The safety and security of the students and staff of Pinellas County Schools is our
highest concern. Our mission is to provide a quality education for all children in a
safe learning environment. To that end, our district takes crisis management and
emergency response very seriously.
Every school is required to have a school critical incident plan to be prepared for
and respond to a wide variety of critical incidents that may occur. School plans are
reviewed annually. They allow schools to respond appropriately to critical incidents
and return to educational activities and a sense of normalcy in a timely manner.
The plans have been reviewed by various emergency responders throughout
Pinellas County to insure their effectiveness and compliance with county
emergency procedures. The plans are protected as secure documents under the
guidelines of the Department of Homeland Security and are not available for
review by the public.
Information regarding the safety, security and emergency preparedness of the
district will continue to be posted on Pinellas County Schools website. It will be
updated as new information becomes available. If you have any questions
regarding the information in this pamphlet, please call the risk management &
insurance department at 588-6131 or visit the Safety First website at http://
Dr. Clayton M. Wilcox
Superintendent of Schools
Pinellas County Schools
AND CRISIS RESPONSE
Community • Police officers from local agencies on all middle and high school
Partnerships in Safety
campuses and at several elementary schools
• Video cameras on school buses
• Threat assessment and suicide assessment teams
The risk management & insurance department has established an
• Critical Incident response teams in every school
advisory team made up of representatives from emergency man-
• Incident Response Vehicle used as an incident command center
agement, fire departments, police departments, emergency re-
sponders, PTA County Council, private schools, Pinellas County
Health Department, Tampa Bay Regional Planning Office and key
district personnel to plan and strategize for critical incidents in
Through a federal grant, the district is conducting vulnerability in an Emergency
assessments of all schools. The information obtained through the Pinellas County Schools transmits crisis/emergency messages
assessments will be used to update individual school critical inci- when necessary using the following methods
dent plans. • Pinellas County Schools website www.pinellas.k12.fl.us
• Recorded information phone line at (727) 588-6424
Pinellas County Schools is contracted by the Pinellas County • Connect-Ed e-notifications system (telephone calls & e-mail)
Department of Emergency Management to provide schools as • Local television, radio stations and print media
shelters during severe weather emergencies.
The district will be responsible for:
• providing emergency shelter and temporary housing.
• providing temporary food service.
• providing school bus transportation for displaced victims.
Pinellas County School Board employees provide shelter
management and support services when shelters are opened.
Measures in Place
Security measures in place in Pinellas County Schools comply
with federal school safety directives and Florida state requirements
for educational facilities. The plans ensure that the district is
responsive to a variety of critical incidents. These measures
• Daily review of local, national and global events by the
superintendent and his staff
• Maintaining a heightened state of vigilance
• Employee and visitor sign-in procedures
• Security cameras
• Emergency communications and messaging systems
• Schools Police Department
Keeping Children Safe
Lockdown Field Trips
A lockdown occurs when there is an immediate hostile threat to a In the event of a critical incident , field trips will be canceled at the
school. This may involve a weapon on campus, an intruder or any discretion of the principal in consultation with district staff
event in which students and staff members may be endangered. A members.
lockdown announcement is made in plain language so that all staff
members and students seek immediate cover in a locked room. All Bus Accidents
school activities cease, and 911 is called. All staff members and District policy requires that an administrator from the school
students remain in lockdown until released by law enforcement. respond to the scene of bus crashes that involves injuries to students.
District administrators from the transportation department also
Lockout respond to assist with alternate transportation to school or home.
A lockout allows no unauthorized personnel into the building. All School personnel will coordinate with the emergency staff to
exterior doors are locked, and the main entrance is monitored by determine where children who need medical treatment will be
administrators, security or the school resource officer. This transported. Parents should not go to the accident site.
procedure allows the school to continue with the normal school
day but curtails outside activity. It is most commonly used when Student Access to News
the incident is occurring outside a school building, on or off school The school staff will limit the use of television and radio broadcasts
property. Depending on the specific incident, students may be in classrooms to avoid over exposure to media reports. Principals
required to remain in school for an extended period of time. will use discretion in determining the appropriateness of media
Shelter in Place
Shelter-in-place is temporary measure (minutes or hours, not days) Evacuation of Schools
designed to use a school and its indoor atmosphere to separate Schools will not automatically be cancelled in a crisis/emergency
students and the staff from a hazardous outdoor environment situation. School may be the safest place for students. The district
A shelter in place occurs when there is a threat in the vicinity of a will work to ensure that students are safe inside schools until the
school. This may be a hazardous material spill or a release of a threat has passed. Parents will be informed of evacuations through
dangerous chemical. In order to ensure the safety and health of the our e-communications system and the local media.
students and the staff, the school campus is secured, and no visitors Every school must include an offsite evacuation site in its critical
are allowed until local authorities notify the school the situation is incident plan. In the event that an evacuation becomes necessary
safe. Depending on the specific incident, students may be required students and staff will be moved to the alternate site. Students
to remain in school for an extended period of time. It is the school may be held for an extended time until public safety officials
district’s goal to return children to their parent/guardian as soon as determine it is safe.
it is safe to do so. Public safety officials will make the decision on
when that will be. Student Release to Parents
Neutral pressure is created in the school by closing all windows Parents will be permitted to pick up their children unless public
and doors, and shutting down the heating, ventilation and air- safety officials have restricted access to the school during a shelter
conditioning system so that contaminated air will not be drawn in place, lockdown or lockout. This restricted access will be done
into the building. only when absolutely
necessary and with the best
Students will not be released to parents during a shelter-in-place. interest of the students and
School personnel have been instructed not to open exterior doors the staff in mind.
during this time. Once authorities have established the environment
is safe, students may be released. During such an event,
students will only be
For further information in a video on shelter in place, click mms:/ released to those
/video.pinellas.k12.fl.us/SIP. individuals authorized on
the school emergency card
Stockpiling of Food and Water or who possess written
School sites maintain a limited supply of water and food. permission from a parent
or guardian. Everyone
Students Requiring Medication picking up students will be
In the event an evacuation of a school becomes necessary, all required to present proper
medications currently at the school will be moved to the evacuation identification for students
site. Parents should ensure the schools have an appropriate amount to be released.
of medication on hand as well as instructions for the use of
www.nasponline.org (National Association of School
“Helping Children Cope in Unsettling Times: Tips for
Parents and Teachers”
“Coping in Unsettling Times: Tips for Students”
“Parents Called to Active Duty – Helping Children
“Children’s Reaction to Trauma: Suggestions for
“Helping Children Cope with Violence and Terror: Tips
for Parents and Teachers”
“Children and Fear of War and Terrorism: Tips for
Parents and Teachers”
www.aacap.org (American Academy of Child and
When A Critical
“Talking to Children about Terrorism and War”
“Families in the Military”
www.ready.gov/ (U.S. Department of Homeland
Safety Support Security)
• Review basic safety precautions. “Preparing Makes Sense – Get an Overview”
• Review family safety procedures so your children will
feel prepared if an emergency situation occurs. www.fema.gov/kids (Federal Emergency Management
• Monitor and supervise your child’s outdoor (play) Agency – FEMA for Kids)
activities. An interactive site on disaster preparedness for children
• Know your child’s location and companions at all times
• Arrange a place where your children should go in the
event you are delayed and are not home at the end of the
• Remind your child to always report any suspicious SCHOOL BOARD
persons or activity to a trusted adult. OF PINELLAS COUNTY
Emotional Support Nancy N. Bostock
• Limit the amount of exposure your child has to Mary L. Tyus Brown
newspapers and televised news reports. Repetitive Janet R. Clark
discussion of the situation may traumatize a child Carol J. Cook
further. Jane Gallucci
• Be honest with your children about what has occurred Linda S. Lerner
and provide facts about what has happened. Use age- Mary L. Russell
appropriate terms for better understanding.
• Encourage your child to talk to you about his or her
feelings and concerns. Share your feelings with your SUPERINTENDENT
child. Dr. Clayton M. Wilcox
• Reassure your child that he or she is safe.
• Spend extra time with your child, especially doing
something fun or relaxing for both of you.
• Remember the importance of touch. A hug can reassure
your child that he or she is loved.
• Watch for ongoing signs of difficulty, which could
indicate that your child may need additional help. Some
warning signs are withdrawal from social contact, www.pinellas.k12.fl.us
Pinellas County Schools is an equal opportunity institution for education
change in eating or sleeping habits, nightmares and and employment. Brochure information is subject to change.