District-wide Safety Plan
Frequently Asked Questions about School Safety:
How do you handle attendance during a crisis?
During evacuations, such as fire drills, teachers exit the building with their rosters and then communicate via radio if any students are missing. In the case of a lockdown, the safety and security of students is the primary concern. The procedure for that type of response is that attendance should be taken if able. Any students who are not in classrooms, for example in a hallway, would be taken into a classroom by the nearest adult. After students are brought to safety, teachers or other adults could then communicate students’ whereabouts.
Do you hold mental health awareness workshops?
We’ve identified through our needs assessment that we need to make sure our adults understand important mental health issues, so that they may communicate and help students understand. For student mental health needs, we follow a tiered approach. There are universal things that we do at Tier 1, such as small group meetings to form relationships, for students who may need some extra support. At the Tier 2 level, any students who may be dealing with mental health issues or bullying are brought forth to our Student Support Team or Student Assistance Team and we begin to think about targeted interventions to assist them. That includes creating a buddy or mentor program, one-on-one counseling or small group counseling. If a student does not respond positively to those approaches, we begin the Tier 3 level of support, which includes evaluation with our school psychologist or other outside professionals to provide even greater targeted intervention. As a district we have also been exploring ways to take a preventative approach with students. We have been working with Partners in Restorative Initiatives (PiRI) to train teachers in community-building circles. These circles open the lines of communication between students and staff and help to establish relationships and common bonds. In addition, each school has a Dignity For All Students (DASA) Coordinator. If a complaint is brought forward, we will conduct a full investigation.
What is your emergency/lockdown procedure?
As per New York state law, Wheatland-Chili follows a S.H.E.L.L. procedure model, based on incident:
S – Shelter in Place: a response when it is necessary to move the building/office population to a
single or multiple location(s). In most cases, a shelter in place is done when there is a threat of or actual weather related incident or a bomb threat.
H – Hold in Place: a response which requires everyone stay where they are until told to do otherwise. Most often this is a response to a medical emergency or any other incident where hallways would need to be clear.
E – Evacuation: a response which requires moving of staff and students from their place of work
or study to a predetermined location deemed more suitable for their protection. This type of response is most commonly seen during fire drills
L – Lockout: a response in which school continues as normal except any outside activities. This
would be a response to an actual or potential threat from outside the school building.
L – Lockdown: a response which requires immediately gathering students from hallways into
classrooms or offices, locking classroom doors and having students take a seated position on the floor and out of sight. This occurs based upon an actual or imminent threat (not including bomb threats) or violent event.
Each response is communicated via public address. Responses to specific emergencies are outlined in greater detail in each Building-Level Emergency Response Plan.