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806-Crisis Management

  • 800 Series: Buildings and Sites
806-Crisis Management
Rationale Date Approved/Revised
School District 622 – North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale shall, to the extent possible, engage in ongoing emergency planning within the school district and with emergency responders and other relevant community organizations.  The school district will ensure that relevant emergency responders in the community have access to their building-specific crisis management plans and will provide training to school district staff to enable them to act appropriately in the event of a crisis
  • 5/20/08
  • Revised: 9/25/12
  • Revised: 7/23/13
  • Revised: 5/26/15
  • Revised: 7/18/17
  • Revised: 5/21/19
  • Revised: 11/15/22
  • Revised:  8/22/23
  • Reviewed Annually

1)  General Information

a)  Policy and Plans

The school district’s Crisis Management Policy has been created in consultation with local community response agencies and other appropriate individuals and groups that would likely be involved in the event of a school emergency.  It is designed so that each building administrator can tailor a building-specific crisis management plan to meet that building’s specific situation and needs.

The school district’s administration and/or the administration of each building shall present tailored building-specific crisis management plans to the school board for review and approval.  The building-specific crisis management plans will include general crisis procedures and crisis-specific procedures.  Upon approval by the school board, such crisis management plans shall be an addendum to this Crisis Management Policy.  This Policy and the plans will be maintained and updated on an annual basis.

b)  Elements of the District Crisis Management Policy

1.  General Crisis Procedures.  The Crisis Management Policy includes general crisis procedures for securing buildings, classroom evacuation, building evacuation, campus evacuation, and sheltering.  The Policy designates the individual(s) who will determine when these actions will be taken.  These district-wide procedures may be modified by building administrators when creating their building-specific crisis management plans. A communication system will be in place to enable the designated individual to be contacted at all times in the event of a potential crisis, setting forth the method to contact the designated individual, the provision of at least two designees when the contact person is unavailable, and the method to convey contact information to the appropriate staff persons.  The alternative designees may include members of the emergency first responder response team. A secondary method of communication should be included in the plan for use when the primary method of communication is inoperable. Each building in the school district will have access to a copy of the Comprehensive School Safety Guide (most current Edition) to assist in the development of building-specific crisis management plans.  All general crisis procedures will address specific procedures for the safe evacuation of children and employees with special needs such as physical, sensory, motor, developmental, and mental health challenges.

a. Lock-Down Procedures.  Lock-down procedures will be used in situations where harm may result to persons inside the school building, such as a shooting, hostage incident, intruder, trespass, disturbance, or when determined to be necessary by the building administrator or his or her designee.  The building administrator or designee will announce the lock-down over the public address system or other designated system.  Code words will not be used.   Provisions for emergency evacuation will be maintained even in the event of a lock-down.  Each building administrator will submit lock-down procedures for their building as part of the building-specific crisis management plan.

b. Evacuation Procedures. Evacuations of classrooms and buildings shall be implemented at the discretion of the building administrator or his or her designee.  Each building’s crisis management plan will include procedures for transporting students and staff a safe distance from harm to a designated safe area until released by the building administrator or designee.  Safe areas may change based upon the specific emergency situation.  The evacuation procedures should include specific procedures for children with special needs, including children with limited mobility (wheelchairs, braces, crutches, etc.), visual impairments, hearing impairments, and other sensory, developmental, or mental health needs.  The evacuation procedures should also address transporting necessary medications for students that take medications during the school day.

c.  Sheltering Procedures.  Sheltering provides refuge for students, staff, and visitors within the school building during an emergency.  Shelters are safe areas that maximize the safety of inhabitants.  Safe areas may change based upon the specific emergency.  The building administrator or his or her designee will announce the need for sheltering over the public address system or other designated system.  Each building administrator will submit sheltering procedures for his or her building as part of the building-specific crisis management plan.

2.  Crisis-Specific Procedures.  The Crisis Management Policy includes crisis-specific procedures for crisis situations that may occur during the school day or at school-sponsored events and functions.  These district-wide procedures are designed to enable building administrators to tailor response procedures when creating building-specific crisis management plans.

3.  School Emergency Response Teams

a. Composition.  The building administrator in each school building will select a school emergency response team that will be trained to respond to emergency situations. All school emergency response team members will receive on-going training to carry out the building’s crisis management plans and will have knowledge of procedures, evacuation routes, and safe areas.  For purposes of student safety and accountability, to the extent possible, school emergency response team members will not have direct responsibility for the supervision of students. Team members must be willing to be actively involved in the resolution of crises and be available to assist in any crisis situation as deemed necessary by the building administrator.  Each building will maintain a current list of school emergency response team members which will be updated annually.  The building administrator, and his or her alternative designees, will know the location of that list in the event of a school emergency.  A copy of the list will be kept on file in the school district office, or in a secondary location in single building school districts.

b. Leaders.  The building administrator or his or her designee will serve as the leader of the school emergency response team and will be the primary contact for emergency response officials. In the event the primary designee is unavailable, the designee list should include more than one alternative designee and may include members of the emergency response team.  When emergency response officials are present, they may elect to take command and control of the crisis.  It is critical in this situation that school officials assume a resource role and be available as necessary to emergency response officials.

2)  Preparation Before an Emergency

a) Communication

1. District Employees.  Teachers generally have the most direct contact with students on a day-to-day basis.  As a result, they must be aware of their role in responding to crisis situations.  This also applies to non-teaching school personnel who have direct contact with students.  All staff shall be aware of the school district’s Crisis Management Policy and their own building’s crisis management plan.  Each school’s building-specific crisis management plan shall include the method and dates of dissemination of the plan to its staff.  Employees will receive a copy of the relevant building-specific crisis management plans and shall receive periodic training on plan implementation.

2. Students and Parents.  Students and parents shall be made aware of the school district’s Crisis Management Policy and relevant tailored crisis management plans for each school building.  Each school district’s building-specific crisis management plan shall set forth how students and parents are made aware of the district and school-specific plans.  Students shall receive specific instruction on plan implementation and shall participate in a required number of drills and practice sessions throughout the school year.

b)  Emergency Drills 

As per Minnesota Statutes 121A.037 and 123B.90 all schools each year are required to conduct at least five lockdown drills, five fire drills and one tornado drill.  The first fire drill of each school year must be conducted within the first ten days of the start of the school year.  Schools must create a drill schedule, vary the times of the drills throughout the school day and school year, and record the school’s name, drill date, time, type, evacuation/response time and pertinent comments on the district’s drill log form which is to be posted in the main office.  Drills must also be documented electronically as Emergency Drill Log Reports in the District data management system.  Records of drills must be kept for five years.

c) Planning and Preparing for Fire

1. Designate a safe area at least 50 feet away from the building to enable students and staff to evacuate.  The safe area should not interfere with emergency responders or responding vehicles and should not be in an area where evacuated persons are exposed to any products of combustion.  (Depending on the wind direction, where the building on fire is located, the direction from which the fire is arriving, and the location of fire equipment, the distance may need to be extended.)

2. Each building’s facility diagram and site plan shall be available in appropriate areas of the building and shall identify the most direct evacuation routes to the designated safe areas both inside and outside of the building. The facility diagram and site plan must identify the location of the fire alarm control panel, fire alarms, fire extinguishers, hoses, water spigots, and utility shut offs.

3. Teachers and staff will receive training on the location of the primary emergency evacuation routes and alternate routes from various points in the building. During fire drills, students and staff will practice evacuations using primary evacuation routes and alternate routes.

4. Certain employees, such as those who work in hazardous areas in the building, will receive training on the locations and proper use of fire extinguishers and protective clothing and equipment.

5. Fire drills will be conducted periodically without warning at various times of the day and under different circumstances, e.g., lunchtime, recess, and during assemblies.  State law requires a minimum of five fire drills each school year, consistent with Minnesota Statutes section 299F.30.  See Minnesota Statutes section 121A.035.

6. A record of fire drills conducted at the building will be maintained in the building administrator’s office.

7. The school district will have prearranged sites for emergency sheltering and transportation as needed.

8. The school district will determine which staff will remain in the building to perform essential functions if safe to do so (e.g., switchboard, building engineer, etc.).  The school district also will designate an administrator or his or her designee to meet local fire or law enforcement agents upon their arrival.

d)  Facility Diagrams and Site Plans                             

All school buildings will have a facility diagram and site plan that includes the location of primary and secondary evacuation routes, exits, designated safe areas inside and outside of the building, and the location of fire alarm control panel, fire alarms, fire extinguishers, hoses, water spigots, and utility shut offs. All facility diagrams and site plans will be updated regularly and whenever a major change is made to a building. Facility diagrams and site plans will be maintained by the building administrator and will be easily accessible and on file in the school district office.  Facility diagrams and site plans will be provided to first responders, such as fire and law enforcement personnel.

e) Emergency Telephone Numbers 

Each building will maintain a current list of emergency telephone numbers and the names and addresses of local, county, and state personnel who may be involved in a crisis situation.  The list will include telephone numbers for local police, fire, the Poison Control Center, county and state emergency management agencies, local public works departments, local utility companies, the public health nurse, mental health/suicide hotlines, and the county welfare agency.  A copy of this list will be kept on file in the school district office, or at a secondary location for single building school districts; and will be updated annually.

School district employees will receive training on how to make emergency contacts, including 911 calls, when the school district’s main telephone number and location is electronically conveyed to emergency personnel instead of the specific building in need of emergency services.

School district plans will set forth a process to internally communicate an emergency, using telephones in classrooms, intercom systems, or two-way radios, as well as the procedure to enable the staff to rapidly convey emergency information to a building designee. Each plan will identify a primary and secondary method of communication for both internal and secondary use.  It is recommended that the plan include several methods of communication because computers, intercoms, telephones, and cell phones may not be operational or may be dangerous to use during an emergency.

f)  Warning and Notification Systems

The school district shall maintain a warning system designed to inform students, staff, and visitors of a crisis or emergency. This system shall be maintained on a regular basis under the maintenance plan for all school buildings.  The school district should consider an alternate notification system to address the needs of staff and students with special needs, such as vision or hearing.

The building administrator shall be responsible for informing students and employees of the warning system and the means by which the system is used to identify a specific crisis or emergency situation.  Each school’s building-specific crisis management plan will include the method and frequency of dissemination of the warning system information to students and employees.

g)  Early School Closure Procedures

The superintendent will make decisions about closing school or buildings as early in the day as possible. The early school closure procedures will set forth the criteria for early school closure (e.g., weather-related, utility failure, or a crisis situation), will specify how closure decisions will be communicated to staff, students, families, and the school community (designated broadcast media, local authorities, e-mail, or district or school building web sites), and will discuss the factors to be considered in closing and reopening a school or building.

Early school closure procedures also will include a reminder to parents and guardians to listen to designated local radio and TV stations for school closing announcements, where possible.

h)  Media Procedures

The superintendent has the authority and discretion to notify parents or guardians and the school community in the event of a crisis or early school closure.  The superintendent will designate a spokesperson who will notify the media in the event of a crisis or early school closure.  The spokesperson shall receive training to ensure that the district is in strict compliance with federal and state law relative to the release of private data when conveying information to the media.

i) Behavioral Health Crisis Intervention Procedures

Short-term behavioral health crisis intervention procedures will set forth the procedure for initiating behavioral health crisis intervention plans. The procedures will utilize available resources including the school psychologist, counselor, community behavioral health crisis intervention, or others in the community. Counseling procedures will be used whenever the superintendent or the building administrator determines it to be necessary, such as after an assault, a hostage situation, shooting, or suicide. The behavioral health crisis intervention procedures shall include the following steps:

1. Administrator will meet with relevant persons, including school psychologists and counselors, to determine the level of intervention needed for students and staff.

2. Designate specific rooms as private counseling areas.

3. Escort siblings and close friends of any victims as well as others in need of emotional support to the counseling areas.

4. Prohibit media from interviewing or questioning students or staff.

5. Provide follow-up services to students and staff who receive counseling.

6. Resume normal school routines as soon as possible.

j. Long-Term Recovery Intervention Procedures 

1. Long-term recovery intervention procedures may involve both short-term and long-   term recovery planning.

a. Physical/structural recovery.

b. Fiscal recovery.

c. Academic recovery.

d. Social/emotional recovery.

3)  Active Shooter Drill 

a) Definitions

1. "Active shooter drill" means an emergency preparedness drill designed to teach students, teachers, school personnel, and staff how to respond in the event of an armed intruder on campus or an armed assailant in the immediate vicinity of the school. An active shooter drill is not an active shooter simulation, nor may an active shooter drill include any sensorial components, activities, or elements which mimic a real life shooting.

2.  "Active shooter simulation" means an emergency exercise including full-scale or functional exercises, designed to teach adult school personnel and staff how to respond in the event of an armed intruder on campus or an armed assailant in the immediate vicinity of the school which also incorporates sensorial components, activities, or elements mimicking a real life shooting. Activities or elements mimicking a real life shooting include, but are not limited to, simulation of tactical response by law enforcement. An active shooter simulation is not an active shooter drill.

3. "Evidence-based" means a program or practice that demonstrates any of the following:

a.  a statistically significant effect on relevant outcomes based on any of the following:

i. strong evidence from one or more well designed and well implemented experimental studies;

ii. moderate evidence from one or more well designed and well implemented quasi-experimental studies; or              

iii. promising evidence from one or more well designed and well implemented correlational studies with statistical controls for selection bias; or

b. a rationale based on high-quality research findings or positive evaluations that the program or practice is likely to improve relevant outcomes, including the ongoing efforts to examine the effects of the program or practice.

i. "Full-scale exercise" means an operations-based exercise that is typically the most complex and resource-intensive of the exercise types and often involves multiple agencies, jurisdictions, organizations, and real-time movement of resources.

ii. "Functional exercises" means an operations-based exercise designed to assess and evaluate capabilities and functions while in a realistic, real-time environment, however, movement of resources is usually simulated.

       b.   Criteria              

An active shooter drill conducted according to Minnesota Statutes, section 121A.037 with students in early childhood through grade 12 must be:

                              1.  accessible;

                              2.  developmentally appropriate and age appropriate, including using appropriate safety language                                       and vocabulary;                             

                              3.  culturally aware;

                              4.  trauma-informed; and

                              5.  inclusive of accommodations for students with mobility restrictions, sensory needs,                                                           developmental or physical disabilities, mental health needs, and auditory or visual limitations.

c.    Student Health and Wellness              

Active shooter drill protocols must include a reasonable amount of time immediately following the drill for teachers to debrief with their students. The opportunity to debrief must be provided to students before regular classroom activity may resume. During the debrief period, students must be allowed to access any mental health services available on campus, including counselors, school psychologists, social workers, or cultural liaisons. An active shooter drill must not be combined or conducted consecutively with any other type of emergency preparedness drill. An active shooter drill must be accompanied by an announcement prior to commencing. The announcement must use concise and age-appropriate language and, at a minimum, inform students there is no immediate danger to life and safety.

d.  Notice

1. The school district must provide notice of a pending active shooter drill to every student's parent or legal guardian before an active shooter drill is conducted. Whenever practicable,  notice must be provided at least 24 hours in advance of a pending active shooter drill and inform the parent or legal guardian of the right to opt their student out of participating.

2. If a student is opted out of participating in an active shooter drill, no negative consequence must impact the student's general school attendance record nor may nonparticipation alone make a student ineligible to participate in or attend school activities.

3. The Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education must ensure the availability of alternative safety education for students who are opted out of participating or otherwise exempted from an active shooter drill. Alternative safety education must provide essential safety instruction through less sensorial safety training methods and must be appropriate for students with mobility restrictions, sensory needs, developmental or physical disabilities, mental health needs, and auditory or visual limitations.       

       e.     Participation In Active Shooter Drills 

Any student in early childhood through grade 12 must not be required to participate in an active shooter drill that does not meet the Criteria set forth above.

       f.      Active Shooter Simulations              

A student must not be required to participate in an active shooter simulation. An active shooter simulation must not take place during regular school hours if a majority of students are present, or expected to be present, at the school. A parent or legal guardian of a student in grades 9 through 12 must have the opportunity to opt their student into participating in an active shooter simulation.

      g.      Violence Prevention

1. A school district or charter school conducting an active shooter drill must provide students in middle school and high school at least one hour, or one standard class period, of violence prevention training annually.

2. The violence prevention training must be evidence-based and may be delivered in-person, virtually, or digitally. Training must, at a minimum, teach students the                                                                          following:

A.  how to identify observable warning signs and signals of an individual who may be at risk of harming oneself or others;

B.  the importance of taking threats seriously and seeking help; and

C.  the steps to report dangerous, violent, threatening, harmful, or potentially harmful activity.

3.  A school district or charter school must ensure that students have the opportunity to contribute to their school's safety and violence prevention planning, aligned with the recommendations for multihazard planning for schools, including but not limited to:

A.  student opportunities for leadership related to prevention and safety;                                            

B.  encouragement and support to students in establishing clubs and programs focused on safety; and

C.  providing students with the opportunity to seek help from adults and to learn about prevention connected to topics including bullying, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and suicide.

       H.    Board Meeting

At a regularly scheduled school board meeting, a school board of a district that has conducted an active shooter drill must consider the following:

1. the effect of active shooter drills on the safety of students and staff; and
2. the effect of active shooter drills on the mental health and wellness of students and staff.          

4)  Procedures Included in this Policy

Procedures for the various hazards/emergencies listed below are attached to this Policy.  After approval by the school board, an adopted procedure will become an addendum to the Crisis Management Policy.

a) Fire

b) Hazardous Materials

c) Severe Weather:  Tornado/Severe Thunderstorm/Flooding

d) Medical Emergency

e) Fight/Assault

f)  Intruder

g) Weapons

h) Shooting

i)  Hostage

j)  Bomb Threat

k) Chemical or Biological Threat

l)  Checklist for Telephone Threats

m) Demonstration/Disturbance

n)  Suicide

o)  Lock-down Procedures

p)  Shelter-In-Place Procedures

q)  Evacuation/Relocation

r)   Media Procedures

s)   Post-Crisis Procedures

t)   School Emergency Response Team

u)  Emergency Phone Numbers

v)   Highly Contagious Serious Illness or Pandemic Flu

5)  Miscellaneous Procedures 

a) Chemical Accidents

Procedures for reporting chemical accidents shall be posted at key locations such as chemistry labs, art rooms, swimming pool areas, and janitorial closets.

b) Visitors

The school district shall implement procedures mandating visitor sign in and visitors in school buildings.

The school district shall implement procedures to minimize outside entry into school buildings except at designated check-in points and assure that all doors are locked prior to and after scheduled building hours.

c)  Student Victims of Criminal Offenses at or on School Property

The school district shall establish procedures allowing student victims of criminal offenses on school property the opportunity to transfer to another school within the school district.

Adoption and Revision History

Incorporated Policies

803 CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS PLAN  (This Policy Adopted:  June 27, 2000; Rescinded:  August 5, 2008

MSBA 806

EM-020.26 CRISIS MANAGEMENT POLICY, PLANS AND PROCEDURES

This policy adopted:  May 20, 2008; revised:  September 25, 2012; Revised:  July 23, 2013; Revised:  May 26, 2015; Revised:  July 18, 2017

 

806 CRISIS MANAGEMENT POLICY

This policy revised:  May 21, 2019; November 15, 2022, August 22, 2023

 

Administrative Rule, Regulation and Procedure:  NA

Legal References:              

42 U.S.C. § 5121 et seq. (Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance)

Minn. Stat. Ch. 12 (Emergency Management)

Minn. Stat. Ch. 12A (Natural Disaster, State Assistance)

Minn. Stat. § 121A.06 (Reports of Dangerous Weapon Incidents in School Zones)

Minn. Stat. § 121A.035 (Crisis Management Policy)

Minn. Stat. § 121A.038 (Students Safe at School)

Minn. Stat. § 299F.30 (Fire Drill in School; Doors and Exits)

Minn. Stat. § 326B.02, Subd. 6 (Powers)

Minn. Stat. § 326B.106 (General Powers of Commissioner of Labor and Industry)

Minn. Stat. § 609.605, Subd. 4 (Trespasses)

Minn. Rules Ch.  7511 (Fire Code)

20 U.S.C. § 1681, et seq. (Title IX)

20 U.S.C. § 6301, et seq. (Every Student Succeeds Act)

20 U.S.C. § 7912 (Unsafe School Choice Option)  

Cross References:             

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 407 (Employee Right to Know – Exposure to Hazardous Substances)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 413 (Harassment and Violence)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 501 (School Weapons Policy)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 506 (Student Discipline)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 532 (Use of Peace Officers and Crisis Teams to Remove Students with IEPs from School Grounds)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 903 (Visitors to School District Buildings and Sites

Comprehensive School Safety Guide

https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/sfm/documents/2011comprehensiveschoolsafetyguide.pdf

Minnesota School Safety Center - Resources (mn.gov)