In thinking about the important role of each School Safety Contact, WFIS asked Andrew Rauch, Facilities Director for Two Schools, to share advice and a brief check-list of things he has found useful & important when preparing for the start of the new academic year. Here are his insights for private schools:
The beginning of the school year is a critical time to reset and revisit School Safety. It is essential that your safety leader(s) provide a refresher to faculty and staff before school starts so folks are reminded of the protocols and who to reach out to with concerns or questions. The list below provides questions your safety leader(s) should answer as we approach the time where they’ll be standing in front of faculty and staff reminding everyone what School Safety looks like at your institution.
- Have you reviewed the up-to-date information on the OSPI School Safety Center web site? https://www.k12.wa.us/student-success/health-safety/school-safety-center
- Does the school have an emergency response plan?
- Did the plan result from a hazard analysis and does it address multiple hazards, not just fire?
- Does the plan include mitigating potential disasters?
- Does the plan include responding to disasters?
- Does the plan include recovering from disasters?
- Was the plan developed in cooperation with local emergency responders (i.e., enforcement, emergency medical, Emergency Manager)?
- Do local responders have information about your school’s class schedules, lunch schedules, dismissal schedules and the location of critical offices?
- Have your school administrators all been FEMA ICS 100 certified? https://training.fema.gov/is/courseoverview.aspx?code=IS-100.c
- Does the plan include an Incident Command System (ICS)?
- Have incident command responsibilities been assigned along with back-up responsibilities? This includes the assignment of an Incident Commander and establishing a chain of command in the event of an emergency. This should be done by role, not by name.
- Does the plan include a system of accountability for all students and adults in the building? It is important to have a campus check out/in system so folks who come and go during their workday can be accounted for during an emergency.
- Does the school have visitor control procedures in place that include a way to easily visually identify a visitor vs. someone who wandered onto campus?
- Does the plan include a system for releasing children to their parents/guardians/siblings during an emergency (“family reunification”)?
- Does your plan ask faculty and staff to keep work boots, gloves, extra clothes, extra eye glasses and three days supply of any prescription medication on campus?
- Does the plan predesignate primary, secondary and tertiary relocation sites that can handle your institutions head count without being exposed to the weather?
- Does the plan include a facility map noting all entrances and exits? Has a reliable entrance and exit control plan been put into place?
- Is there a building closure plan and has someone been assigned to implement it?
- Is the plan practiced through regular drills and exercises?
- Are emergency responders included in drills and practice exercises?
- Are both evacuation and reverse-evacuation drills practiced?
- Are lockdown drills practiced?
- Are shelter-in-place drills practiced?
- Are all-school earthquake drills practiced?
- Have you signed up for the Great Shakeout in October? https://www.shakeout.org/washington/
- During drills, are student accountability systems tested?
- Have you reviewed and restocked emergency water and food supplies?
- Do you have enough supplies to house all your students, faculty and staff for three days? This should include sanitation supplies, items to keep folks warm and medical supplies (both general and individual).
Who is the Emergency Contact at Your School?
Over the last several years WFIS worked to secure legislation requiring that private schools be notified by local emergency responders when an incident is occurring near their campus.
As the State figures out how to implement emergency communication for every school, WFIS is encouraging our schools to be proactive. Send your School Safety Contact to visit the local police and fire stations as well as the local ESD. Invite them to visit your school and leave a pre-printed Safety Contact Card that includes your school name along with the safety contact’s name, email and phone number.
It is critical that law enforcement have a contact phone number that will always be answered and never go to voicemail!
Please provide WFIS with your School Safety Contact’s information in the form below.