Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan
The South Sanpete Board of Education, under the direction of the Utah State Board of Education, deems it advisable to direct schools in the District to adopt an “Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan” in accordance with Utah Code 53A-3-402-18and Board Rule R277-400. Therefore, the purpose of this Policy shall be to direct schools to develop prevention, training, intervention, and response measures to prepare students and staff to respond promptly and appropriately to school-violence emergencies. The end result will be to promote the safety and welfare of students and staff, protect facilities, and demonstrate cooperation with community agencies.
- Emergency means a natural or man-made disaster, accident, act of war, or other circumstance which could reasonably endanger the safety of school children or disrupt the operation of the school.
- Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan shall be referred to as the “Plan” in this Policy.
- Community Agencies refers to the law enforcement, SWAT, fire department, EMT’s, hospital and staff, and other government, emergency personnel and agencies.
The individual school staff is primarily responsible for the safety of the student body. It is the duty of the school principal, with the help of teachers, students, parents, community agencies, the School Community Council, and the District Safety Committee to develop and implement a Plan for his/her school. The Board may enter into cooperative agreements with community agencies to assure proper coordination, support, and direction during drills in preparation for actual emergencies.
Procedures and Responsibilities—
In all emergencies, the welfare and safety of students and staff is the number one priority. The Plan shall contain information concerning the following: training, intervention, preparation, response, procedures, and post-emergency issues.
- At the beginning of each school year or more often if needed, the principal shall review the Plan with staff, students, parents, School Community Council, and appropriate community agencies.
- Schools shall use measures which assure that school children will receive emergency preparedness training and identify the resources and materials available and needed for training.
- School children shall be provided with training appropriate to their ages in rescue techniques, first aid, safety measures appropriate for specific emergencies, and other emergency drills.
- During each school year, all schools shall be in compliance with the number of required fire drills: all schools shall have one during the first two weeks of school; thereafter, elementary schools shall have one per month; and secondary schools shall have one every two months for a total of four. In addition, schools shall conduct at least one annual drill for school violence emergencies. When feasible, schools shall coordinate and practice some of these drills with local community agencies. Reference: R277-400-6
- Each school shall conduct an “Emergency Preparedness Week” prior to October 31 each year.
- Schools shall annually review existing security measures and procedures within their schools and make adjustments as needs demonstrate and funds are available.
- As part of their regular curriculum, schools shall provide students and teachers with information on emergency preparedness, comprehensive violence prevention, and intervention strategies, i.e., anger management, conflict resolution, bullying, and respect for diversity and other cultures.
- During emergencies, schools shall establish protocol for notification of proper community agencies, the Superintendent and other District personnel, buses, parents, media, etc.
- Schools shall develop standards and protections to the extent feasible for participants and attendees at after-school activities, with special attention to those off-school properties.
- Schools shall also develop a procedure to account for students while responding to emergencies that may occur not during class time, e.g., during recess, class breaks, lunch, assemblies, etc.
- The Plan shall contain information, directions, and action for the school occupants to take for the following emergencies:
- Natural disasters or severe weather conditions: earthquake, snow, thunderstorm, flood, etc.
- Utilities: electrical, water, natural gas, heat, etc.
- Bomb threats or explosion
- Hazardous materials
- Written or verbal threats to students, staff, or school property; hit lists; bullying; gang activity; technology devices; etc.
- Gun or other weapons
- Hostage situation
- School shooting
- Civil disturbance
- Lock down and other emergencies
- The principal, or his/her designee, shall act as the spokesperson for handling emergency communications in addressing the students, staff, parents, media, etc. at a pre-determined location.
- The Plan shall contain measures which assure that, during an emergency, school children are accounted for and receive reasonably adequate educational services and supervision during school hours.
- Schools shall establish a procedure for school evacuation, evacuation routes, and assembly points to assure reasonable care and supervision of students until responsibility has been affirmatively assumed by parents or other responsible parties. Special provisions and supervision shall be made for the disabled students.
- Release of a child below ninth grade, at other than regularly scheduled hours, is prohibited unless the parent or another responsible person has been notified and has assumed responsibility for the child. An older child may be released without such notification if a school official determines that the child is reasonably responsible and notification is not practical.
- The school shall, to the extent reasonably possible, provide educational services to school children whose regular school program has been disrupted by an extended emergency.
- The school shall make arrangements for counseling and other professionals as needed for emotional first aid either during or after an emergency.
- The Plan shall be on file in the Superintendent’s Office and in the office of the principal. A copy of the Plan shall also be given to each staff member and shall be readily available for addressing emergencies.
- In most emergency situations, the principal together with the Superintendent shall jointly assess the situation and render decisions as the circumstances may dictate.
- The Board may also appoint a District Safety Committee or designated persons to prepare, review, and modify existing Plans once every three years. The Committee shall consist of appropriate school and community representatives, who may include school and District administrators, Board members, teachers, parents, School Community Council members, and representatives from various community agencies who may be responsible for directing and coordinating emergency services.
- The District shall cooperate with community agencies and other governmental departments, as reasonably feasible, to provide emergency relief service. The District shall assess and provide District facilities, equipment, and personnel to meet public emergency needs as are available.
- Schools, together with the District, shall establish common communication channels and lines of authority within the District, cities, County, and State. The State Board of Education, through its Superintendent, is the chief officer for emergencies involving more than one district or state or federal aid. The local Board, through its Superintendent, is the chief officer for District emergencies.Direction and control of emergency operation shall be exercised by the executive heads of government and the District. The local government and District shall retain their autonomy and identity throughout all levels of emergency operations. Personnel and resources received from outside sources shall be incorporated into the structure of the local government and District.
- By July 1 of each year, the South Sanpete Board of Education shall certify to the State that, at the school level, the Plan has been presented and reviewed by its teachers, administrators, and students and that information has been provided to parents and community agencies.
- The Plan shall address procedures for recording District funds expected for emergencies, for assessing and repairing damage, and for seeking reimbursement for emergency expenditures.
District Policy References:
JH “Safe Schools”, “Bullying”
EBA “Emergency Closings”