of a violent or traumatic incident.

Incident Command System:

The Incident Command System, also known as ICS, is defined as a standardized on-scene emergency management system that allows multi-agencies to work together without any jurisdictional boundary problems.

Lockdown:

A procedure used when there is an immediate and imminent threat to the school building population. School staff and students are secured in the rooms they are currently in and no one is allowed to leave until the situation has been curtailed. This allows the school to secure the students and staff in place and remove any innocent bystanders from immediate danger. A lockdown is most commonly used when a building has an intruder.

Lockout:

This procedure allows no unauthorized personnel into the building. All exterior doors are locked and main entrance is monitored by administrators, security or school resource officer. This procedure allows the school to continue with the normal school day, but curtails outside activity. A Lockout is most commonly used when incident is occurring outside the school building, on or off school property.

School Safety Plan or Emergency Response Plan:

Emergency Response Plans are developed by building-level school safety teams that include policies and procedures for the safe sheltering or evacuation of students, teachers, other school personnel as well as visitors to the school in the event of an emergency. The plan includes evacuation routes and shelter sites and procedures for addressing medical needs, transportation and emergency notification to persons in parental relation to a student.

School Safety Team:

Team appointed by principal in accordance with guidelines established by the board of education, chancellor or other governing body; responsible for developing the school building safety plan. Teams shall include but not be limited to representatives of teacher, administrator and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel, community members, local law enforcement officials, local ambulance or other emergency response agencies, and any other representatives the board of education, chancellor or other governing body deems appropriate.

Short-Term Shelter in Place:

A procedure which moves entire school(s) populations to  single or multiple location(s) within a school building depending on the size of building(s) population. The receiving building has been cleared and sanitized. Short-Term Shelter in Place is most commonly used during bomb threats and weather emergencies.

Appendix F

Health and Safety Committee

Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources

Building Administration

Director of Buildings and Grounds

Director of Food Services

Director of Transportation

District SRO

Board of Education Member

Local Fire Official

Community Representatives

Parent Representatives

Student Representatives

Appendix G

Student Behavior Policy

Student Code of Conduct

Introduction

The Board of Education (“Board”) is committed to providing a safe and orderly school environment where students may receive and district personnel may deliver quality educational services without disruption or interference.  Responsible behavior by students, teachers, other district personnel, parents and other visitors is essential to achieving this goal.

The district has a long-standing set of expectations for conduct on school property and at school functions.  These expectations are based on the principles of civility, mutual respect, citizenship, character, tolerance, honesty and integrity.

The Board recognizes the need to clearly define these expectations for acceptable conduct on school property, to identify the possible consequences of unacceptable conduct, and to ensure that discipline when necessary is administered promptly and fairly.  To this end, the Board adopts this code of conduct (“code”).

All employees of the district shall share responsibility for supervising the behavior of students, for seeing that they meet the standards of conduct, and for complying with the rules and regulations established by the Board or its agents.

Definitions

For purposes of this code, the following definitions apply:

“Disruptive student” means an elementary or secondary student under the age of 21 who is substantially disruptive of the educational process or substantially interferes with the teacher’s authority over the classroom.

“Parent” means parent, guardian or person in parental relation to a student.

“School property” means in or within any building, structure, athletic playing field, playground, parking lot or land contained within the real property boundary line of a public elementary or secondary school, or in or on a school bus, as defined in Vehicle and Traffic Law §142.

“School function” means any school-sponsored extracurricular event or activity.

“Violent student” means a student under the age of 21 who:

  1. Commits an act of violence upon a school employee, or attempts to do so.
  2. Commits, while on school property or at a school function, an act of violence upon another student or any other person lawfully on school property or at the school function, or attempts to do so.
  3. Possesses, while on school property or at a school function, a weapon.
  4. Displays, while on school property or at a school function, what appears to be a weapon.
  5. Threatens, while on school property or at a school function, to use a weapon.
  6. Knowingly and intentionally damages or destroys the personal property of any school employee or any person lawfully on school property or at a school function.
  7. Knowingly and intentionally damages or destroys school district property.

Note:  A student who seeks to coerce or compel a person to commit a violent act may be considered committing an act of violence.

“Weapon” means a firearm as defined in 18 USC §921 for purposes of the Gun-Free Schools Act.  It also means any other gun, BB gun, pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, machine gun, disguised gun, dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, switchblade knife, gravity knife, brass knuckles, sling shot, metal knuckle knife, box cutter, cane sword, electronic dart gun, Kung Fu star, electronic stun gun, pepper spray or other noxious spray, explosive or incendiary bomb, or other device, instrument, material or substance that can cause physical injury or death when used to cause physical injury or death.

“Removal” means the act of a teacher in discontinuing the presence of the student in his/her classroom.

“Suspension” means the act of a Building Principal (or acting building principal or his/her designee; e.g., assistant principal), Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee, District Superintendent or Board of Education in discontinuing the presence of a student from his/her regular classes.

Philosophy

The best discipline is that which comes from within.  It is started in the home, is guided through the grade school years with the full and active support of parents or guardians, and gradually becomes a mark of growing up as the student enters the high school years.  At every level, both parents and teachers work together to encourage youngsters to strengthen their self-discipline, self-respect, respect for others, and a sense of common courtesy.  Once these foundations are formed, young adults can begin to develop realistic life goals and appropriately plan for a successful future.

People need structure to exist in a wide variety of social contexts.  Society has established laws, ethical codes, rules of conduct, and the like so we understand our freedoms and limitations.  Essentially, rules and regulations define and insure our freedoms.  The knowledge and understanding of appropriate behaviors allow us to enter society, interact with others in acceptable ways, and thrive.  If we choose to bend or break these accepted codes of behavior, we must also understand that we must face unpleasant consequences for our actions.

Living, working, achieving, and playing the special social structure called “school” requires all of the same courtesies and common sense amenities as are needed elsewhere.  Additionally, because school is a special place, we need special rules to provide appropriate guidance for each of us.

Thus, we in the Warwick Valley Central School District, view the maintenance of discipline as an ongoing process which involves more than just the establishment and execution of a series of policies and punishments.  We work with young adults holistically and are concerned with their mental, emotional and physical states, and maturity levels as well as their observable behavior.  We often seek to involve other staff members (such as other teachers and staff, guidance counselors, school psychologists, the Pupil Personnel Committee, and the administration) when deemed appropriate and are alert to the early identification of student problems and difficulties.  If we suspect that a student’s behavior may be manifestation of a disability, the student shall be referred to the Committee on Special Education for further evaluation.

Thus, we believe that:

  1. We have developed sensible rules of conduct which focus on safety and respect for the rights and property of others.
  2. Each student should be treated as an individual who can be responsible for his/her own behavior.
  3. The learning process is time-intensive, ongoing, and that students will continually grow and mature.
  4. People make mistakes and can learn and profit from those mistakes if given the proper setting and support.
  5. A clear statement of rules, regulations, rights and responsibilities encourage (rather than restrict) personal freedom.

The school’s faculty, staff and administration are ready to assist each student and support the family unit as we work cooperatively to help the individual student find his/her place in society.  To this end, students who have difficulty maintaining appropriate behavior and violate school rules will be required to accept the penalties prescribed by our discipline code.

In order to modify unacceptable behavior, disciplinary action, when necessary, will be firm, fair, and consistent.  Discipline is most effective when it deals directly with the problem at the time and place it occurs.  Therefore, before seeking outside assistance, teachers will be encouraged to use all of their resources before referring a student to the administration.

Finally, we believe that students will conform to the proper standards of behavior because “it is the right thing to do.”  Self-discipline is, most assuredly, the best form of discipline.

Reporting Violations

All students are expected to report promptly violations of the code of conduct to a teacher, guidance counselor, the building principal or his or her designee.  Any student observing a student possessing a weapon, alcohol or illegal substance on school property or at a school function shall report this information immediately to a teacher, the Building Principal, the Principal’s designee or the Superintendent of Schools or his /her designee.

Any weapon, alcohol or illegal substance found shall be confiscated immediately, if possible, followed by notification to the parent of the student involved and the appropriate disciplinary sanction if warranted, which may include permanent suspension and referral for prosecution.

The Principal or his/her designee must notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency of those code violations that constitute a crime and substantially affect the order or security of a school as soon as practical.

Student Rights And Responsibilities

Preface

Students in the public schools of New York State have the right to a free appropriate education when they are between the ages of 5 and 21 years or until they receive a high school diploma, whichever comes first.  All students who reside within New York State and are between the ages of 6, and the school year through which they become 16, are required by law to attend regularly either public or nonpublic school that are approved for equivalency of instruction by the appropriate school authorities or in the home in accordance with the Regulations of the Commissioner.  (Under certain circumstances, a student may act in such a manner as to warrant limitation or denial of his/her right of access to school in our district.)  Thus, bona fide students of the Warwick Valley Central School District have the right to attend our schools and pursue their education and training in their effort to become productive, contributing members of society.  This right to a free public school education extends to all students, including those with disabilities.

These and other rights, privileges and benefits are offered to students in the Warwick Valley Central School District and are not unrestricted; they come with a price tag.  Every individual freedom or right carries with it the burden of responsibility.  The Warwick Valley Board of Education policy concerning the conduct of students recognizes that:

It is the responsibility of students to conduct themselves in keeping with the level of their maturity, acting with due regard for the supervisory authority vested by the Board in all district employees.  Students must also act with due regard for specific school rules and regulations, for the educational purpose underlying all school activities, for appropriate use of school property, and for the rights and welfare of pupils and staff.

The district’s aim is to provide an environment in which a student’s rights and freedoms are respected, and to provide opportunities which stimulate and challenge the student’s interests and abilities to his/her highest potential.  These opportunities will be available as long as the student pursues these interests and studies in an appropriate manner, and does not infringe upon the rights of others.

The Board of Education assures district students that they shall have all the rights afforded them by federal and state constitutions, statutes and regulations.  The district recognizes all federal, state and local laws in connection with these rights.

Students’ Rights

Students shall have the right:

  1. to due process;
  2. to free inquiry and reasonable expression.  (as further described in District Policy);
  3. to freedom of association;
  4. to freedom of peaceful assembly and petition;
  5. to participate in school activities and be heard in the decision making process;
  6. to have freedom from discrimination;
  7. to equal educational opportunity;
  8. to protection from illegal, irresponsible invasion of personal privacy;
  9. to receive fair treatment (non discrimination) as provided for in Federal Civil Rights legislation in areas such as race, sex, creed, color and national origin; and
  10. to present, in a constructive manner, grievances and complaints to school officials without fear of reprisals or prejudice.

Students’ Responsibilities

  1. to consider academic success as a top priority after ensuring that their individual needs are met;
  2. to approach their schoolwork in a serious fashion;
  3. to attend school on a regular and punctual basis;
  4. to consider active participation in cocurricular activities which are a vital part of school life
  5. not to prevent any other person from enjoying his/her right to a safe, orderly, healthful, clean school  environment which is crucial to learning;
  6. not to infringe in any way on any other person’s right to engage in appropriate educational pursuits;
  7. not to engage in any behavior or act which prevents, disturbs, or disrupts our teachers from pursuing their main task of instruction;
  8. not to be involved in any behavior which might (in any way) lead to disruption of the educational process;
  9. not to use vulgar or obscene words and gestures when involved in any school related activity while on or off school grounds (even when pursuing other constitutionally protected rights such as free speech, press and assembly);
  10. not to make slanderous or libelous statements about other persons;
  11. to control one’s anger and aggression and not to be disrespectful or insubordinate;
  12. to obey all valid school rules and regulations;
  13. to dress in a manner which will neither distract others from instruction or the educational process nor jeopardize the safety of the wearer or others; and
  14. not to engage in smoking while on school property or at school sponsored off-campus activities.

Appendix H

Warwick Valley School District AED Protocol

I. Purpose:

To establish a protocol for the use of the AED and to assist in the care of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) victim.

II. Location of AED’s:

AED’s will be located in each of the student instructional school facilities and selected additional buildings of Warwick Valley School District.  The specific location of the AED in a building will be communicated to all faculty and staff members.

III. Training Requirements:  
 
Personnel Authorized to Use AED’s

Each building with AED(s) is to maintain a list of personnel authorized to use the AED.  These staff members will have current certification in CPR and use of the AED from an American Red Cross CPR/AED or American Heart Association program or another nationally recognized training organization. The staff member shall provide Warwick Valley School District with a copy of their current certification.  Training in the use of the AED by the staff shall be voluntary except for the School Nurse Teacher or School Nurse.  The use of CPR and the AED in accordance with the training received and approved protocols shall be considered within the scope of the employment of the staff member.  The trained and certified personnel present in the building shall constitute the Responder Core Team.  In the event that a greater number of staff respond to an emergency than are needed, the administrator or in his/her absence the nurse shall determine the Responder Core Team.

IV. Indications for Use – AED:

In the event of an unresponsive individual on the grounds of or in any of the buildings of  the Warwick Valley School District, the main office in that building is to be notified.  The 911 system is to be immediately notified.  The personnel in the main office shall announce a predetermined code word (“Medical Emergency” and state the location) on the building all call system.  At least two members of the Responder Core Team shall go to the announced location of the patient, assess the patient and if necessary begin CPR.  At least one other member of the Responder Core Team shall go the location of the AED and bring it to the scene of the unresponsive victim.

WARNING!! The Powerheart AED should be used only on a patient who has no circulation:

*Apply the Powerheart AED if victim is:

  • Unresponsive;
  • Non-breathing; and,
  • Eight (8) years old or greater.

(Continued on next page)

** Apply the Powerheart AED with caution if victim has:

  • Nitroglycerin patch is on chest (remove nitroglycerin patch carefully, then apply Powerheart AED); or,
  • Implantable pacemaker (pacemaker may interfere with rhythm analysis; do not place electrodes directly over pacemaker).

V. Procedure:

1. Assess scene safety:  

Is the scene free of hazards?

Rescuer makes sure there are no hazards to them.  Some examples are:

  • Electrical dangers (downed power lines, electrical cords, etc.)
  • Chemical (hazardous gases, liquids or solids, smoke, etc.)
  • Harmful people (anyone that could potentially harm you)
  • Traffic (make sure you are not in the path of traffic)
  • Fire or flammable gases such medical oxygen, cooking gas, etc.

2. Determine if patient is:

*Apply the Powerheart AED if victim is:

  • Unresponsive;
  • Non-breathing; and,
  • Eight (8) years old and greater.

** Apply the Powerheart AED with caution if victim has:

  • Nitroglycerin patch on chest (remove nitroglycerin patch carefully, then apply Powerheart AED); or,
  • Implantable pacemaker (pacemaker may interfere with rhythm analysis; do not place electrodes directly over pacemaker).

3. Open Lid:

4.  Follow Voice Prompts:

A. Place Electrodes

  • Powerheart AED says:  “Place electrodes on patient’s bare chest”

B.   Analyze Rhythm

  • Powerheart AED says:  “Do not touch patient. Analyzing rhythm.”

C.   Shock Advised, Device Charges

  • Powerheart AED says:  “Shock Advised. Charging” 

D. Delivers Defibrillation Pulse

  • Powerheart AED says: “Stand clear! Push flashing button to deliver shock.“

The rescuer will state “clear” and make a visual head-to-toe check of the patient making sure that he/she and any other rescuers are “clear” of contact with the patient.  Once this is accomplished, the rescuer will press the “SHOCK button” to deliver a defibrillation pulse: 

E. Analyze/Charge/Pulse

After the first defibrillation, the Powerheart AED will reanalyze the patient’s heart rhythm.

Powerheart AED says, “Do not touch patient. Analyzing rhythm.”

If a shockable rhythm is detected, the Powerheart AED will charge and prompt the rescuer to deliver another defibrillation pulse.

Continue this cycle until delivery of three (3) defibrillation pulses.

*If at any time during this cycle the Powerheart AED detects a heart rhythm that does not require defibrillation, the voice prompt will say, “Check for signs of circulation.  If no circulation, start CPR.”

** Remember that the Powerheart AED will not advise to defibrillate all pulseless patients.  Some cardiac rhythms do not respond to defibrillation.

***Call  “9-1-1” or the local emergency access phone number at this time, if not already done.***

F. Rescuer Gives CPR for Two Minutes

After the third defibrillation, Powerheart AED says: “Check for signs of circulation. If no circulation, start CPR.”

G.  Repeat Analyze/Charge/Defibrillation Pulse

After two minutes of CPR, Powerheart AED says:  “Do not touch patient. Analyzing rhythm.”                                                                                                                                                                     

If the cardiac rhythm is shockable, the Powerheart AED will guide the rescuer through another three-defibrillation pulse sequence, followed by one minute of CPR. This sequence should continue until:

  • No shockable rhythm is detected; or,
  • The electrodes are disconnected; or,
  • Until ambulance personnel arrive on the scene.

If at some point during the rescue the patient converts to a heart rhythm that does not require defibrillation, Powerheart AED says:  “Check for signs of circulation.  If no circulation, start CPR.”

At this point, call “9-1-1” or the local emergency access phone number if not already done.

If circulation is found on the patient and the patient is not breathing, continue rescue breathing, leave electrodes in place and follow voice prompts.

H. Patient Converts to a Non-Shockable Rhythm

If the patient regains consciousness, make them as comfortable as possible until ambulance personnel arrive on scene.

VI. Emergency Health Care Provider Direction:

Emergency Health Care Provider Direction for Warwick Valley School District will be provided by Horizon Family Medical Group. Medical direction will include the following items:

  • Development and review of policies and procedures defining the standards of patient care and utilization of the AED.
  • Review of response documentation and rescue data for all uses of any WARWICK VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT AED.
  • Oversight of the initial and continuing AED training.
  • Provide advice regarding the medical care of those in need of such care.

VII. Quality Improvement Program:

The Warwick Valley School District AED Reporting Form must be completed for each use of the AED.  The Superintendent of Schools and the Emergency Health Care Provider should review this form.  Additionally, the rescue data should be reviewed for appropriate treatment.

VIII. Basic Maintenance:

Daily

The Building Administrator will appoint a person, and 2 alternates – one of those would act if the designated person is absent from the building. One of these persons will perform the daily check of the status indicator to ensure it is green.  When the indicator is green, the unit is ready for a rescue. If the indicator is red, contact Health Human Resources at 845-987-3000 x 10522 or Risk Management Department immediately at 845-291-0100.

Annually

The annual maintenance is performed by Health & Safety/ Risk Management Department to confirm that the Powerheart AED’s Rescue Ready® diagnostics are functioning properly and verify the case and accessory integrity. 

IX.  Reporting:

The form on the following page must be completed on all uses of any WARWICK VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT AED. The AED Reporting Form is to be faxed by the end of the shift on the day of the use of AED to BOCES Health & Safety/Risk Management at (845) 781-4887.