Unanticipated tragic events can quickly escalate into a school-wide catastrophe if a school district does not deal with events immediately and effectively. Knowing what to do when a crisis occurs can minimize chaos, rumors, and psychological impact of an event on students, parents, and the community. When a disaster strikes, advance planning and practice may ensure a process, not a panic. Therefore, having current procedures and accurate information in crisis protocol, regarding an accident, incident, natural disaster, emergency, or controversial issue is clearly in the best interest of the Allegheny Valley School District. Emergencies can occur at any time and without warning. Careful planning with an emphasis on safety will assist our community in responding appropriately to crises and emergencies.
The goal of the Allegheny Valley School District is to provide and practice the most current and accurate crisis response information, while exhibiting visible leadership in a timely fashion. Without prescribed protocols in place, potentially damaging issues can negatively affect the school district’s long-term image, credibility and public relations.
The visitor identification system – Raptor – has been implemented in all main offices. This system will scan a visitor’s ID and provide a badge if the individual needs to proceed into the building. The system will be mandatory to all visitors coming into the buildings for any reason. Special directions will be developed for programs and events held throughout the school year. This is a reminder to all parents and other visitors to bring identification with them if they need to come into a District building.
For the 2013-14 school year, parents and students should be aware of the following:
1. Acmetonia Primary School will be equipped with a swipe-card access system for staff. You will see this system on several doors of the building.
2. Buzzers will be placed on several exterior doors at Acmetonia to alert staff in the event of students leaving the building without permission. (This program will be a pilot and may be extended to the other buildings if successful.)
4. The elementary buildings will implement closed lunches.
5. A visitor identification system – Raptor – will be placed in all main offices. This system will scan a visitor’s ID and provide a badge if the individual needs to proceed into the building. All visitors must utilize this system if they need to go into the buildings for any reason. Special directions will be developed for programs and events held throughout the school year.
6. The drop-off cart procedure at the elementary buildings will continue for 2013-14.
In addition, District administrators are discussing procedures for use of the buildings during after-school hours. This plan will include extra-curricular activities, events, and community usage of the facilities. Information will be provided at the beginning of the school year to inform all concerned individuals of changes.
Finally, parents/guardians will see an increased police and emergency management presence in all of the buildings and during evening events next year. It will not be uncommon for people driving past the buildings to see a police car in the parking areas. Please do not be alarmed if you witness this occurrence.
The Emergency Management Committee has set goals for the 2013-2014 school year that include:
1. Complete an After-Hours Facility Plan for all buildings
2. Continuing with Staff Development for all employee groups
3. Develop a Continuing Education Plan for all buildings
4. Conduct a large-scale drill in conjunction with local EMAs
In addition, the District will continue training and coordination of drills in conjunction with local Emergency Management Groups.
Emergency Management Commitments
The Emergency Management Committee has adopted the following goals as broad statements of trust and responsibility to the employees and students of the school district:
- To better protect the health, safety and welfare of the students, staff, and community in any crisis
- To make every effort to establish and maintain appropriate and effective communication during
- To establish common characteristics and general procedures for responding to a situation.
- To identify and address the immediate needs of a situation in order to resolve any incident.
- To establish a climate conducive to learning.
Information for Parents and the Community
In the event of an emergency situation within the District, information will be provided to parents and members of the community as soon as, and as often, as possible. The District’s will utilize its web site, letters home, phone chains/systems, and other communication vehicles whenever necessary.
This page of the web site will be utilized when the following situations affect the School District:
- Severe Weather Emergencies (not regular delays or cancellations)
- National or World Catastrophic Events
- Medical Situations (such as flu epidemics or pandemics)
- Community Disasters (fires, floods, etc.)
Parents and community members are encouraged to visit this page in the event of a disruption to regular educational services in the District.
The District has put together some information on its safety program and the role that parents should play. The pamphlet is entitled Safety Alert and is available in all offices of the District.