Every school currently has procedures for emergencies. In 2000, New York State Education Law Section 2801 was enacted requiring schools to develop safety plans regarding emergency response. In July of 2001, the law was amended to require that plans include information for evacuation and sheltering. In accordance with this, “schools need to conduct drills and other exercises to test components of the emergency response plan”. In accordance with this, schools need to conduct drills and other exercises to test components of the emergency response plan.
School staff members are trained in various procedures that are outlined in the School Safety Plan and we currently conduct a variety of drills throughout the year to prepare our staff and students. Section 807 of the New York State Education Law requires all schools to conduct a minimum of 12 emergency drills each year. Section 917 of the State Education Law states that schools are required to provide and maintain automated external defibrillator (AED) equipment, and drills are conducted during the year to assess the use of AED units in an emergency. In accordance withSection3623 of the State Education Law, drills are also conducted at schools that focus on safety on a school bus.
In addition to conducting these types of drills, our school has a Building Response Team that is trained to activate and respond to different incidents that may occur at our school. Under the new General Response Protocol (GRP), every school will be conducting specific drills designed to help prepare all school communities for three different types of response to emergencies that may occur: evacuation, shelter-in, and lockdown. Opportunities for parent engagement are available at our school to ensure that families are involved in our school-based emergency readiness program.
Emergency readiness training in schools takes place in September and continues for staff and students throughout the school year. Student training is grade appropriate and designed to ensure that students understand the importance of these drills without causing unnecessary alarm. Please review the General Response Protocols that have been given to all students, and discuss these procedures with your child.
All families are reminded to update the Emergency Contact Cards that are on file in our main office. This includes providing and updating information indicating phone numbers, and the names of adults to whom the school may release children in an emergency. Families are also encouraged to register with Notify NYC to receive information about emergency events, and call 311 for additional information about a school during an emergency.
What is a School Safety Plan?
At the beginning of each school year, all schools develop a School Safety Plan. The plan outlines the procedures that the school uses every day and in cases of emergency to provide a safe and secure environment in which effective teaching and learning take place. Each plan is approved by the Office of Safety and Youth Development and NYPD. In order to ensure safety for all students and staff, the specific emergency response plans and procedures of the School Safety Plan must remain confidential. Parent versions of the School Safety Plan are available upon request in the main office.
The School Safety Plan addresses the following major areas :
School/Program/Academy Information: This section lists the staff members, hours of operation, chain of command, class schedules, dismissal schedules, extra-curricular activities, and use of special facilities (i.e. swimming pools).
Special Needs Students: This section identifies students with special mobility needs and ways of addressing those needs.
Medical Emergency Response Information: This section outlines procedures for the dissemination of health information of individual students, implementing health recommendations, and for maintaining and accessing health supplies and trained medical personnel. It also outlines the use and storage of Automatic External Defibrillators (AED).
School Safety Personnel Procedures and Assignments: This section includes visitor control procedures, security scanning (where applicable), and protocols for responding to specific disaster or emergency conditions such as fire, sheltering-in, bomb threat, suspicious packages, hazmat, shooting, and kidnapping.
Who is on the School Safety Plan Committee?
Chancellor's Regulation A-414 requires that the following individuals are required to serve on a school's Safety Committee: The principal, the UFT Chapter leader, the PT/PTA president (or designee), the school's Level III School Safety Agent (or designee), the custodial engineer, the dietician (or designee), the NYPD commanding officer (or designee) of the local precinct, and a student representative.
School Safety Agents
School Safety Agents, who are part of the NYPD, work in conjunction with the school administrators to help maintain order and safety.
School Safety Agents have the following responsibilities:
Respond to immediate security situations
Help school personnel maintain discipline and order
Follow visitor control procedures
Patrol areas within and immediately surrounding the school building
Prevent intruders from entering the school building
Report serious incidents to the school administration and School Safety Division.