District 622 Emergency Planning & Preparedness
The North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District takes the safety and security of its students and staff very seriously. Developing and maintaining a safe school environment is the responsibility of the entire school community. Careful planning, practice, and effective response are key components to the School District’s crisis policies and procedures.
Emergency Response Teams
To most effectively respond to an emergency situation, the District has established School Emergency Response Teams at each of its buildings. In addition, there is an established District Level Emergency Response Team, which meets on a regular basis to review safety needs, plan for emergencies and identify district and school emergency management priorities.
The district response team develops the school emergency plan with local community response agencies. The district response team also assists building response teams with planning, training, and drills to ensure compliance with state drill requirements and continuity of planning. The team may also perform incident command functions typically reserved for district-level response such as public information, finance or behavioral health crisis intervention.
District response team members include key school district administrators and staff. Each member of the response teams has completed Incident Command System (ICS) – 100 which is a systematic tool used for the command, control, and coordination of emergency response.
The School District has a comprehensive crisis response plan, which includes procedures that are researched and based on best-practice. These procedures help ensure all of District 622’s schools and facilities are prepared to handle emergency situations that may arise.
The emergency procedures are reviewed on an annual basis and updated as needed. All building leaders and district emergency management team members are provided with the crisis response plan.
The District also has a Crisis Management Policy (EM-020.26), which specifically addresses which procedures are included in the crisis response plan. For security reasons, the District does not publish its crisis procedures.
Minnesota Statute requires schools to conduct at least five school lockdown drills, five school fire drills, and one tornado drill each year.
The purpose of drills is to demonstrate a schools’ commitment to prepare for crises, emergencies, and disasters. Drills test universal procedures, build staff and student awareness, and provide training to students and staff.
A Focus on Safety
Using funding from the Safe Schools/Healthy Students grant, School District 622 was able to complete a comprehensive security audit during the 2009-10 school year. The audit was conducted by a school safety expert and included a review of all district facilities as well as district procedures.
A web-based application was developed for local law enforcement to electronically access building schematics in the event of an emergency.
Over the past five years, District 622 has utilized more than $1 million in grant funding to complete safety enhancements including security cameras, keyless entry, added signage, and security training.
In 2011-2012 District 622 implemented comprehensive visitor guidelines and used dedicated funding to add front door receptionists at all the elementary buildings.
North High School has been piloting the use of the Raptor Visitor Management System, which instantly screens out registered sex offenders while using web-based technology to manage visitors to the building.
District 622 has increased the use and presence of security cameras in all of its buildings.
In 2012, District 622 purchased emergency preparedness go-kits for all of its buildings.
In 2013, District 622 will be installing new classroom door locks, which can be locked from the inside, to more effectively implement lockdown procedures.
In Fall 2012 Tartan High School completed another “active-shooter” training with all staff and student volunteers in partnership with local law enforcement and emergency responders.
In 2013 a mental health workgroup has been convened for the purpose of addressing mental health-related issues across the district and generating recommendations for the school board.
Annual professional and paraprofessional staff training includes de-escalation, fire extinguisher use, and signs and symptoms of mental health concerns, under the influence and mental health crisis response.