Policy 7700, Emergency Management

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PURPOSE

 

The Board of Trustees (“Board”) is committed to ensuring the safety and security of schools and other facilities and their occupants, to include students, faculty and staff, parents/guardians, and volunteers.  To that end, the Washoe County School District (“District”) shall establish, implement and maintain an organized plan to deal with any crisis or emergency that may arise at a school, facility, or sponsored event/activity.  The ability to respond quickly and efficiently is critical to ensuring the safety of students, faculty and staff, and other visitors to District properties and events.  This policy defines and describes the Board’s intention with regard to emergency planning, management and procedures; and ensures compliance with state and federal laws and regulations.

 

POLICY

 

1.  Governing Principles

 

a.  The Emergency Management Division of the School Police Department is charged with creating the framework within which the District and individual school communities can reduce vulnerability to hazards and cope with emergency situations.  This is accomplished by coordinating and integrating all activities necessary to build, sustain, and improve the capability to prevent, prepare for, mitigate against, respond to, and recover from crisis or emergencies resulting from forces of nature, technological failures, or other human caused incidents, to include acts of terrorism.

 

b.  Emergency management procedures shall be comprehensive, progressive, risk-driven, collaborative, and coordinated.  The District shall consider and take into account all elements related to emergencies and disasters; take preventative and preparatory measures; assign priorities and resources in a sound manner; and build relationships with students, school administrators, faculty and staff and the community, to include emergency responders and other organizations.
 

2.  Governing Practices

 

a.  The District shall develop and implement a Crisis and Emergency Response Plan for responding to a crisis or emergency at a District school, facility or District sponsored event/activity.

 

i.    The Board of Trustees directs that a development committee be established to develop the District-wide Crisis and Emergency Response Plan.  The meetings and work of the committee shall remain confidential and not be subject to Open Meeting Law, in accordance with Nevada State Law.

 

ii.    The Crisis and Emergency Response Plan shall be used at all District facilities and shall contain specific elements for each individual school and other buildings to include, but not necessarily limited to:

 

1.    A staff training component to include monthly drills during the school year addressing appropriate procedures in the event of Evacuation, Earthquake or Lockdown. 

 

a.    At least half of those drills must be focused on appropriate lockdown procedures. Lockdowns include Code Red Lockdown or Code Yellow Shelter in Place procedures.

 

2.    A National Incident Management System (“NIMS”) compliant emergency organizational structure (SIRT Plan) detailing the chain of command and specific areas of staff responsibility;

 

3.    A communications and notification procedure for parents/guardians, District offices and other governmental entities;

 

4.    Procedures for responding to the suicide or attempted suicide of a student, staff member, or other member of the school community.

 

5.    A process to periodically test the plan and conduct appropriate exercises;

 

6.    Procedures to resume normal operations following an emergency event;

 

7.    Preparedness, prevention and mitigation procedures; and

 

8.    Response and recovery procedures.

 

b.  Each school and other facilities shall have a Site Incident Response Team (SIRT) Emergency Plan on file.


i.    A copy of the plan will be filed with the Emergency Manager not later than October 1 of each year.  The Emergency Manager shall be responsible for the review and approval of all plans.

 

ii.    The site plans shall be reviewed and updated annually by the site administrators.

 

iii.    Staff shall be trained and participate in exercises related to the implementation of the site plan. 

 

iv.    As necessary and as determined by the District, students and parents/guardians will be informed about the details of any approved emergency plan. 

 

v.    In the event of an emergency or crisis (such as an earthquake, hazardous materials spill, fire or other danger), site administrators will take immediate steps to deal with the emergency utilizing procedures developed by the District.  Absent exigent circumstances, school officials will retain custody of students under most emergency situations.

 

c.    The District's Emergency Procedures Guide shall be incorporated into protocols and guidebooks developed and made available at the local site.

 

d.    Emergency management extends to situations involving inclement weather and natural disasters.  Although the District’s schools and administrative facilities shall strive to remain open during periods of inclement weather and/or natural disasters, where extraordinary circumstances warrant, the District, at the direction of the Superintendent or his/her designee reserves the right to close any or all facilities.

 

e.    The Safe and Healthy Schools Commission has been established as a standing advisory committee of the Board of Trustees and shall:

 

i.    Advise the Board of Trustees on issues relating to the safety and security of schools, which may include prevention/intervention, mitigation, preparedness, emergency response, and recovery.

 

ii.    Review and recommend necessary revision to District policies and regulations in the area of emergency management, and evaluate those procedures against national best standards;

 

iii.    Provide a plan of work to be approved by the Board of Trustees on an annual basis; and,

 

iv.    Operate in compliance with the District’s committee operating procedures and the Bylaws of the Safe and Healthy Schools Commission which shall be approved and adopted by the Board of Trustees.

 

DEFINITIONS

 

1.  “Crisis” means a traumatic and sudden event or emergency condition that:  involves violence; profoundly and negatively affects or will affect students and/or staff; occurs on the property of a school, at an activity sponsored by a school or on a school bus while the bus is engaged in its official duties; and may involve serious injury or death. (NRS 392.604)

 

2.  “Emergency” means an occurrence or threatened occurrence for which action is necessary to save lives, protect property or to protect the health and safety of persons, or to avert the threat of damage to property or injury to persons, on the property of a school, at an activity sponsored by a public school or on a school bus while the bus is engaged in its official duties. (NRS 392.609)

 

3.    The phases of emergency management are defined as follows (borrowed from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools “Readiness and Emergency Management For Schools”):

 

a.    Prevention, Intervention and Mitigation – Prevention decreases the likelihood that an emergency will occur. Intervention consists of identifying and assessing present and impending danger; and, planning and implementing a strategy to improve the situation.   Mitigation actions are steps that eliminate or reduce the loss of life or property damage for events that cannot be prevented.

 

b.    Preparedness is the guidelines, training and other measures put in place to prepare teachers, staff and students to respond to a crisis.

 

c.    Response assists the District in managing a situation.  Response can include evacuation, lockdown and shelter in place.

 

d.    Recovery consists of two parts:  Mental health recovery and business continuity.  Mental health recovery assists individuals in recovering from the emotional trauma of the crisis.  Business continuity deals with damage to facilities and systems.

 

DESIRED OUTCOMES

 

1.  Through implementation of this policy, and the development of both a District-wide Crisis and Emergency Plan and individual school plans, the District seeks to:

 

a.  Ensure the safety of the District’s students, staff and the community at its facilities and sponsored events/activities;

 

b.  Maintain the Safe and Healthy Schools Commission in an advisory capacity to the Board of Trustees whose focus shall be the safety and security of schools;

 

c.    Be a nationally recognized presence as a leader in school safety and culturally responsive practices.

 

d.    Increase and strengthen community support and partnerships, including those with other regional government agencies and councils.

 

IMPLEMENTATION GUIDELINES & ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTS

 

1.  This policy reflects the goals of the District’s Strategic Plan and aligns/complies with the governing documents of the District, to include:

 

a.  Board Policy 9205, Safe and Respectful Learning Environment

 

b.  Board Policy 5040, Release of Students and Student Information

 

2.  This policy complies with Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) and Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) to include:

 

a.  Chapter 386, Local Administrative Organization, and specifically:

 

i.    NRS 386.820, School bus transportation: Drills to practice evacuation; adoption and requirements of safety program; information to parents and guardians concerning school bus safety; regulations.

 

b.  Chapter 388, System of Public Instruction, and specifically:

 

i.    NRS 388.257, Duties of Principal if crisis or emergency occurs at school…

 

c.  Chapter 392, Pupils, and specifically:

 

i.    NRS 392.600 – 392.656, Crisis and Emergency Response in Public Schools

 

ii.    NRS 388.257, Duties of Principal if crisis or emergency occurs at school

 

3.  This policy complies with federal laws and regulations, to include:

 

a.  Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

 

b.  U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe & Drug-Free Schools

 

c.  Gun Free Schools Act (Title IV, Part A, Subpart 3, Section 4141 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act)

 

REVIEW AND REPORTING

 

1.  This document shall be reviewed as part of the bi-annual review and reporting process, following each regular session of the Nevada Legislature. The Board of Trustees shall receive notification of any required changes to the policy as well as an audit of the accompanying governing documents.

 

2.  Administrative regulations, and/or other associated documents, will be developed as necessary to implement this policy.
In accordance with state law, the District’s crisis and emergency plan shall be provided to the Board of Trustees annually following review by the development committee.

 

REVISION HISTORY

 

This policy was adopted on September 26, 2017.