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Preparedness Committee Overview


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An overview of Wilmington Montessori School's Preparedness Committee and its work.

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Preparedness Committee Overview

  2. 2. Purpose of this presentation To familiarize the school community with:  Members of the Preparedness Committee  Principles of preparedness  Goals of the Preparedness Committee  Work of the Preparedness Committee  Ways community members can help foster the safest place we can for our children and each other
  3. 3. Committee Members Paige Barkley, chair – since 2006 – School Nurse Carol Wiswall – since 2006 – Elementary Teacher Lori Oberly – since 2010 – Front Desk Coordinator Noel Dietrich – since 2011 – Communications Officer Liz Madden – since 2012 – Education Director Marie Dugan – since 2012 – Head of School Former members include Marie Conti, Angie Meadows, Joanne Waters, Barbara Marchese, Mark Murray, and many others
  4. 4. Varied Representation The current incarnation of the Preparedness Committee was formed in 2006. The guiding principle in selecting members for the committee has been to include people from different roles to tap into the richness of their varied knowledge, perspective, and experience. This includes: teachers from different age levels, administrators, and support staff. Many of the members have been current or former parents.
  5. 5. Developing a Knowledge BaseSome examples of ways committee members are educated about crisis planning: Special off site training – Paige attended a two day conference on Emergency Planning for Schools in Pittsburg, presented jointly by the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); Noel attended a Crisis Communications Workshop sponsored by the Association of DE Valley Independent Schools (ADVIS) Online training, including FEMA Incident Command Meeting and consulting with specialists Online and print publications
  6. 6. Stages of Preparedness Planning Prevention/Mitigation - Activities that prevent future emergencies/disasters or minimize their effects. Mitigation activities can occur before and after the emergency/disaster. Preparedness - Pre-disaster activities aimed at strengthening the ability to respond in times of disaster. Response - Emergency operation actions that occur during a disaster to save lives and prevent further damage to property. Recovery - Actions that occur after the disaster has ended to rebuild the community so its members can function on their own, return to normal life and protect against future hazards.
  7. 7. Principles of Preparedness Use all-hazards approach – there are common features to many possible scenarios, allowing for similar management strategies to be applied. For example, evacuation, shelter-in-place, lock-down are procedures that can be developed and practiced. They then can be used as needed for multiple situations. Work from most likely hazard to least. Know that training and drilling helps maintain calm in a real emergency – even if it differs from what was “expected.” Especially if the timing of the drills varies to mimic real-world happenings (aren’t always at “convenient” times). Recognize information which should not be widely shared for security purposes, such as the details of certain procedures. Recognize that there are some events – man-made (chemical spill on I-95) as well as natural (tornado) – which we cannot prevent. In those instances, seek to mitigate or minimize the effect whenever possible.
  8. 8. The goals of the Preparedness Committee To increase awareness of safety issues in the school community, especially staff To update and/or develop emergency procedures, based on the best information we can find Ultimately, to provide as safe an environment for our students and community as is reasonably possible
  9. 9. Accomplishments of the Committee Training for members of the PC Evaluation of interior and exterior safety and security by an expert Introduction of name badges for staff, visitors, families Limitation of access to the building  Electronic access control  Sign-in procedures Enhancement of fire drill/evacuation procedures, including on-site evaluation by a representative from the Talleyville Fire Company Consultation with a safety representative from the Brandywine School District Introduction of walkie talkies Implementation of signaling clipboard and attendance tracking system during an evacuation Procurement of weather alert radio Implementation of AlertNow system (automated notification) Development or enhancement of emergency procedures such as tornado, lock-down, power-outage, early dismissal Practicing use of phone-based intercom system
  10. 10. Continued Work Lock-down education and practice Training on Incident Command for administrators (nationally recognized which will allow seamless coordination with authorities) Provisions for campus evacuation (to a remote location such as another school) Continued enhancement of safety and security through various initiatives (ex: education of school community and enhancement of tornado plan)
  11. 11. How Community Members Can Help Continue to foster the strong, involved, positive community of which we are all already a part. Observe such safety-related guidelines as:  Use key card to access building  Utilize doors at the appropriate times  Refrain from holding the door for those who are unknown to you  Drive slowly and carefully in the parking lot (no cell phone use)  Model calm, respectful behavior – especially if you are here during a drill Remember to focus on the things that really keep our kids safe, but rarely make the headlines:  Seatbelts  Helmets  Family dinners  Involvement in the school community
  12. 12. Conduit to the CommitteePlease feel free to stop by Paige’s office or email her if you have any questions or concerns about safety or security in the future. Some may be easily addressed right then. Others will be relayed to the full committee. Either way, your input is valued.
  13. 13. In conclusion… We take our responsibilityfor keeping your children safe very seriously, and we hope this presentation has helped you to learn more about some of the ways that we do that every day. Thank you for your time and kind attention to the important topic of school safety.