District-wide School Safety 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 plan is responsive to the needs of all schools within the district and is consistent with the more detailed emergency response plans required at the school building level. Districts are at risk of a wide variety of acts of violence, natural, and technological disasters. To address these threats, the State of New York has enacted the Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) law. This component of Project SAVE is a comprehensive planning effort that addresses risk reduction/prevention, response, and recovery with respect to a variety of emergencies in the school district and its schools. Describe the process used by the district in developing this school safety plan, including any strategies such as community or student involvement and collaboration. The district may describe the data or process used for needs assessment and implementation of the plan to meet the individualized needs of the district in keeping with the intent of Project SAVE.

The Herkimer Central School District supports the SAVE Legislation, and intends to engage in a planning process. The Superintendent of Schools encourages and advocates on-going district-wide cooperation and support of Project SAVE.

Plan updated 8-1-2018

Contents

  1. General Considerations and Planning Guidelines
  2. Risk Reduction/Prevention and Intervention
  3. Response
  4. Recovery

General Considerations and Planning Guidelines

Purpose

The Herkimer District-wide School Safety Plan was developed pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation 155.17. At the direction of the Herkimer School District Board of Education, the Superintendent of the Herkimer 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 Herkimer School District has appointed a District-wide School Safety Team consisting of, but not limited to, representatives of the School Board, students, teachers, administrators, parent organizations; school safety personnel; and, other school personnel. The members of the team and their positions or affiliations are as follows:

  • Zachary Abbe, Middle School Principal
  • Lori Anderson, High School Nurse
  • Robert Nasypany, Groundskeeper
  • Brian Crandall, Board of Education president
  • Michele Gilbert, Board of Education member
  • Scott Petucci, Board of Education member
  • Ryan Orilio, Technology Coordinator
  • Sandhya Farrington, Elementary School Nurse
  • Mary Tomaso, High School Principal
  • Renee Vogt, Elementary Principal
  • Cristi Paragi, Elementary Assistant Principal
  • Adam Hutchinson, BOCES Safety Official
  • Cristi Paragi, Athletic Director
  • Officers Shauna Jones & Matthew Wright, School Resource Officers

Concept of Operations

  • Describe how 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.
  • Describe the methodology used to develop the district-wide plan, including the involvement of the community and what data were used to determine the key elements of the plan.
  • Indicate that 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, and what processes are in place to notify the district.
  • Indicate that 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.
  • Describe how county and state resources could supplement the districts efforts through existing protocols.

Plan Review and Public Comment

  • Pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation, Section 155.17 (e)(3), this plan will be made available for public comment at least 30 days prior to its adoption. The district-wide plan may be adopted by the School Board only after at least one public hearing that provides for the participation of school personnel, parents, students and any other interested parties. The plan must be formally adopted by the Board of Education.
  • Full copies of the District-wide School Safety Plan and any amendments will be submitted to the New York State Education Department within 30 days of adoption.
  • This plan will be reviewed periodically during the year and will be maintained by the District-wide School Safety Team. The required annual review will be completed on or before July 1 of each year after its adoption by the Board of Education. A copy of the plan will be available at the District Office located at; District Office, 801 West German St., Herkimer, NY 13350.

Risk Reduction/Prevention and Intervention

Prevention/Intervention Strategies

Program Initiatives

Describe the programs and activities the district has used for improving communication among students and between students and staff, and reporting of potentially violent incidents, such as the establishment of:

  • Non-violent conflict resolution training programs,
  • Peer mediation programs and youth courts,
  • Extended day and other school safety programs,
  • Youth-run programs,
  • Creating a forum or designating a mentor for students concerned with bullying or violence,
  • Establishing anonymous reporting mechanisms for school violence, and
  • Others based on district needs.

The district may also want to describe what strategies it may develop, based on its needs assessment, to create a positive, safe learning environment for students, such as community involvement in the schools, mentoring programs, or adjusting scheduling to minimize potential for conflicts or altercations.

Training, Drills, and Exercises

  • Describe the policies and procedures for annual multi-hazard school safety training for staff and students, including the strategies for implementing training related to multi-hazards. For example, the district may have established one or more of the following procedure(s) for annual multi-hazard school safety training for staff and students and would explain these procedures in this section: early go-home drill; table top exercise; live drill; and Emergency Management Team exercise.
  • Describe the procedures the district uses for the review and conduct of drills and other exercises to test the components of the emergency response plan, including the use of tabletop exercises in coordination with local and county emergency response and preparedness officials.
  • Provide a description of the duties, hiring and screening process, and required training of hall monitors and other school safety personnel acting in a school security capacity. This description could include collaborative agreements made by the district with state and local law enforcement officials designed to ensure that school safety officers and other security personnel are adequately trained, including training to de-escalate potentially violent situations.

Implementation of School Security

Provide a description of the policies and procedures related to school building security, including, where appropriate, the use of school safety officers and or/security devices or procedures. Examples of school building security measures could include: entrance guard; hall monitor; visitor badge/sign-in procedure; video surveillance; metal detectors including building and/or handheld; security officer; security audit; dog; and random search.

Vital Educational Agency Information

Describe how the district maintains 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 educational agency.

Early Detection of Potentially Violent Behaviors

Explain how the district would implement 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. The district may also want to describe programs, training, and services the district may develop to prepare for violent incidents and lessen their impact, such as staff training in identifying early warning signs in students, early intervention/prevention strategies, or development of violence prevention instruction for all staff.

Hazard Identification

Identify sites of potential emergency, which could also include the process for identifying the sites, the potential internal or external hazards or emergency situations identified, and the location of potential sites. The list of sites of potential emergency may include: all school buildings, playground areas, properties adjacent to schools, on and off-site athletic fields, buses, off-site field trips and others that the district’s planning team chooses to identify.

Response

Notification and Activation (Internal and External Communications)

  • 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 individual who is authorized to contact the law enforcement agencies.
  • Describe the system that has been established for informing all educational agencies within a school district of a disaster or an act of violence. The system could include the following forms of communication:

Telephone Intercom
Fax/Email Local Media
District Radio System Emergency Alert System (EAS)
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.

  • Describe the policies and procedures to contact parents, guardians or persons in parental relation to the students in the event of a violent incident or an early dismissal. The district might include using local media in some instances, or using a phone tree with emergency contact cards provided by students.

Situational Responses

Multi-Hazard Response

Describe the district’s multi-hazard response plans for taking actions in an emergency that may include the following situations:

  • Threats of Violence
  • Intruder
  • Hostage/Kidnapping
  • Explosive/Bomb Threat
  • Natural/Weather Related
  • Hazardous Material
  • Civil Disturbance
  • Biological
  • School Bus Accident
  • Radiological
  • Gas Leak
  • Epidemic
  • Others as determined by the District-wide School Safety Team

Responses to Acts of Violence: Implied or Direct Threats

Describe the district’s policies and procedures for responding to implied or direct threats of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel and visitors to the school. The following types of procedure(s) could be used by the district:

• Use of staff trained in de-escalation or other strategies to diffuse the situation.
• Inform Building Principal of implied or direct threat.
• Determine level of threat with Superintendent/Designee.
• Contact appropriate law enforcement agency, if necessary.
• Monitor situation, adjust response as appropriate, include the possible use of the Emergency Response Team.

The district may also describe the training and professional development that is available to assist personnel, such as training in de-escalation or identification of early warning signs of potentially violent behavior.

Acts of Violence

Describe the district’s 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. The following types of procedure(s) could be used by the district:

• Determine level of threat with Superintendent/Designee.
• If the situation warrants, isolate the immediate area and evacuate if appropriate.
• Inform Building Principal/Superintendent.
• If necessary, initiate lockdown procedure, and contact appropriate law enforcement agency.
• Monitor situation; adjust response as appropriate; if necessary, initiate early dismissal, sheltering or evacuation procedures.

Response Protocols

Identify the district’s selection of appropriate responses to emergencies, including protocols for responding to bomb threats, hostage takings, intrusions and kidnappings. The following protocols are provided as examples:

• Identification of decision-makers
• Plans to safeguard students and staff
• Procedures to provide transportation, if necessary
• Procedures to notify parents
• Procedures to notify media
• Debriefing procedures

Arrangements for Obtaining Emergency Assistance from Local Government

Provide a description of the arrangements for obtaining assistance during emergencies from emergency services organizations and local government agencies. The following examples are the types of arrangements that could be used by the district:

• Superintendent/Designee in an emergency contacts dispatch point or 911 center for fire or EMS response.
• Superintendent/Designee contacts highest-ranking local government official for notification and/or assistance.

Procedures for Obtaining Advice and Assistance from Local Government 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.

• The district has identified resources for an emergency from the following agencies: (examples include the Red Cross, fire department, police, private industry, private individuals, religious organizations and others).

District Resources Available for Use in an Emergency

Identify the district resources which may be available 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: school cancellation, early dismissal, evacuation, and sheltering. Examples of actions could include the following and could be made in cooperation with local emergency responders:

School cancellation
  • Monitor any situation that may warrant a school cancellation – decision-maker/team.
  • Make determination – decision-maker.
  • Contact local media.
Early Dismissal
  • Monitor any situation that may warrant a school cancellation – decision-maker/team.
  • Make determination – decision-maker.
  • Contact local media
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 –
  • Clear all evacuation routes and sites prior to evacuation.
  • Evacuate all staff and students to pre-arranged evacuation sites.
  • Account for all student and staff population. Report any missing staff or students to Building Principal.
  • Make determination regarding early dismissal –
  • If determination was made to dismiss early, contact local media to inform parents of early dismissal – Incident Reporting For
  • Ensure adult supervision or continued school supervision/security.
  • Set up an information center so that parents may make inquires as to the situation.
  • Retain appropriate district personnel until all students have been returned home.
Sheltering sites (internal and external)
  • Determine the level of threat – Superintendent/Incident Commander/Designee.
  • Determine location of sheltering depending on nature of incident.
  • Account for all students and staff. Report any missing staff or students 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.

Recovery

District Support for Buildings

Describe how district resources will support the Emergency Response Teams and the Post-Incident
Response Teams in the affected school(s).

Disaster Mental Health Services

Describe how 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).

The district may wish to describe how the recovery phase will result in reevaluation of current violence prevention and school safety activities and what the school can do to improve its plan.