UPDATE: Local Schools Have A Plan In Place To Protect Our Childr - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

UPDATE: Local Schools Have A Plan In Place To Protect Our Children

Posted: Updated:

SPOKANE, Wash. - After the tragic Connecticut shooting that left 27 dead at an elementary school, including 20 children, school districts across the Inland Northwest are sharing their safety protocols with parents.

Several districts have emailed parents to review the steps that are taken on a daily basis to keep students safe.

Spokane Public Schools spokesperson Terren Roloff said school officials have a comprehensive plan in place for all administrators and students in their district. Here are few examples.

TRAINING:

1. CPTED training for school security and maintenance personnel to incorporate these concepts in school operations

2. Incident Command System training and implementation for administrative staff with police and fire departments to ensure quick, efficient and unified responses to various school safety/security incidents

3. Equity department training to staff in areas of prevention and intervention of bullying and harassment

4. Three building crisis drills conducted per year in schools

5. Six fire drills conducted per year in schools

6. Fire department inspections, drills, and exercises

7. Police department SWAT exercises

8. Active participation as a district on county Disaster Committee

REPONSE PLANS:

1. Updated bomb threat response plan incorporating current recommendations from law enforcement

2. Centralized building crisis plans that allow for consistent response by all employees

3. Four district Critical Incident Support Teams to assist in crisis situations

4. Protocol with Spokane Mental Health for students who may pose a threat to self or others.

5. Dissemination annually to administrators of District Emergency, Disaster, & Crisis Response Plan

6. Annual video training of all staff on "All Hazards Plan"

PREVENTION PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES:

1. Safety Tip phone line to enlist assistance of students and community to report any safety concerns (354-SAFE)

2. Internet access through WSP (Washington State Patrol WATCH program for security clearance of volunteers

3. Photo ID for students in high schools and staff at all levels throughout the district

4. Annual survey of grades 2-12 students on school climate and safety

5. Student and staff behavioral standards and expectations

6. Crisis intervention for students of all ages

7. Community partnerships regarding physical and emotional safety for students in our schools and community

8. Truancy prevention and response, K-12

9. Coordinated Response Plan in collaboration with Spokane Police Department, Spokane Fire Department,

10. Department of Emergency Management, Juvenile Court, etc.

PREVIOUS STORY:

KHQ.COM - As you might imagine the elementary school shooting in CT. has rocked our community and other communities across the country. All day today we're going to be calling schools asking them what plan they have in place in case of an emergency.

From Jim Evans/Superintendent Of The Coulee-Hartline School District:

1. WHAT ARE SCHOOL PROCEDURES DURING EMERGENCIES? Different tones for different emergencies fire, lockdown, evac. depends on the emergences. Staff notified with different tones for each
 
2. HOW ARE TEACHERS TRAINED FOR EMERGENCIES? Today we are doing a lockdown drill at 12:45. This was scheduled for next week, but moved up to today.

3. HOW ARE PARENTS INFORMED OF EMERGENCIES (I.E. REVERSE 9-1-1 ??) We have an automated calling system, hooked up with skyword (program they use that all student/parent go on.). Goes over phone, cell phone and email.

MEAD SCHOOL DISTRICT EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

The Mead School District has an emergency response plan that is responsive to many different emergency scenarios. Although specifics of district and building plans cannot be publicized for security reasons, some general characteristics can be shared. The district plan has as its foundation three categories of response.

1.) The first is "THREAT ASSESSMENT", which outlines the process to be used to assess any type or degree of threat. 

2.)The second is "TRAUMA RESPONSE". This response category provides a plan of assistance to help buildings deal with emotional situations such as the death of a student or staff member.

3.) "INCIDENT RESPONSE", the third category, is the portion of the plan that outlines procedures to be used during natural or human emergencies such as fires, earthquakes, intruders, etc. All of Mead School District's schools are mapped through web-based PREPARED RESPONSE. Building emergency plans, site maps, and other important information is accessible to emergency responders such as police and fire fighters. Officials from each school met with emergency responders to plan every detail, including sites where command centers, emergency medical facilities, and control checkpoints would be located. The District also has an established SAFE SCHOOLS HOTLINE - 465-6099 that can be used to report any situation that may pose a threat to students or staff of Mead School District.

In addition to the hotline, the District will place emergency information on the MEAD SCHOOL DISTRICT WEBSITE (http://www.mead354.org/ <page.cfm?p=1> ) when necessary. Top

Building Response Plans Each building in the school district has an individual building plan. The BUILDING PLANS include staff assignments for each specific team (threat, trauma, or incident response). The plans also outline procedures for evacuation, reverse evacuation, lockdown, and other forms of emergencies. Buildings are required to conduct one drill per month during the school year. The drills may take various forms so that students and staff practice responding to different types of emergencies. Top

FAMILY EMERGENCY READINESS AND RESPONSE The Mead School District is committed to sharing of information that will contribute to the safety of all school district patrons.Numerous websites are available to help families prepare for and respond to various emergencies. Sites that families may like to explore are the following:

<http://www.spokaneprepares.org/> - This site is the location of INW Emergency and Disaster Preparedness. The site has very valuable information about preparing families for emergencies and accessing training to help respond to various emergencies.

<http://72hours.org/> - This is a San Francisco based site that has excellent information about preparing a family plan, building family emergency kits, and how to response when essential services are not available.

<http://access.wa.gov/emergency/index.aspx> - This is the official Washington State Government website. It includes emergency information and resources as well as links other important websites.

<http://www.srhd.org/> - The Spokane Regional Health District website features information on emergency response including public health emergency planning and personal preparedness.

<http://spokanecounty.org/emergencymgmt/> - This link will take the user to the site of Spokane County Emergency Management.

PERSONAL SAFETY:: The Mead School District emphasizes high standards of health and safety into all aspects of District operations. In many cases state and/or federal laws dictate standards. Some actions are limited for health reasons (e.g., tobacco use, immunization requirements) and others are required for health reasons (e.g., pesticide notifications, child abuse notification).

Top Facilities The District Safety Committee works with all district sites to oversee safety procedures and injury prevention programs in accordance with state and federal health and safety requirements. These include activities such as continuous facility check (e.g., playgrounds, sports equipment) to staff training in health and safety related issues. Top Alcohol, Tobacco, Drug, and Weapons-Free Environment State and federal law strictly prohibits the possession of weapons and the use of tobacco, drugs, and alcoholic beverages on school grounds or at school activities.

This prohibition applies to all district facilities, buses, and locations for district sponsored events or activities. These prohibitions apply to all students, employees, spectators and visitors while on district campuses or at district sponsored events. Top Background Checks All Mead School District employees are subject to background checks through either the Washington State Patrol and/or the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. In addition, recent laws require that certificated teachers submit evidence that they have not been convicted of or are under investigation for sexual misconduct.

Top Sex Offender Information Mead School District considers the personal safety of students and employees to be of the highest priority. By working together, parents and the school can share information in an attempt to keep students safe even after school hours. Although there are legal limits that protect the rights of individuals, much information is available through authorized agencies.

Parents can gain access to information on sex offenders that may move into a neighborhood by visiting one or both of the following websites: <http://www.spokanesheriff.org/> This is the website for the Spokane County Sheriff's Department. The right-hand menu includes "Sex Offender Lookup". The site will identify the Level III offenders living in the area of addresses provided. <http://ml.waspc.org> - At this site sex offender information is available from the Washington State Patrol. Top Hotline Reporting Patrons witnessing suspicious behavior that may cause concern for the safety of children may call the Mead School District Safe Schools Hotline at 465-6099. Top

Harassment/Discrimination/Bullying Mead School District is firmly committed to having a positive educational work and learning environment that encourages respect, dignity, and equality for students, patrons, parents/guardians, applicants, volunteers, contractors, and employees. Harassment, intimidation, or bullying will not be tolerated in the school district's education or working environment.

That expectation applies to all interactions, including but not limited to, adult to student, student to adult, student to student, adult to adult, male to female, female to male, male to male, or female to female. For more information, refer to Mead School District Policy 6590 - Harassment, and Policy 3200 - Student Rights and Responsibilities. Top

Transportation The transportation of students to and from school and school sponsored events shall be in a manner which safely and efficiently serves eligible students and which meets the needs of special education students. The transportation program operates pursuant to applicable law RCW 28A.24.005 and WAC regulations.

More information regarding the overall transportation system, safety and behavior expectations, and contact numbers is available on the Mead School District Transportation <page.cfm?p=29> website. Changes to transportation routs or schedules due to inclement weather will be posted on the website and messages will be available on the SNOW line at 465-SNOW (7669).

Emergency Plans For West Valley

SPOKANE, Wash. - KHQ talked to Sue Shields Public Relation Director in an effort to talk all of the area school districts about their emergency procedures. Every school has their own specific emergency procedures...each made for the specific building. Also, the staff is trained and has drills that they do throughout the year.

They also have emergency evacuation plans for each building. Those also include special bussing plans and plans for emergency responders. Also, a letter goes home with every kid in the beginning of the year explaining the emergency evacuations procedures for their child's school. This includes where their child would go if they do have to be evacuated, where they would find their kids, and the emergency numbers.
 
Staff has written instructions for their emergency procedures and they have conversations about it in all the schools. They do have an alert system that allows them to dial phones, send text messages, and emails.
 
They used this effectively when Pasadena Elementary was evacuated a couple weeks back. They let all the parents know within a matter of minutes.

Emergency Plans For Chewelah

SPOKANE, Wa. - The elementary staff met with Chewelah Superintendent Rick Linehan Friday morning to discuss how they are going to handle the tragedy. In this meeting, they are going to go over their own emergency procedures. Linehan told KHQ, "It's our duty."

The staff go over the emergency procedures at the beginning of the year, and each classroom has an emergency flip chart that is readily seen and used by the staff and students.

There are multiple emergency plans in that flip chart. Linehan also said that since Chewelah is such a small town, everyone knows everyone, and all the kids and staff know that all people in the building have to have a badge from the front office. 

Also, they have an automatic dialing system to alert parents for any emergency. This was used in a bomb scare a month ago. The system alerted the parents three minutes after the high school was evacuated.

Schools Prepared In Idaho

POST FALLS, Idaho-Schools prepare year round for "Active Shooter" situations. A 4 page detailed emergency response plan for the Post Falls School District outlines how school officials will work with local, state and federal authorities even how it will respond to the media in the situation of a mass emergency or shooting
   
According to the plan, Post Falls police would be the first to respond to any "in progress criminal situation" and can make the decision to request the help of other agencies, such as the Idaho State Police SWAT team and the FBI. Also in the plan it says there are "40 daytime volunteers" and a daytime crew of 9 available to respond to any hazmat situation from the Post Falls Fire Department.
 
 The plan also discloses the district will set up a communication network with parents and handling parent phone calls and dealing with parent communications. A command center to assist in the emergency will also be set up so district officials can communicate with law enforcement and develop a plan of action in the event of an emergency.
 
To view the complete emergency plan for the Post Falls School district click on the link below. http://www.pfsd.com/uploads/jan2011emergplanwebsite.pdf

STATEMENT FROM THE EAST VALLEY SUPERINTENDANT:

Dear Patrons and Staff:  It is with great sadness that we hear of the news of the tragic shooting in an elementary school in Connecticut.  Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were victims of this senseless violence.  
 
While nothing can explain or truly prepare us for an act this shocking, I want to ensure all of you, and the larger community, that we have processes, procedures and plans in place to keep our students safe.  Our greatest asset in this school system is our students who take responsibility for helping us to keep them and each other safe.  
 
If your child or a child you know needs some help in coping with this tragedy, please let your building principal know so that we may support them and you. 

STATEMENT FROM THE CENTRAL VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT:

As the news unfolds about today's tragedy in Connecticut, we want to reassure our Central Valley families that our top priority is the safety of our students and staff.

We work hard to maintain a safe learning environment in our schools. Each Central Valley School has a single point of entry which means school visitors have one access point and are required to check in at the office.

The remaining exterior doors are kept locked during the school day. All Central Valley schools practice lockdowns and safety drills on a regular basis. These drills simulate a variety of emergency situations. In addition, we have a strong, proactive partnership with law enforcement and collaborate to help keep our schools and students safe.

Thank you for joining together with us to keep our students, staff and community safe. Our hearts are with the families of the victims in today's tragic shooting.
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