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Jun 07, 2023
  • The National Education Association (NEA) and the U.S.
    Department of Education Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools propose a Spectrum
    of School Crisis Preparedness and Response. There are four interconnected
    phases that comprise a comprehensive approach to school crisis preparedness and
    response:
    1.
    Mitigation/Prevention: The prevention
    phase aims to avoid the occurrence of incidents or lessen the harm done by
    unavoidable incidents. Often this phase is called prevention and mitigation.
    Prevention refers to actions aimed at stopping incidents from occurring, while
    mitigation refers to actions aimed at reducing the harm done by unavoidable
    incidents. For example, a monitored main entrance with all other external doors
    locked is a prevention strategy to keep intruders out.
    2.
    Prepare: The preparedness phase requires
    planning for worst-case scenarios and involves a continuous cycle of planning,
    practicing, and evaluating actions aimed at an effective response to an
    incident. Its goal is to minimize psychological and physical harm as incidents
    occur and to have a system in place for immediate and effective response and
    recovery. The preparation and prevention phases occur at the same time and are
    ongoing.
    3.
    Respond: The response phase includes the
    steps taken to minimize harm to people and property during a particular
    incident. Its focus is on the short-term, direct effects of an incident and
    requires tight coordination and rapid action among all participants. This
    includes executing the emergency plans developed and practiced in the
    preparedness phase.
    4.
    Recover: The recovery phase is concerned
    with restoring the learning and teaching environment after an incident. It is
    the process of mending the physical and psychological health of school
    community members, as well as restoring physical facilities to re-establish a
    positive learning environment. Its aim is to develop and implement plans to
    ensure school services and facilities are restored. In addition, recovery includes
    evaluating the incident and the response to it in order to revise and improve
    school safety and emergency response.
    Assignment
    Directions
    Evaluate the model crisis plan (can be found in the Activity
    materials for this module) and discuss if/how the plan addresses each of the
    four phases (Mitigation/Prevention; Prepare; Respond; Recover). Discuss each
    phase in one paragraph; your submission should consist of five paragraphs
    total. Your final paragraph will be a summary of the plan’s overall strengths
    and areas for improvement.
    Specifically, consider the following points, using the NEA
    guide and US Dept of Education Crisis Planning guide (found in your Lesson
    materials in this module) as resources for what should happen in each phase:
    Consider: Does the Model Crisis Plan
    Paragraph 1: Mitigation and Prevention
    -Include mention of efforts to promote positive school
    climate that promote student learning and well-being? (Hint – this is a broad
    area, and can consist of a variety of practices!)
    -discuss any steps/actions to decrease the need for response
    as opposed to simply increasing response capability?
    -provide a policy for primary prevention techniques such as
    how to detect potentially violent or self-destructive behavior for staff,
    students, and families?
    -assess potential hazards on campus?
    -show awareness of local threats, such as natural disasters
    or industrial accidents that could occur in a certain location?
    -include evidence of coordination with community and local
    emergency management professionals?
    Paragraph 2: Prepare
    -involve a wide range of stakeholders and identify who is
    involved in the crisis plan, with roles clearly described?
    -describe the specific crises the plan will address?
    -describe methods of communication between staff, students,
    families, and the media?
    -define and prepare the necessary equipment to respond to
    crises?
    -present plans for immediate crisis responses (such as
    evacuations, lockdowns, and relocations)?
    -include maps and facilities information?
    -describe how students will practice the responses and test
    components of the emergency response plan (drills, etc.)?
    Paragraph 3: Respond
    -describe policies and procedures for contacting appropriate
    law enforcement in the event of a violent incident?
    -describe a system to inform all stakeholders of a disaster
    or crisis situation, including how to contact parents and guardians in the
    event of an early dismissal or violent event?
    -describe plans for responding to threats of violence,
    intruders, bomb threats, hostage situations, hazardous materials, natural
    disasters, school bus accidents, civil disturbance, or other critical
    incidents?
    -describe de-escalation strategies, and discuss the
    following: inform principal of threat, determine level of threat, contact law
    enforcement if necessary, initiate lockdown procedure if necessary, assess need
    for early dismissal, sheltering, or evacuation procedures; determine need for
    Crisis Response Team?
    -identify protocols for appropriate response to emergencies,
    including determining decision makers, plans to safeguard students and staff,
    transportation procedures, and media and debriefing procedures?
    Paragraph 4: Recover
    -describe how the school will support the Crisis Response
    Team after the event in the affected school?
    -discuss how the school will coordinate follow-up and
    intervention with local community mental health resources?
    -discuss how the school will re-evaluate current violence
    prevention and school safety protocols to determine how to refine or improve
    them?
    Paragraph 5: Discuss the overall strengths and areas for
    improvement of the model plan.

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