The purpose of this plan is to provide emergency preparedness and response instructions, information, communications procedures, and guidelines to protect the safety and well-being of students, staff, and visitors at the time of an emergency.
A standardized plan has been developed for all Rochester City School District (hereinafter known as "District") buildings to promote coordinated preparedness measures and integrated emergency response procedures. This plan is designed to be used as a baseline to be adapted to the capabilities and needs of each building. This plan also serves as a planning and execution document to coordinate the actions of city and state first responders.
1. Protect the safety and welfare of students, staff, and visitors.
2. Provide for a safe and coordinated response to emergency situations.
3. Protect the District’s facilities and property.
4. Enable the District to restore normal conditions in the shortest possible time.
5. Provide for the interface and coordination between buildings and the District Incident Command Center.
6. Provide for the interface and coordination between the District Incident Command Center and the media, District staff, parents, police, fire officials, and others external to the situation.
This plan encompasses all public schools and programs located within the City of Rochester and all other District-owned or leased buildings (all known hereinafter as "Buildings") and addresses a broad range of potential major emergencies.
The Comprehensive District Emergency Management Plan is promulgated by the Board of Education and the Superintendent. The plan is implemented by the Incident Commander (Superintendent or his/her designee) at the time of an emergency. "Incident Commanders" (Principal/designee) implement Building-Level Emergency Response Plans. Each Building Incident Commander (Principal/designee) is authorized and directed to implement this plan, or take other action as may, in her or his judgment, be necessary to save lives and mitigate the effects of emergencies.
New York State Education Law 2801-A requires every school district to have a written District Emergency Management Plan and Building-Level Emergency Response Plans and to review the plans annually by September 1st.
1.5 District Emergency Operations Policies
The District has established certain policies governing emergency preparedness and response that relate directly to this plan. These include:
Emergency Response Plan
The District has developed a comprehensive school safety program comprised of four major components – prevention, preparedness, emergency response, and recovery activities. Each of these components, and their respective elements, are addressed in both the District Emergency Management Plan and Building Emergency Response Plans. The Office of Safety and Security oversees the District’s Emergency Management Program and assists buildings with emergency response plan development, implementation, and training exercises. Each Building-Level Emergency Response Team provides ongoing oversight, coordination, and evaluation of the emergency response program at that Building.
2.1 Chief Emergency Officer
The Superintendent is designated as the Rochester City School District’s Chief Emergency Officer responsible for coordinating communication between school staff and law enforcement and first responders, and ensuring staff understanding of the district-level Emergency Management Plan. The RCSD Chief Emergency Officer shall also be responsible for ensuring the completion and yearly updating of Building-Level Emergency Response Plans.
2.1.1. District Emergency Management Advisory Council and District Emergency Response Team
The District has an Emergency Management Advisory Council which convenes annually to address preparedness, collaborate on best practices and review expert input from diverse perspectives to strengthen RCSD’s crisis planning, training and review of the District‘s progress emergency preparedness and management. The Council’s membership is comprised of external District partners, the District’s Emergency Response Team and key internal stakeholders. The District Emergency Response Team is made up of critical stakeholders from throughout the District who represent the departments in decision making during emergency preparedness, crisis response and recovery.
2.2 Building-Level Emergency Response Team
The Building-Level Emergency Response Team advises the Principal on matters pertaining to prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery issues. The team recommends procedures for building emergency preparedness and response planning; plans, conducts, and evaluates required drills; annually completes a Risk Assessment and reviews/updates the Building Emergency Response Plan by September 1st; and recommends improvements in the building’s emergency management program.
2.3 Program Coordination
The Department of Safety and Security is responsible for establishing general emergency operations guidelines for all Buildings. Principals are responsible for submitting a current copy of the Building Emergency Response Plan that is consistent with the established New York State Education Law 2801-A and the National Incident Management System (NIMS) to the Department of Safety and Security by September 1 of each year.
3.1 Major Elements
The major elements of the District Emergency Response Team organization and their general responsibilities during an emergency are described below.
Building personnel manage emergencies at the building level and coordinate with public safety and emergency response personnel; direct evacuations; perform search and rescue and provide first aid as appropriate; account for students and staff; and request emergency assistance from the Department of Safety and Security, as necessary.
3.1.2 District Incident Command Post
The District coordinates and supports the emergency response for students and staff at the affected location. The District Incident Command Post will be activated to the extent required by the situation and within the limits of available staff to fulfill each function.
3.1.3 District Facilities Operations Center
Facilities will dispatch teams of personnel to perform damage surveys of all District buildings that may have incurred damage, and to perform emergency repairs at District buildings, as necessary. Damage and repairs are performed in the order as prioritized by the District Incident Commander. The District Facilities Operations Center is located in the Service Center on Hudson Avenue.
3.1.4 Monroe County Emergency Operations Center
In the event that the County declares an emergency, the District Incident Command System (ICS) Chief of Operations or his/her designee may be asked to report to the Monroe County Emergency Operations Center. If required, the District Incident Command Post will be activated and will operate under the direction of the Superintendent or his designee as Incident Commander.
3.2 Emergency Operations Roles
Building-Level and District ICS Structure
3.2.1 Building Incident Commanders
Building Incident Commanders activate the Building Emergency Response Team when notified of an emergency within their building, when they witness an emergency within their building or when an emergency is declared by the District Incident Commander. The Building-Level Incident Commander (Principal/designee) will establish a Unified Incident Command Post; determine course of action for staff and students: lockdown, hold-in-place, lockout, shelter-in-place or if appropriate, order evacuation from the building; collect, analyze, and report status and damage information to the District’s Incident Commander; and determine the need for and request public safety assistance as necessary.
During off-hours, upon notification by the District Incident Commander or on the occurrence of an obvious disaster, the Building Incident Commander reports immediately to the assigned building to conduct a damage survey.
3.2.2 Teachers and Paraprofessionals
Administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals, and clerical staff not assigned to the Building Emergency Response Team are responsible for providing care and supervision of students; directing students in appropriate emergency procedures; getting students in need of first aid to the Nurse’s Office or first aid station; calming frightened students; helping restore order; taking roll call, reporting missing students and their last known location to emergency responders; and assisting other staff and students as needed.
3.2.3 Non-District Staff
Non-District staff members not assigned as Building Emergency Response Team members will assist with emergency response duties as assigned by the Incident Commander (Principal/designee).
3.2.4 Public Relations
The Communications Department, District Public Information Officer (PIO) in collaboration with the Incident Commander (Principal/designee), will coordinate release of any news information to the media or parties external to the situation. This may include controlling media access and coordination of press conferences or interviews with key communicators All communications during the emergency and during recovery must be approved by the PIO.
3.3 Lines of Succession
Lines of succession are established for all Building Emergency Response Team members to ensure that key positions will be filled in emergency situations in the event of incapacity or unavailability of individuals normally filling those positions. Successors have the full authority and responsibility of the position.
4. Key Concepts
4.1 Summary of Planned Response
The response to an emergency begins at the Buildings affected. The Incident Commander (Principal/designee) will establish an Incident Command Post and will direct immediate protective actions following established District emergency procedures. The Building-Level Emergency Response Plan and Building-Level Emergency Response Team will be activated as warranted by the situation.
The Building-Level Emergency Response Team will report to the Incident Command Post and will make immediate provisions for the safety and security of students and staff at the building; first aid care as necessary; conduct a survey of buildings and grounds for damages; turn off utilities, secure unsafe areas as necessary; account for all staff and students; and maintain documentation of the emergency response. The Incident Commander (Principal/designee) will coordinate activities at the Building, and between the Building and the District’s Incident Commander.
4.1.2 District Incident Command Post
The District Incident Commander will direct partial or full activation of the District Incident Command Post based upon information provided by the Building Incident Commander (Principal/designee). Senior-level staff will report to the District Incident Command Post and will begin to assess the situation. Based on their findings, District-wide response priorities will be established and appropriate District Emergency Response Team positions will be appointed as needed.
4.1.3 District Facilities Operations Center
The District Facilities Operations Center will organize, coordinate, and direct staff to assist buildings and the Rochester Fire Department with search and rescue efforts if necessary; conduct damage surveys of District buildings; and make emergency repairs based on priorities established by the District’s Incident Commander.
4.1.4 School Buses
Emergency procedures are established for District bus drivers. Radio communication will be maintained with bus dispatch to receive emergency instructions. The District’s Incident Commander will provide bus dispatch with emergency instructions as appropriate.
4.2 Building Emergency Response Plan Activation
The Building-Level Emergency Response Plan will be implemented by the Building Incident Commander (Principal/designee) or Alternate Incident Commander when conditions exist which warrant its execution, or at the direction of the District Incident Commander or public safety officials.
4.3 Employee Recall
When an obvious disaster occurs outside of normal working hours, essential employees pre-identified by the Incident Commander (Principal/designee) should report to the building after ensuring the welfare of their homes and families. For a non-obvious disaster, the Incident Commander (Principal/designee) will recall essential employees utilizing Connect-Ed or telephone calling trees if telephones are operable, or through the local media if necessary.
Telephones are to be used only to report emergency conditions or to request emergency assistance. In the event that telephone service is interrupted, cellular phones, e-mail or portable radios will be used as provided by the District.
The Incident Commander (Principal/designee) must take immediate steps to positively identify all students for which she/he is responsible during an emergency event. The exact location of each student and her/his status must be noted and updated as the event progresses. The Incident Commander (Principal/designee) must designate one team member as the central coordinator of all student and staff information during the event. This coordinator must be clearly identified and remain fully accessible at the incident building throughout the emergency event.
All Building staff will be instructed to report any changes in student status or location to the Coordinator. This requirement will allow a quick and accurate response for parents when they report to the building.
Evacuation of a building may be ordered by the Incident Commander (Principal/designee), the District Incident Commander or public safety officials. Staff will ensure that all students have left the building, will direct evacuation via designated routes, will take the classroom attendance sheet and Portable Emergency File with them, and will maintain control of the students in the pre-designated assembly areas.
Following a building evacuation, each teacher will use attendance sheets to account for all students. The Incident Commander (Principal/designee) or designated staff member will be notified of the name and last known location of any missing students or adults.
The District Incident Commander or District ICS Operations Chief may order buses to the building to hold evacuees in extreme weather.
4.7.2 Alternate Buildings
The District Incident Commander or ICS Operations Chief may order buses to transport students to an alternate building.
4.8 Student Release and Building Closure
Some emergency conditions may require the release of students. Students will not be released without the express approval of the District Incident Commander or, the District ICS Operations Chief. Elementary students must be picked up and signed out by a parent or an authorized representative of the parent or guardian. Release forms should be maintained in the Portable Emergency File. Students who are not picked up will be kept at the Building under the supervision of Building staff until a decision has been made to relocate them.
Parents, guardians, or authorized representatives of the parents or guardians must be directed to report to a designated waiting area to ensure the accurate transfer of students to their responsibility. Because of the confusion typically surrounding an emergency event, particular care must be given to the coordination of parents arriving at the Building. Secondary school students may be sent home without parent pickup and sign out. However, in extreme circumstances, the sign-out procedure may be put into place.
4.9 Notification Procedures
Initial efforts to report the emergency and to call for fire or medical assistance will be directed first to 911, then their respective School Chief and the Department of Safety and Security.
4.10 Shelter and Closing of Neighborhood by Police
The Building should be prepared to shelter students and staff for a limited period of time following an emergency. If long-term shelter arrangements are required, the Incident Commander (Principal/designee) will advise their respective School Chief and the Department of Safety and Security.
4.11 Public Relations Plan
The District Public Information Officer (PIO) will coordinate release of information to external parties, in conjunction with the Incident Commander (Principal/designee), including any news media as necessary.
Upon learning of an existing or potential crisis, the PIO will notify the Superintendent who will communicate the information to school board members.
In specific circumstances, the District Incident Commander or designee may notify the Mayor/City Council of a crisis situation.
The Incident Commander (Principal/designee) may release news items to the press after reviewed and approved by the District PIO.
Factual data and/or records shall be released to the media only through the PIO.
The District may establish a HOTLINE as a source of information to individuals.
The PIO, in some cases, may hold a media briefing at the building or at a location away from the crisis building.
4.12 Post Incident Response Team/Stress Debriefing
Students and staff may cope with painful emotions and feelings resulting from a community or school-related emergency event. The District will make counseling available to all students and staff following a major incident. Debriefing and group counseling sessions will be conducted with follow-up, one-to-one counseling made available as required. The Building and the District Post Incident Response Teams will support the buildings in this effort.
4.13 After-Event Critique
Building Emergency Response Team members, along with the Department of Safety and Security and other District and external stakeholders will conduct a formal critique following all emergencies. The purpose of the critique is to review the Building’s response to the event, and to identify weaknesses in current plans, procedures, and the emergency response organization.
5. Preparedness Measures
5.1 Hazard Mitigation
During the month of August each year, the Building-Level Emergency Team will undertake a physical survey of all Building facilities and grounds for identification and correction of potential hazards. This inspection should include examination of such items as fire extinguishers and eyewash stations for adequate function, as well as properly marked egress windows and clearance of school corridors as a means of escape in case of fire or accident.
5.2 Floor Plan
A floor plan of the buildings and grounds indicating the location of all exits, marked egress windows in all classrooms and offices, utility shut-off, fire extinguishers, emergency equipment and supplies, will be maintained and updated as necessary by the Facilities Department and maintained at the Facilities Department with copies at the Building. A copy of digital documents will be maintained for emergency responders.
5.3 Employee Preparedness
A number of measures are taken on an ongoing basis to ensure that Building employees respond immediately and appropriately to disasters. These include:
5.3.1 Orientation to the Building Emergency Response Plan
The Building Incident Commander orients employees to the Building Emergency Response Plan on the first day of school in September of each year. The training includes a review of the employees’ mandated roles as emergency service workers during declared disasters; the Building’s Emergency Response Plan and concept of emergency operations; emergency response policies and procedures; how to conduct and evaluate required drills; mental health and violence prevention components.
5.3.2 Employee Skills
At the beginning of each school year, all instructional and non-instructional staff will be asked by the Building Incident Commander/or designee to identify any special skills or experience that may be helpful during an emergency or disaster. The Building Incident Commander/or designee may ask employees with specific skills to fulfill certain emergency management roles (e.g., first aid, CPR, search & rescue, and/or fire extinguisher operation). The Building Incident Commander/or designee will update the list of identified personnel annually and keep the record in the Building Emergency Response Plan.
5.3.3 Employee/Student Special Needs
Employees with temporary or permanent impairments such as sight, hearing, or mobility should advise the Building Incident Commander what assistance may be required in the event of an emergency.
Students with special needs are identified at the beginning of each school year and updated throughout the year. A determination is made on what assistance may be required in the event of an emergency. This information is maintained by the building nurse in an online database.
5.3.4 Home and Family Emergency Preparedness
An immediate post-emergency consideration for most Emergency Service Workers is the status and well-being of their own family members and loved ones. Since it may not be possible for some employees to return home following an emergency, all employees are encouraged to inform their loved ones of the Building’s plan and develop their own home and family emergency plans.
5.3.5 Telephone Tree
The Building Incident Commander shall establish a telephone tree list or automated telephone group contact so that all appropriate staff can be easily contacted for an emergency situation that develops during nonschool hours.
5.4 Teacher Partner System
Teachers in adjacent classrooms will be pre-assigned joint responsibility for both classes. If one of the teachers must remain with injured students or must assume other emergency responsibilities, the other teacher will supervise both groups of students with the help of other available staff and volunteers.
5.5 Assembly Area(s)
The Building Incident Commander will designate an outdoor Assembly Area or Areas where students and staff will gather whenever the building is evacuated. Unless instructed otherwise by public safety officials, students and staff will gather by class or other usual groups and attendance will be taken.
5.6 Portable Emergency File
A Portable Emergency File, containing student emergency contact numbers and other emergency information, will be maintained in the school office/nurse’s office and will be removed by the Building Incident Commander or his/her designee whenever the building is evacuated.
The Emergency File will be the basis for making individual emergency contacts with parents. The Incident Commander (Principal/designee) or his/her designee will determine when individual emergency contacts with parents will be made.
5.7 Bus Driver Procedures
Students riding school buses will receive instruction in the beginning of each year from the bus driver on bus evacuation procedures. If students are on school buses when an emergency occurs, students will be taken to their designated school or to the nearest District school if their primary location is not accessible.
5.8 Training and Drills
A. Instruction and training in evacuation and lockdown drills are required by New York State Education Law 807. These drills must be held between the first day of school and April 1 of each year (see grid below). Students must be instructed about the procedures to be followed if a fire occurs during an eating period (breakfast or lunch). Additional evacuation procedures are required for buildings with pools and are outlined in the Building-Level emergency Response Plans. As of July 1, 2016, the required drills are as follows:
Date Required By
6* by December 31st; 2 by April 1st
*2 of the 6 drills must be using an alternative egress
2 by December 31st; 2 by April 1st
Lockout, Shelter-in-Place, Hold-In-Place
Recommended to practice; Not required
B. Two additional drills during the summer must be held in buildings where summer school is conducted. One of these must be held during the first week of summer school.
C. Every school year, three evacuation drills must also be held on each school bus including practice and instruction on the location, use, and operation of the emergency door, fire extinguishers, first-aid equipment, and windows as a means of escape in case of fire or accident.
D. All students and staff are required to participate in these mandated drills. The Building Incident Commander will maintain a record of the drills, and a complete schedule of drills will be forwarded annually to the City of Rochester, Fire Safety Division through the District’s Department of Facilities.
E. Building-Level Emergency Response Plans will include drills for building-specific emergency responses such as fire, bomb threats, hazardous material spills, etc.
F. All Building-Level Staff are required to be familiar with and practice annually with the egress windows in their assignment area.
G. All District staff should preplan and know two ways out of their buildings.
5.9 Plan Review and Update
The Building-Level Emergency Response Team is responsible for reviewing and updating the Building-Level Emergency Response Plan annually and following any incident during which the plan is activated. An updated copy of the plan will be sent to the Department of Safety and Security by September 1 of each school year.
6. Responsibilities of Building Personnel
In the event of a declared emergency, all District employees are subject to emergency response roles.
6.1 All Building Personnel
All Building personnel have the following general responsibilities:
· Be familiar with their role as Emergency Service Workers in the event of an emergency.
· Review and be familiar with the Building-Level Emergency Response Plan, emergency procedures, and specific emergency assignments.
· Attend emergency training as offered.
· Be familiar with emergency communications methods and procedures.
· Participate in emergency drills and training.
· Prepare a home and family disaster plan.
· Implement emergency procedures as appropriate for the situation.
· Report to their assigned duty station when notified, or when the emergency situation obviously requires it.
· Implement emergency assignments using applicable checklists and procedures, as dictated by the situation.
· Maintain a log of emergency actions.
· Analyze the emergency response to determine the effectiveness of the response.
· Participate in Building after-action critique as appropriate.
· Recommend changes to the Building-Level and District Emergency Response Plans as needed.
· Restock emergency supplies as necessary.
6.2 Building Incident Commander
Building Incident Commander (Principal/designee) is responsible for the annual completion of the following:
1. Be familiar with all duties and responsibilities of the Incident Commander.
2. Ensure the review and update of the Building’s Emergency Response Plan and Risk Assessment is completed by the Building-Level Emergency Response Team by September 1 each year and submit a copy of each to the Department of Safety and Security.
3. Assign staff to the Emergency Response Team and Post Incident Team, taking into consideration the skills and abilities and normal functions of employees.
4. Ensure that all employees are familiar with the Building-Level Emergency Response Plan and are aware of their emergency response and preparedness roles and responsibilities. All staff are required to receive annual Emergency Response training on their first day of school that includes violence prevention and mental health components.
5. Ensure all subs and contract staff are familiar with the Building-Level Emergency Response Plan and are aware of their emergency response and preparedness roles and responsibilities.
6. Establish a schedule for fire, evacuation and other emergency drills.
7. Update as necessary, floor plans indicating evacuation routes and the location of assembly areas, emergency supplies and equipment, fire extinguishers, fire alarm pulls, master electrical panels, and main water and gas shut-off valves.
8. Ensure that emergency procedures are posted in each classroom and in cafeterias and staff lounges.
9. Update the list of students or staff with special needs or those who may need temporary or permanent evacuation assistance.
10. Appropriately test the Building warning system and ensure that the system’s signal(s)/announcement are recognized and understood by staff and students and visitors.
11. Maintain a list of emergency phone numbers in a readily accessible location.
12. Encourage staff to make emergency preparations at their homes.
13. Maintain a file of emergency contacts information for staff and students that is regularly updated.
6.3 Instructional Staff
Instructional staff members are responsible for the completion of the following:
· Present instruction to students about emergency preparedness plans for the Building and student responsibilities in case of a major emergency.
· Keep their attendance sheets readily accessible at all times in order to check attendance in the event of an evacuation.
· Participate in all drills.
· Have planned activities for students for use during periods of confinement during an emergency situation.
· Ensure that each student has submitted a complete emergency contact form.
7.Annexes (Detailed Plans are confidential per New York State Education law 2801-A)
· Hold in Place
· Accounting for all Persons Annex
· Communications Annex
· Continuity of Operations Plan (Coop) Annex
· Recovery Annex
· Reunification Annex
· Security Annex
7.3Threat Specific Annexes
· Abuse Recognition and Prevention
· Active Shooter/Terrorist
· Animal (Dangerous)
· Bomb Threat
· Building Event
· Bus Incident/Accident
· Cold Emergencies
· Control of Common Childhood Contagious Diseases and Illnesses
· Crime Scene Management
· Cyber Threat
· Field Trip
· Food Defense
· Functional Needs
· Gas Leak
· General Emergency
· Hazardous Materials Event
· Heat Emergencies
· Mass Casualty Incident
· Mechanical-Utility Emergency
· Medical and Mental Emergency
· Radiological Event
· Safe Room/Area of Refuge
· Serious Injury/Death
· Student Unrest Annex
· Sudden Cardiac Arrest
· Suicide/Threat of Suicide
· Threat of Violence
· Weather/Natural Disaster
· Building Security
8.1 School Resource Officers
· Secondary school buildings shall have the services of School Resource Officers (SRO) provided by the Rochester Police Department.
· Elementary buildings may not have on-site police assigned. All buildings will have access and support from the Rochester Police Department.
8.2 Safety Personnel (School Safety Officers)
· Secondary school buildings shall have school safety personnel assigned designated security responsibilities.
· Elementary buildings may have school safety personnel assigned.
8.3 Metal Detection Scanning
Buildings shall perform metal detection scanning as prescribed by District Board Policy.
8.4 District Security/School Safety Personnel
District security and school safety personnel will be available to all schools on an as-needed basis.
8.5 Walk-Through Scanning
District School Safety Personnel will implement use of Walk-Through Scanning equipment as appropriate.
8.6 X-Ray Scanning Machines
District School Safety Personnel will implement use of X-ray Scanning equipment as appropriate.
8.7 Surveillance Equipment
The District will employ cameras and other electronic surveillance equipment. Every effort will be made to videotape the metal detector scanning process.
9. Security Personnel
· School Safety Officers are responsible for working with building level staff to maintain order and protect the well-being of students, staff and visitors within the school and on school property.
· School Safety Officers are expected to participate as part of a Building metal detection scanning team overseen by a school administrator.
· School Safety Officers routinely maintain order in hallways and cafeterias. The role includes direct intervention to control disturbances among students.
· School Safety Officers are required to be represented on the Building’s Emergency Response Team and Post Incident Response Team.
9.2 Training and Requirements
· Training for School Safety Officers includes successful completion of an eight-hour New York State pre-assignment course and subsequent sixteen hour New York post assignment course.
· New York State certification.
· Annual eight-hour in-service training thereafter to maintain licensing.
· Annual de-escalation and conflict resolution training
· Other professional development as determined by New York State Education Law, New York State Department of Licensing Services, National Incident Management System NIMS, New York State Codes Division, the Rochester City School District and the Department Safety and Security.
School Safety Officers are assigned to secondary schools. Assignments to elementary schools are determined by the Director of Safety & Security.
10. Emergency Operations Training
Training on Emergency Response will be provided to staff and students annually in the form of drills. Staff will also have professional development opportunities.
In the Event of an emergency affecting a number of schools:
· , the building Incident Commander (Principal/designee) shall assign a scribe to monitor communication from the District.
· The Building Incident Commander (Principal/designee) shall stay in contact with their respective School Chief and the Department of Safety and Security via district cell phones and/or email.
11.2 School Safety Hotline
To enhance the safety environment in and around our schools, the district uses a "School Safety Hotline (585)-324-SAFE (7233)" as part of our overall safety plan. The hotline is a confidential telephone hotline that students and parents can use anonymously to report threats of violence and illegal activity. This allows us to take action immediately to prevent trouble before it happens.