School Safety Plan

PROJECT SAVE – (Safe Schools Against Violence in Education)

CANAJOHARIE CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT – WIDE

SCHOOL SAFETY PLAN

Commissioner’s Regulation 155.17

  • Adopted: May 24, 2001
  • Revised: August 14, 2006
  • Revised: February, 2013

Introduction

The Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) Act was passed by the New York State Legislature and signed into law in 2000. School districts were required to design a district-wide plan to outline the potential threats to the district and response action the district would take in the event an emergency or violent incident. Our district-wide plan was developed and submitted in 2001 per SED requirements. The plan was updated in 2006 and due to recent national events we have again revised and enhanced our plan in 2013.

Emergencies and violent incidents in school districts are critical issues that must be addressed in an expeditious and effective manner. The District-wide school safety plan is 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 stand at risk from a wide variety of acts of violence, natural, and manmade disasters.

Project Save is a comprehensive planning effort that addresses prevention, response, and recovery with respect to a variety of emergencies in each school district and its schools.

The Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES, in coordination with the Canajoharie Central School District, supports the SAVE Legislation and will be a partner in the planning process. The Superintendent of Schools encourages and advocates on-going district-wide cooperation and support of Project SAVE.

Section I: General Considerations And Planning Guidelines

A. PURPOSE

The Canajoharie Central District-wide School Safety Plan was developed pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation 155.17.  At the direction of the Canajoharie Central School District Board of Education, the Superintendent of the Canajoharie Central School District appointed a District-wide School Safety Team and charged it with the development and maintenance of the District-wide School Safety Plan. The district-wide plan was updated as of January 2013.

B. IDENTIFICATION OF SCHOOL TEAMS

The Canajoharie Central 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.

Representing

  • School Board
  • Administration
  • Facilities Operation
  • Instructional Representative
  • Student Representative
  • Transportation
  • Community Member/Parent
  • School Safety Personnel, Administration
  • Law Enforcement
  • Crisis Response
  • Medical

C. CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS

  • The District-wide School Safety Plan shall be directly linked to the Building-level Emergency Response Plan. Protocols reflected in the District-wide School Safety Plan will guide the development and implementation of the Building-level Emergency Response Plan.
  • In the event of an emergency or violent incident, the initial response to all emergencies at an individual school will be the Emergency Response Team.
  • Upon the activation of the School Emergency Response Team, the Superintendent of Schools or designee will be notified and, where appropriate, local emergency officials will also be notified.
  • Efforts may be supplemented by County and State resources through existing protocols.

D. PLAN REVIEW AND PUBLIC COMMENT

  • This plan has been reviewed as of February 2013
  • This plan will be reviewed periodically during the year and will be maintained by the District-wide School Safety Team. The required annual review occurred in February of 2013. Building-level Emergency Response Plans will be supplied to local police, the Sheriff’s department and the State Police within 30 days of the update

Section II: Risk Reduction/Prevention and Intervention Strategies

A. PREVENTION/INTERVENTION STRATEGIES

Program Initiatives

  • Character Education Program
  • Agency consultation provided in schools
  • Scheduled emergency drills

Training, Drills, and Exercises

Three levels of annual multi-hazard school training will be considered in this plan:

  • responder training for members of the Incident Response and Post-Incident Response teams conducted by response agencies and/or the BOCES HSRM staff;
  • general staff awareness training conducted during Superintendent’s Conference Day and;
  • general student awareness training of emergency response procedures conducted by building staff (i.e. lockdown drills).

Each year the District-Wide School Safety Team and/or Building-Level Teams will consider appropriate training for each of the groups listed above.

  • Lockout and Lockdown drills are conducted throughout the school year; also, an evacuation drill is done at least once a
  • A tabletop exercise with response staff to discuss emergency procedures will be conducted this
  • After each drill we have a district-wide meeting to discuss the drill and make changes if necessary.

Safety Response

School staff is trained to be vigilant pertaining to threats against students and staff (i.e. bullying). The district continues to promote a culture of respect for the students and staff through the Dignity Act recently enacted in New York State.

Security Devices

  • Surveillance cameras placed on buses. Also, cameras placed at various locations on campus.

2013 Revision: To enhance security, additional security cameras will be installed. We will also upgrade the camera DVR system to maximize usage.

  • Card access system upgraded and additional card reader access enabled doors added

2013 Revision: As part of enhanced security measures the district will implement a photo ID based card reader system. Additional card reader access points will be installed. The upgraded system will be under the supervision of the Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds.

  • Visitors will be issued a badge and be required to sign in and sign out of
  • One entry point for everyone, all doors are locked during the school

Vital Educational Agency Information

Additional Education locations within the district boundaries are listed below:

  • Faith Bible Academy – Crosby Road
  • Amish School – Buel Road
  • Amish School – Blaine Road
  • Wee Care Day Care – Route 10

B. Early Detection of Potentially Violent Behavior

Strategies for improving communication among students and between students and staff along with reporting of potentially violent incidents, such as the establishment of:

  • Staff to attend a violence prevention and intervention course that addresses early signs of potentially violent students
  • Newsletters and pamphlets to parent/guardians with articles addressing bullying, conflict resolution and other issues, included are important contact numbers to address concerns

C. Hazard Identification

The table below identifies sites of potential emergency (including their location), as well as the potential internal or external hazards or emergency situations identified at those sites. The list of sites of potential emergency may include: school buildings and school grounds; properties adjacent to schools; areas adjacent to bus runs and off-site field trips; as well as other potential community hazards that the district’s planning team chooses to identify.

  • The NYS Emergency Management Office rated the top hazards in Montgomery County in the “Montgomery County Hazard Analysis Report:” Ratings were based on Potential Impact, Frequency, Hazard Duration, Cascade Effect, Onset, Recovery Time.

Location of Potential sites & hazards

  • Railroad- External hazard
  • NYS Thruway/ Rt. 5, Rt. 5S – External hazard
  • Mohawk River/ NYS Barge Canal – External hazard
  • School Heating System (Gas Pipeline) – Internal hazard
  • School bus – External hazard
  • Athletic fields, playgrounds and play area – External/ internal hazard
  • Field trips – External hazard
  • Fort Plain Agway – External hazard
  • Richardson Brand Company – External hazard

Hazard Assessment (external hazards are county wide)

 Predictability

(1) unpredictable – (5) very predictable

Frequency

  • (1) more than once/year;
  • (2) annually;
  • (3) every 2-3 years
  • (4) every 5-10 years
  • (5) rarely

Warning Time

  • (1) none
  • (2) minutes
  • (3) hours
  • (4) days
  • (5) exact likely dates known

Seriousness

  • (1) disaster (entire community w/casualties)
  • (2) disaster (entire school w/casualties)
  • (3) emergency (affects one or more individuals w/casualties)
  • (4) emergency (entire community no casualties)
  • (5) emergency (entire school no casualties)

Possible Responses

  • (1) Drop, Cover and Hold;
  • (2) Drop Flat/Gunfire;
  • (3) Lockdown;
  • (4) Evacuation;
  • (5) Reverse Evacuation;
  • (6) Early Dismissal;
  • (7) external emergency response
  1. Intruder
    1. Predictability: 1
    2. Approx. Frequency: 5
    3. Warning Time: 1
    4. Seriousness: 3,5
    5. Possible Responses: 3
  2. Bomb Threat
    1. Predictability: 1
    2. Approx. Frequency: 5
    3. Warning Time: 1
    4. Seriousness: 5
    5. Possible Responses: 3,4
  3. Hazmat
    1. Predictability: 1
    2. Approx. Frequency: 2
    3. Warning Time: 1
    4. Seriousness: 4
    5. Possible Responses: 4,7
  4. High Winds
    1. Predictability: 3
    2. Approx. Frequency: 2
    3. Warning Time: 2
    4. Seriousness: 5
    5. Possible Responses: 1,3
  5. Bus Accident
    1. Predictability: 1
    2. Approx. Frequency: 5
    3. Warning Time: 1
    4. Seriousness: 3
    5. Possible Responses: 7
  6. Winter Storm
    1. Predictability: 5
    2. Approx. Frequency: 1
    3. Warning Time: 4
    4. Seriousness: 5
    5. Possible Responses: 6

Section  III: Response

A. Notification and Activation

Policies and procedures for contacting appropriate law enforcement officials in the event of a violent incident.

  • The person in charge (Incident Commander) will decide if the level of the incident classifies it as a “violent incident” (consistent with the definition of such an incident as defined in the district’s Code of Conduct). If appropriate, the Incident Commander will call 911.
  • In a crisis situation involving a violent incident, school staff should call 911 and notify the Incident Commander.

A system for informing all educational agencies within a school district of a disaster.

  • Educational agencies within the Canajoharie Central School District (non-public schools, registered daycare centers, etc.) will be contacted in an emergency via telephone. If telephone contact is not possible, a contact person will be sent to the school if possible.

Procedures to contact parents, guardians or persons in parental relation to the students in the event of a violent incident or an early dismissal.

  • Parents/Guardians will be contacted via School Messenger automatically by the school district. In some cases, the public/parents may also be notified via media

B. Situational Responses

Responses to Acts of Violence: Implied or Direct Threats

The district uses emergency information folders in each room for important directional information when a response action is needed.

Acts of Violence

This issue is addressed in the Code of Conduct. The district uses emergency information folders in each room for important directional information when a response action is needed.

Response Protocols

We have incorporated the new homeland security guidelines into our plans. It establishes definitions of lockout, lockdown, sheltering, and evacuation. Our responses are based upon these guidelines. These guidelines are confidential and we respectfully will not submit them at this time.

Bomb Threats

Procedures and Guidelines are included in the Building-Level School Safety Plans for the Canajoharie Central School.  We use the NYS Police guidelines to bomb threats as protocol.

Hostage Taking

Procedures and Guidelines are included in the Building-Level School Safety Plans for the Canajoharie Central School.

Intrusions

Procedures and Guidelines are included in the Building-Level School Safety Plans for the Canajoharie Central School.

Kidnapping

Procedures and Guidelines are included in the Building-Level School Safety Plans for the Canajoharie Central School.

Arrangements for Obtaining Emergency Assistance from Local Government

Policies and procedures for contacting appropriate law enforcement officials in the event of a violent incident.

  • The person in charge (Incident Commander) will decide if the level of the incident classifies it as a “violent incident” (consistent with the definition of such an incident as defined in the district’s Code of Conduct). If appropriate, the Incident Commander will call 911.
  • In a crisis situation involving a violent incident, school staff should call 911 and notify the Incident Commander.

Arrangements for Obtaining Advice and Assistance from Local Government Officials

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.

  • The person in charge (Incident Commander) will decide if the level of the incident warrants obtaining emergency assistance.

District Resources Available for Use in an Emergency

  • Building Resources: Both schools have full working kitchen and serving areas.
  • Transportation Resources: School buses, school vans and maintenance vehicles.
  • Personnel Resources: Staff with CPR/FA & AED training, bus drivers.
  • Other Resources: Local Emergency Management Coordinator.

Agencies authorized to Request Use of Resources:

  • County Emergency Management Office
  • Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office
  • NYS Police
  • Village VFD/PD

 School Cancellation

Superintendent of Schools or designee will announce the closing of school. Communication will be sent to all officials needed to proceed with the cancellation.

Early Dismissal

  1. Preliminary Procedures:
    1. An annual request is made of parents of K-12 students to notify the school district where their child should go in the event that they are not home during school hours. Drivers maintain a list for their information in the event of an emergency.
    2. Drivers will be alerted and substitutes contacted by the Transportation Director as to the possibility of an early or emergency dismissal.
  2. Dismissal Bus Students:
    1. The district office will notify the Transportation Director of the decision to take pupils home.
    2. The transportation director will notify drivers and required
    3. Bus pupils will remain in classroom or other designated areas until buses are spotted.
    4. Personnel will assume regular duties for bus dismissal.
    5. The transportation director will remain at his station until all buses have completed their runs and returned. The transportation director will notify the main office when all runs have been completed.  (Estimated length of longest run is ~1 hour 10 minutes)
  3. Dismiss Walking Students:
    1. Walking students will be dismissed via an announcement from the main office, after contacting persons in parental relations or emergency contact.

Evacuation (before, during and after school hours)

Procedures and guidelines are included in the building-level school safety plans for the Canajoharie Central School.

Sheltering Sites (internal and external)

Procedures and guidelines are included in the building-level school safety plans for the Canajoharie Central School.

Section  IV: Recovery

 A. District Support for Building

All the district’s manpower and resources will be available to one of our sites that have endured an emergency. Mental health counseling, building security, and restoration will be items of primary focus.  Response and recovery will be a district goal.

Besides building security and restoration, the strategies will also include damage assessment, relocation, and continuation of the educational process. A post-incident response critique, the notes from the incident command team, and lessons learned will be assessed. Plans to mitigate the likelihood of occurrence or impact, if the incident does occur again, will be reviewed. If possible, efforts will be made to improve district facilities resulting in them being more resistant to suffering similar or worse damage.

B. Disaster Mental Health Services

The district understands how an emergency can have a major effect on the well being of students, staff, and the community at large. The district will coordinate resources with County Mental Health Services and the Post-Incident Crisis Response Team.

APPENDICES

Appendix 1: Listing of all school buildings covered by the district-wide school safety plan

  • Canajoharie Elementary School
  • Canajoharie Middle School
  • Canajoharie High School
  • Canajoharie Bus Garage

Appendix 2:  Policies and Procedures for Working with the Media

Information

  • Media interaction may be handled by: Superintendent or Designee;
  • A law enforcement/emergency response agency PIO; or
  • Jointly, by both PIOs listed above,

Public Information Officer Information

  • Incident Commander and PIO functions may be handled by two different persons.
  • The School District PIO may work under, over, or in cooperation with law enforcement and emergency response agency PIOs.
  • The PIO should set forth clear media guidelines and communicate these guidelines to the media in writing.
  • The PIO should use a press release template for both a news conference script and/or a written press release.
  • The PIO should receive information and forms from the Incident Commander and other key function personnel on a regular basis throughout the emergency event.

Student/Parent/Guardian Information

  • Students, Parents, and Guardians should be mindful of the situation during an emergency event when approached by the media for an interview. Safety and security issues may be comprised.
  • Students should not communicate with the media via cell phone or other type of communication when on campus during the following events:
    • Lockdown
    • Shelter in Place
    • Evacuation Bomb/Biological Events
    • Acts of Violence

Appendix 3: Parent Notification Letter

Dear Parents:

Should an emergency or disaster situation ever arise in our area while school is in session, we want you to be aware that the schools have made preparations to respond effectively to such situations. Should we have a major disaster during school hours, your student(s) will be cared for at this school. Our School District has a detailed disaster plan, which has been formulated to respond to a major catastrophe.

Your cooperation is necessary in any emergency.

  1. DO NOT TELEPHONE THE SCHOOL. Telephone lines may be needed for emergency communication.
  2. In the event of a serious emergency, students may be kept at school until they are picked up by an identified, responsible adult who has been identified as such on a School District emergency card that is required to be filled out by parents at the beginning of every school year. Please be sure you consider the following criteria when you authorize another person to pick up your child at school:
    1. They are 18 years of age or older.
    2. They are usually home during the day.
    3. They could walk to school, if necessary.
    4. They are known to your child.
    5. They are both aware and able to assume this responsibility.
  3. Turn to your local radio station/television stations for emergency announcements. If students are to be kept at school, radio/television stations will be notified. List of stations provided on the school website and school calendar.
  4. Impress upon your children the need for them to follow the directions of any school personnel in times of an emergency.

Students will be released only to parents and persons identified on the School District Emergency Card, you may be asked to provide proof of identification upon arrival in order for the school to release the student(s). During an extreme emergency, students will be released at designated reunion location(s). Parents should become familiar with the School Emergency Disaster Plan and be patient and understanding with the student release process. Please instruct your student(s) to remain at school until you or a designee arrives.

Please discuss these matters with your immediate family. Planning ahead will help alleviate concern during emergencies.