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Crisis Management

Home/Health & Safety/Crisis Management

Overview

Crisis Management Plan

MISSION STATEMENT

Palacios ISD and its community partners will work together to provide a safe learning environment for staff and students. Policies and procedures dealing with issues will be adhered to equally and fairly. Those who engage in unacceptable behavior will be subject to discipline.

GOALS

  • Enhance the school and community shareholders on the importance and implementation of the School Safety Action Plan
  • Use all necessary resources to respond to any crisis situation rapidly and appropriately
  • Engage in response procedures to secure student and staff safety           

PURPOSE        

The purposes of Safe Schools Response/Emergency Procedures are as follows:

  1. Provide a framework to improve communication and allow for decision making and emergency response.
  2. To protect students attending Palacios Public Schools.
  3. To coordinate emergency response planning at the district level with local public-service agencies.
  4. To provide district policy and guidance so campuses may develop and communicate necessary emergency plans.

PLANNING  PRIORITIES

The Safe Schools Response Procedures are based upon five goals in the following priority:

Goal 1: Preventing injury to the student, staff and faculty.

Goal 2: Caring for the injured.

Goal 3: Preventing damage to school property.

Goal 4: Notifying parents of students involved in accidents.

Goal 5: Providing information to the news media and general public.

THE PROBLEM

The district must be prepared to respond to a wide range of natural and man-made emergencies.

The manner in which we respond to an emergency can often reduce personnel injuries and/or damage to school property. Our planning must be based on the major threats to the safety of our students and schools. Major threats include fire, severe weather, and personal crisis situations which require district personnel to be prepared. While every type of emergency cannot be planned for, the most common will be:

  1. Major bus accident during school hours with injuries.
  2. Fire or explosion at a school with injuries.
  3. Tornado causing damage and injuries.
  4. Bomb threat to school.
  5. Hostage/terrorist situation.
  6. Personal crisis situations.

This plan provides a framework for response to these situations; however, no plan can substitute for good common sense applied at the critical moment.

COMMUNICATION    

After immediate action is taken, the next step is to inform school employees of the immediate status of a crisis situation. Inform the superintendent’s office as soon as possible. Instructional staff are responsible for carrying out the following steps:

IMMEDIATE RESPONSE PROCEDURES

R = Respond to the situation

A = Assess the status of the situation

I = Isolate students from any harm

N = Notify the proper authorities without delay

PROCEDURES        

Look-down: Should occur when movement through the building or area would expose occupants to a greater threat than being secured in a designated are.

Evacuation: Should occur when the current location of the building or area’s occupants place them in greater jeopardy than if they were to leave the building or area or if they were to move to a safer potion of the building.

DEALING WITH THE MEDIA (CRISIS RELATED ISSUES)
  1. Make sure you are authorized to speak to the media, follow Board Policy GBBA(L)
  2. Don't release names of victims or persons involved
  3. Inform the media when you are not authorized to comment and direct them to the proper
  4. person or office
  5. Be of assistance, but remain in control
  6. Don’t delay sharing information, but be sure you have the facts

If contacted by the media by telephone, explain that once information can be released their call will be returned. Ask for their name, phone, company name and press deadline. Make sure you follow through with them.

Be aware that students may be approached by the media. Suggest to students they not comment, and refer the media to the school.

ASSAULT ON STUDENT OR STAFF
  1. Notify campus administrator and district administrator.
  2. Contact school nurse if any medical treatment is needed. Remember: if you have to handle any injury, do so with extreme care, following bodily fluids precautions.
  3. Campus administrator will get the names of suspect(s) and any witnesses.
  4. Victim and suspect statements will be taken separately.
  5. Campus administrator will decide if the police should be contacted to respond. Remember: When in doubt concerning the seriousness of an offense, call the police.
  6. Campus administrator is to make sure a written account of the incident is completed.
BUS/TRAFFIC ACCIDENT
  1. Carefully assess the decision to evacuate or remain on the bus and take appropriate action.
  2. Radio the Transportation Coordinator for a 911 and/or 972-3112, Palacios dispatcher.
  3. Administer first aide.
  4. Call the district administrator.
  5. Follow light/marker safety procedures.
  6. District administrator will decide if parent calls or notification are necessary.

REQUIREMENTS

  1. Provide training to drivers to follow evacuation procedures and administer first aide procedures.
  2. Prepare campus phone procedures to contact parents if necessary. Principal is responsible for phone calling.
FIELD TRIP INCIDENT

Make sure the trip coordinator and the campus have the following:

  • Take student permission form on all trips
  • Student and supervisor list by assigned vehicle or driver
  • Directions of intended route communicated to campus administrator
  • List of medical need and conditions
  • List of any important phone numbers significant to the trip, including campus administrators
  • Trip coordinator must carry a district cellular phone

ACTION

  1. Attend to any medical needs if there are injuries or complaints of pain. Call 911 and/or 972-3112, Palacios dispatcher if appropriate.
  2. Contact campus administrator with update and actions being taken.
  3. Campus administrator will contact district administration and provide update and actions being taken.
  4. Contact parents with update and actions being taken. Also indicate any meetings or pick-up times at the school.
  5. District administrator will make media notification if necessary.
  6. Make sure a detailed incident report is completed at the earliest opportunity.

REQUIREMENTS

  1. Provide training to drivers to follow evacuation procedures and administer first aide procedures.
  2. Prepare campus phone procedures to contact parents if necessary. Principal is responsible for phone calling.
BOMB/TELEPHONE THREAT
  1. Keep the person talking as long as possible.
  2. After hanging up, immediately pick up the hand set and listen for the dial tone on the same line.
  3. Press *69 on the phone and listen to the recording. The recording will tell if the trace is successful.
  4. Notify the campus administrator and district administrator. Do this in person, do not use electronic communications. This includes two-way radios. Take all radios into the principals office immediately.
  5. Alert the district police. The call trace records and number can only be released to a law enforcement officer. If the district officer is not available, notify the local law enforcement agency to trace the call.
  6. Campus administrator will use the off-campus procedures, if necessary.
  7. Document the content of any phone threat as soon as possible.
  8. When the building is declared safe, return to daily routine.

REQUIREMENTS

  1. Campuses will develop and follow procedures to document and evaluate the bomb threat.
  2. Evacuate and secure the building, using fire-drill exit signals.
  3. Develop procedures with civil authorities to assess a phone threat.
  4. The campus administrator and Palacios Police Department will make a report of the incident.
  5. The campus administrator must make the decision to evacuate the building and/or notify “911" based upon information available.

PROCEDURE

Log in the call: 

Date:

Time:

Taken by:

QUESTIONS:

Where is the bomb? 

When will it explode?

Why did you set it?

What does it look like?

What kind is it?

Where are you calling from?

Describe the person from voice characteristics:

Describe the background noise:

(Document immediately and give as much detail as possible.)

FIRE ALARM/EMERGENCY
  1. Activate fire alarm if system is not sounding.
  2. Follow standard fire evacuation procedure (teachers should be sure to take roll book & take roll once outside)
  3. Call 911 and/or 972-3112 (Palacios dispatcher), as evacuation is taking place
  4. Campus administrator will check area of alarm to assess situation
  5. Campus administrator should have available for the fire department upon their arrival:
    1. Head custodian/maintenance director
    2. Location and type of fire, if known
    3. Knowledge and location of anyone remaining in the building
    4. Floor plan and internal systems information
    5. Identified location of hazardous material on map
  6. Campus administrator will notify district administration, update and advise if any assistance is needed
  7. Campus administrator will notify police if alarm was pulled falsely
  8. District administrator will refer to guidelines of handling the media if necessary
HAZARDOUS MATERIAL 
  1. Notify campus administrator and district administrator
  2. Administrator will evacuate building as per recommendation of the *Incident Commander using standard fire emergency procedure, bypassing affected area (teachers should be sure to take roll book & take roll once outside)
  3. Call 911 and/or 972-3112 (Palacios dispatcher), as evacuation is taking place. Describe condition and type of hazardous material if known.
  4. Campus administrator should have the following available to the fire department upon their arrival:
    1. Person(s) knowing the location and type of hazardous material
    2. Knowledge and location of anyone remaining in the building
    3. Head custodian/maintenance director
    4. Floor plans and internal systems information
  5. Campus administrator will notify district administration and report status and steps being taken. Indicate any assistance needed
  6. In the event a person comes in direct contact with suspected hazardous material, follow safety precautions posted onsite or listed on container, and call the hospital emergency room.

*Incident Commander: The first non-district official at the incident site will serve as the person in charge of the situation.

HOSTAGE SITUATION
  1. Don’t attempt to defuse, call police 911 and/or 972-3112 (Palacios dispatcher). Inform official that this is a hostage situation and request that police respond without sirens.
  2. Campus administrator will evaluate situation (not to negotiate) until police arrive.
  3. Notify medical emergency agency to respond. Again, request response without sirens.
  4. Hold classes if they are in session. Follow police directives for holding/dismissing students
  5. Campus administrator will have the head custodian, head of security, and building floor plans available upon police arrival.
  6. Campus administrator will designate someone to meet police and medical personnel to direct to appropriate location.
  7. Inform district administration of situation
  8. Use “Dealing With the Media” guide in handbook when necessary. If situation is not quickly resolved, discuss options with police/district administration about information flow, so there is not mass panic among families of all children in the school.
SHOOTING INCIDENT
  1. Notify all classrooms to follow lock down procedures. Actions to be considered in plan response:
    1. teachers to quickly scan for any students in the hall and get them into a classroom
    2. lock down classes and main office
    3. move students toward the wall by classroom doors (so that perpetrator cannot see students in classroom)
    4. pull shades if appropriate
  2. Campus administrator to call 911 and/or 972-3112 (Palacios dispatcher)
  3. Designate person in main office to monitor classroom intercom system
  4. Do not attempt to go through the building to assess situation. Wait for police
  5. Allow the police to handle the situation upon their arrival
  6. When safe, contact district administration and advise of situation and steps taken
DEATH ON CAMPUS
  1. Secure area (disturb as little as possible, limit access until police arrive)
  2. Contact school nurse/trained first aide personnel
  3. Contact campus administrator
  4. Call “911" (ambulance and police)
  5. Follow lock down procedures
  6. Separate and retain all witnesses until police arrive. To the extent possible, witnesses should not speak with each other nor anyone else. Document any statements made by witnesses. Do not conduct interviews with witnesses.
  7. Contact district administration. Inform of situation and steps taken.
  8. Campus administrator to contact parents at appropriate time if given permission by law enforcement or district administration.
  9. Contact the guidance counselor IN THE EVENT OF A DEATH.

AFTERWARDS

  1. Notify all classrooms to follow lock down procedures. Actions to be considered in plan response:
    1. teachers to quickly scan for any students in the hall and get them into a classroom
    2. lock down classes and main office
    3. move students toward the wall by classroom doors (so that perpetrator cannot see students in classroom)
    4. pull shades if appropriate
  2. Send a letter home with students briefly explaining what happened and support available at school
  3. Have appropriate district personnel available for debriefing and planning for the next day
  4. Meet with faculty and students for support
  5. Encourage a return to normalcy
THREATENED SUICIDE (IMMINENT)
  1. Notify campus administrator
  2. Campus administrator should assign someone to call 911 and/or 972-3112 (Palacios dispatcher) to apprize of situation. Ask that police or emergency response be made without sirens\
  3. Talk calmly with the person until appropriate personnel arrive. Remember: Be Positive, Engage the person in conversation. Do note become confrontational. Do not make fast movements toward the individual
  4. When trained personnel arrive, defer to their judgment on the course of action to be taken
  5. Advise district administration of the situation and the actions being taken
  6. Campus administrator will be responsible for contacting district administrator and parent or guardian.

If the person is not in immediate danger but has expressed the thought of suicide:

  1. Escort person to trained school counselor/psychologist or have counselor/psychologist come to escort person to their office for appropriate intervention
  2. Notify campus administrator of the situation and actions taken
  3. Campus administrator will assure that the situation will be documented
DRUG OVERDOSE/POISONING/ALLERGIC REACTION
  1. Notify school nurse
  2. Notify campus administrator
  3. Contact 911 and/or 972-3112 Palacios dispatcher (if appropriate)
  4. Call poison control if substance is known or potentially poisonous
  5. Designate person to check school medical file
  6. Campus administrator will contact parents: advise of situation and advise of steps being taken
  7. Campus administrator will notify district administration and advise of the situation and steps being taken

NOTE: If illegal drugs are suspected, contact police to see if investigation is warranted

CHILD KIDNAPPING
  1. Call 911 and/or Palacios dispatcher. Give police student information: name, sex, age, address, dress, general physical description and any suspect info, vehicle info, direction of travel.
  2. Call the district administrator.
  3. Secure all outside doors.
  4. Campus administrator will notify parents: inform them of incident and inform them of steps taken.
  5. Do not release any information to the press or non-family members.

REQUIREMENTS

  1. Each campus administrator will develop and follow procedures to avoid kidnapping.
  2. Procedures must include cross-checking the system to properly verify the release of students to parents/guardians.
  3. Follow campus procedures concerning non-school personnel.
TORNADO
  1. A campus administrator will activate the campus tornado alarm warning signal.
  2. If assistance is needed, call 911 and/or 972-3112 Palacios dispatcher.
  3. Call the district administrator.
  4. Restrict access to the building and students.
  5. If evacuation is required, use appropriate on campus procedures.
  6. When the building is declared safe, return to daily routine.

REQUIREMENTS

  1. Campus/departments designate the best tornado protective areas in buildings on each campus.
  2. Staff and students shall know the building plan thoroughly through regularly conducted drills. Plans should clearly differentiate between fire alarm signals and tornado warning signals.
  3. With the approach of inclement weather, all campuses/departments must turn on the weather service radio.
THREAT OF VIOLENCE
  1. Notify the principal.
  2. If possible, evacuate the area of threat immediately.
  3. DO NOT USE FIRE ALARM SYSTEM or EVACUATE THE BUILDING.
  4. Call 911 and/or 972-3112 (Palacios dispatcher).
  5. Contact the district administrator.
  6. Control student/staff access to the potential offender.
  7. When local authorities (police) arrive at the scene, they will take control of the situation and work closely with school officials.
  8. If evacuation of the building is required, the campus administrator will decide on the use of the fire alarm signal.
  9. The campus administrator will determine when it is safe to return to the area after consulting with the local authorities.
  10. Implement personal intervention counseling for students, if needed.

REQUIREMENTS

  1. Each campus/department will develop procedures to isolate the area.
  2. Utilize a system of notification not involving the bells.
  3. Review communication procedures.
SERIOUS INJURY
  1. Notify the campus administrator.
  2. Call the school nurse.
  3. Call 911 and/or 972-3112 (Palacios dispatcher)
  4. Contact a district administrator
  5. Office will call parent/nearest relative (INJURY ONLY).
  6. For serious injuries a school official, must follow the ambulance to the hospital. Do not send the nurse during a situation of more than one injured person.
  7. Principal will determine when to resume daily routine.
  8. Notification of next of kin in the event of a death is a responsibility of the superintendent.
FIRE/EXPLOSION
  1. Pull the fire alarm/notify the principal.
  2. Evacuate the building by following fire alarm procedures.
  3. Call 911 and/or 972-3112 (Palacios dispatcher).
  4. Contact a district administrator.
  5. Take roll call when the evacuation is complete.
  6. If evacuation (busing) is required, follow off-campus evacuation procedures.
  7. Sound the all-clear to return to the building.
  8. Announcements will be made by a district administrator if the building is not usable.

REQUIREMENTS

  1. Each campus will develop building evacuation plans for fire evacuation.
  2. Campus shall post plans (diagrams) in conspicuous locations.
  3. Fire evacuation plans will be based on a series of exit drill signals.
  4. Each campus/department will conform to the State Fire Marshal’s Office requirements for fire exit drills and education: High School - 1 drill per month, alternating unobstructed and obstructed drills; Elementary Schools - 2 drills per month, alternating unobstructed and obstructed drills. Third, fifth and sixth grades: fire prevention must be taught a minimum of 20 minutes per week or in a special unit covering the same amount of time (12 hours). Eighth grade - each student must participate in a group activity for the entire grade or section OR prepare an individual project on a topic relating to fire prevention. Tenth grade - each student must participate in a group activity for the entire grade or section OR prepare an individual poster, chart or theme on a topic relating to fire prevention. Twelfth grade - each student must participate in a group activity for the entire grade or section OR prepare an individual chart, graph, survey or theme on the economic or social values of fire prevention as it applies to the individual or a group. However, the State Fire Marshal’s Office encourages appropriate instruction on fire prevention at all grade levels.
  5. Fire drills will be documented on the Fire Drill Record Cards.
OFF-CAMPUS EVACUATION
  1. The campus or district administrator may order building off-campus evacuation depending on the emergency.
  2. Call 911 and/or 972-3112 (Palacios dispatcher).
  3. Contact the transportation coordinator to secure buses and mobilize drivers to accomplish the evacuation if distance is required.
  4. Contact a district administrator
  5. Use the intercom or bull horn
  6. If extended evacuation is required, the campus and district administrators will confer and plan announcements.
  7. The transportation coordinator will
  8. Pick-up points on each campus will be determined by the principal and relayed to the transportation coordinator.
  9. Students will be transported to a pre-determined location for parent pick up.
  10. At the pre-determined location, roll call will be taken before students are released to parents/guardians.
  11. The district administrator and principal will determine when the campus is safe for re-occupancy and announcements will be made over radio and TV.

REQUIREMENTS

  1. Each campus will develop procedures to handle campus emergencies and evacuation.
  2. Use the fire-exit drill signals for evacuations.
  3. Review communication procedures.
  4. Evacuation by bus will be to a designated location out of the danger area.
NUCLEAR EMERGENCY
  1. Closing of school procedures will be followed as applicable.
  2. The district may provide transportation and/or facilitie
GAS LEAK
  1. Evacuate the immediate area of building if the odor is strong enough to indicate fire/explosion hazard.
  2. Call the maintenance department.
  3. Notify the principal.
  4. Principal will alert campus using bull horns. Do not use electrical devices.
  5. Contact the district administrator.
  6. Principal will declare building safe for re-occupancy after conferring with the maintenance department or gas company representatives.
  7. Sound all-clear to return to the building.
  8. If evacuation (busing) from campus is required, the principal will direct off-campus guidelines.

REQUIREMENTS

  1. Each campus will develop evacuation plans for fire and other emergencies.
  2. Campus shall post the evacuation diagram in a conspicuous location.
  3. Students will not be allowed near the building.
SCHOOL CLOSING
  1. For immediate threat of severe weather, affecting transportation, call the superintendent and follow campus procedures for student safety.
  2. Superintendent will decide and announce the decision to close schools.
  3. Phone committee will inform assigned groups.
  4. Public announcements will be made over television and radio stations.
  5. Follow the enclosed Communication Chart.

Data Collection Procedures

District and campus safety issues are continuously monitored and assessed to ensure effective and efficient safety practices. The following measures will be reviewed:

  • Campus walkthroughs
  • Effective working condition of communication devices
  • Campus safety box contents
  • Review of plan and procedures with staff
  • Surveys of staff
  • Surveys of students, grades 7-12
  • Visitor on campus procedures
  • Practice of response plan
  • Discipline report/recurring problems and areas for occurrences
  • Staff responsibility
  • Effectiveness of campus signage