Dear Parents/Guardians,

The safety and security of the students and staff of Pinellas County Schools is our
highest conce...
                                     AND CRISIS RESPONSE
Community                                   ...
Keeping Children Safe
Lockdown                                                                 Field Trips
A lockdown occu...
Website Resources
                                                    (National Association of...
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Dear Parents/Guardians,


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Dear Parents/Guardians,

  1. 1. Dear Parents/Guardians, 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:// Sincerely, Dr. Clayton M. Wilcox Superintendent of Schools Pinellas County Schools
  2. 2. EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT 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 Keeping Informed district personnel to plan and strategize for critical incidents in our area. 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 • 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. Security 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 include: • 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
  3. 3. 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 broadcasts. 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 / 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 medications.
  4. 4. Website Resources (National Association of School Psychologists) “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 Cope” “Children’s Reaction to Trauma: Suggestions for Parents” “Helping Children Cope with Violence and Terror: Tips for Parents and Teachers” “Children and Fear of War and Terrorism: Tips for Parents and Teachers” (American Academy of Child and When A Critical Adolescent Psychiatry) “Talking to Children about Terrorism and War” Incident Occurs “Families in the Military” (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. (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 school day. • 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, 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. unusual clinging.