3992 NY2 • Troy, NY 12180 • 518.279.4600 | Angelina Bergin, Superintendent

Brunswick CSD LogoBrunswick | Brittonkill Central School District

School Safety Plan

Philosophy and Goals 

  • It is the practice of the Brunswick Central School District to provide for a safe and secure learning and teaching environment for its students and staff. This practice shall be implemented through the following means:

  • Development of a detailed multi hazard school safety plan for the District, a District Wide Safety Plan and each building in the District, a building level safety plan.

  • Establishment and implementation of policies and practices for responding to threats of violence concerning school district property, facilities and premises.

  • Establishment and implementation of policies and practices for responding to acts of violence by students, teachers, administrators, staff or visitors.

  • Development and delivery of prevention and intervention strategies for students manifesting at-risk behaviors.

  • Development and adoption of policies and procedures for contacting law enforcement officials and parents in the event of a violent incident.

  • Establishment and implementation of policies and procedures for school building security and training of students and staff in school security.

  • Development and adoption of protocols for responding to bomb threats, hostage situations, intrusions and kidnappings.

  • Development and implementation of strategies to improve communication regarding the reporting of violent incidents.

  • Providing character education and/or programs in grades K-12

 

GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THE DISTRICT – WIDE AND BUILDING SAFETY PLANS

 

District-wide Safety Plan
Sites Included:

The following sites are to be covered by the District-wide safety plan and each site shall have a building safety plan:

Tamarac Elementary School, Tamarac Middle School, and Tamarac High School

Procedures:

In the event of a cancellation of school; early dismissal; evacuation of school or sheltering of students the procedures set forth  in the Emergency Management / Crisis Plan shall be followed. (The emergency notification system will be used.)

School Personnel:

Personnel shall be hired in accordance with Board of Education Policies 4.300-01and 4.310.01 as well as State Laws.

The school safety procedures and training as developed each year by the District Emergency Management Plan/Crisis Plan and building and grounds supervisor will be followed. The District Emergency Management Plan is available from the Superintendent to staff and local law enforcement or fire departments as needed. 

Violence Prevention:

The following is a list of some of the practices currently in place within the district to prevent violence:

  1. Character Development Programs have been implemented consisting of learning activities that promote the common good in actions.  In those programs, students and teachers take responsibility for behaviors, work cooperatively toward common goals, and reach decisions democratically and respectfully. Adults model moral reasoning and thoughtful decision making for students, assist them in resisting high-risk behaviors, and in recognizing beliefs and practices that are inconsistent with non-violence.

  2. The Building Esteem in Students Today (BEST) program is already in place at the elementary level.

  3. Peer mediation at the middle school and high school.

  4. Use of Superintendent’s Conference Day(s) for Staff Development in violence prevention and conflict resolution.

  5. A “Walk Through” with local Law Enforcement Agencies is conducted annually involving the State Police and members of the school safety committee at each building.

  6. Opportunities for students to meet with counselors and other staff members.

  7. Annual review and adoption of codes of conduct for students, employees and visitors to school premises. These codes of conduct are mandated to include enforceable rules; clear consequences; due process, and explicitly define roles, rights and responsibilities of the parties.  (The Codes of Conduct for each school--Elementary, Middle, and High School are available at the schools).

  8. Participation by all students and staff in multi-hazard school safety training on an annual basis by taking part in fire drills, bomb threat drills, lock-down drills and emergency bus and building evacuation drills throughout the school year.

  9. Annual adoption and review of a school dress code to prohibit appearance, clothing and accessories that disrupt the educational process. Policy 8.360 (Dress Code) adopted by the Board of Education.

  10. The district currently has an in-school suspension program for grades K-12 in each of three buildings. Counseling to help address the underlying causes of student defiance and misbehavior is a supplemental consequence to infractions.

  11. Stationing monitors in hallways, on playgrounds, and in parking lots.

  12. Maintenance of a sign-in system and a single point of access to school buildings.

  13. Multicultural educational programs to foster a climate of respect for others. These programs focus on celebrating and tolerating differences and promoting processes that utilize differences as a way to foster mutual understanding and respect. These programs recognize that many instances of school violence stem from bullying and name-calling based on racial and other forms of prejudice.  A notable example of a multicultural program is the Culture Fair and related activities at the Middle School.

    This responsibility has been incorporated throughout our K-12 curriculum with specific responsibility given to our school library media specialist to develop an appropriate program using outside presenters as well as in-house materials.

  14. Law related courses are taught at the high school level and in addition, students participate in Mock Trial competitions each year. These law-related education activities focus on the protection of human rights and model a civil society. They emphasize the consequences for violating rules, laws and accepted values and encourage student participation in the development of codes of conduct.

  15. Classroom teaching practices and learning activities that conduct classrooms with agreed upon rules, reinforce pro-social behaviors, foster dispute resolution with care and respect rather than coercion and intimidation, and include cooperative learning techniques and rich and varied learning activities.

  16. Student counseling programs developed and implemented in cooperation with state, county and local governments. These programs involve school / community teams of counselors in which problems that impede learning or have harmful consequences are identified and addressed through the development of individualized intervention plans, referral and aftercare support. Adult facilitated peer support groups may also be utilized to provide students with opportunities to discuss their problems and feelings in a safe group setting, and to create alternatives to high risk behaviors through behavior contracts, formation of student community service organizations and programs like Students Against Drunk Driving.

    A cooperative partnership exists between the school and community agencies whereby monthly meetings occur to review individual family cases. Wrap around services are discussed and put in place for students at-risk for school failure. Community agencies include social services, mental health, unified services, preschool providers, probation department personnel, and the Board of Cooperative Educational Services. Intervention plans are developed through a team approach. Parent advocates also serve on this team and provide a means of support to parents.

  17. Classes on effective parenting have been held in the evening for parents.

 

Other policies and procedures to facilitate violence prevention which could be considered for implementation are:

  1. Annually assessing the utility of extended school day programs as a means of addressing the needs of district students at risk for violent behavior. The superintendent could provide a report concerning the status of such programs and recommendations for improvement to the board of education by February 27th of each year.

  2. Staff development is a critical element in the prevention of violence in our schools. Teachers will be offered training opportunities in the knowledge and skill required to address school violence and victimization, most notably bullying. Additionally, staff will be trained in sexual, racial and other forms of harassment, cultural diversity, school security and disciplinary policies, classroom management, crowd control and intervention strategies.

  3. Use of the following surveillance and security systems at school premises such as video cameras on buses, in schools, locker bays, parking lots and other “trouble spots”.

  4. Implementation of conflict resolution programs in schools. These programs could include development of curricula to structure learning activities that encourage students to work cooperatively to make fair decisions, solve problems, and manage anger and fear without threatening or injuring others. Skills such as active listening, speaking in “I” terms, and negotiating a mutually beneficial plan are introduced and reinforced through modeling, rewards and expectations and are promoted as tools for resolving conflict.

  5. Alternative education to serve students with histories of disruptive or violent behavior or chronic drug abuse. Such programming can serve students transitioning from mental health or juvenile justice facilities, those experiencing extreme family dysfunction, or who are caring for their own children and unable to attend regular school settings.  These programs may also offer social skills training, home visits to facilitate social service provision, on-site child care, parenting classes, job-training or community service projects, substance abuse counseling, self-esteem building and anger management training. The ultimate goal is to assist students in academic achievement as well as in learning alternative behaviors to violence, self-destruction, sexual precocity, and substance abuse.

  6. School/community support and coordination of family / home support programs that offer support to caregivers and families of students. These may include: development of child care/parenting skills, prenatal care and nutrition, counseling and peer support, stress management, home and family budgeting, coordination of on-site social services, adult vocational and job skills training, early childhood education, peer to peer assistance programs, and community service opportunities. These services may be offered at school-site family resource centers.

 

Early Warning Signs:

It is not always possible to predict behavior that will lead to violence. In some situations and for some youth, different combinations of events, behaviors, and emotions may lead to aggressive rage or violent behavior toward self or others. School personnel and students as well as parents are often in a good position to observe these early warning signs.

None of these signs alone is sufficient for predicting aggression and violence. Moreover, it is inappropriate--and potentially harmful--to use the early warning signs as a checklist against which to match individual children. Rather, the warning signs are offered only as an aid in identifying and referring children who may need help. A good rule of thumb is to assume that these warning signs, especially when they are presented in combination, indicate a need for further analysis to determine an appropriate intervention.

It is the policy of the Brunswick Central School District that staff and students use the early warning signs only for identification and referral purposes. Trained professionals should make diagnoses in consultation with the child's parents or guardian.

The following early warning signs are cited by the United States Department of Education in its publication entitled Early Warning, Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools and are presented in brief with the following qualifications: they are not equally significant and they are not presented in order of seriousness.  A more detailed explanation of them is available from the Superintendent, Principals, or Counselors.  They include:

  • Social withdrawal

  • Excessive feelings of isolation and being alone

  • Excessive feelings of rejection

  • Being a victim of violence

  • Feelings of being picked on and persecuted

  • Low school interest and poor academic performance

  • Expression of violence in writings and drawings

  • Uncontrolled anger

  • Patterns of impulsive and chronic hitting, intimidating, and bullying behaviors

  • History of discipline problems

  • Past history of violent and aggressive behavior

  • Intolerance for differences and prejudicial attitudes

  • Drug use and alcohol use

  • Affiliation with gangs

  • Inappropriate access to, possession and use of firearms

  • Serious threats of violence

 

Identifying and Responding to Imminent Warning Signs:

Unlike early warning signs, imminent warning signs indicate that a student is very close to behaving in a way that is potentially dangerous to self and/or to others. Imminent warning signs require an immediate response.

No single warning sign can predict that a dangerous act will occur. Rather, imminent warning signs usually are presented as a sequence of overt, serious, hostile behaviors or threats directed at peers, staff, or other individuals. Usually, imminent warning signs are evident to more than one staff member--as well as to the child’s family.  Imminent warning signs may include:

  • Serious physical fighting with peers or family members.

  • Severe destruction of property.

  • Severe rage for seemingly minor reasons.

  • Detailed threats of lethal violence.

  • Possession and/or use of firearms and other weapons.

  • Other self-injurious behaviors or threats of suicide.

When warning signs indicate that danger is imminent, safety must always be the first and foremost consideration. Action must be taken immediately. Immediate intervention by school authorities and possibly law enforcement officers is needed when a child:

  • has presented a detailed plan (time, place, and method) to harm or kill others-particularly if the child has a history of aggression or has attempted to carry out threats in the past.

  • is carrying a weapon, particularly a firearm.

In situations where students present other threatening behaviors, parents should be informed of the concerns immediately. The school shall seek assistance from appropriate agencies, such as child and family services and community mental health. These responses should reflect school board policies and be consistent with the district-wide safety plan.

Reporting Early Warning Signs:

In the event that students and staff observe a student manifesting early warning signs, the following procedures should be followed:

Contact the school principal to report the information about the student manifesting such signs. Principals shall maintain a record of each such report. In cases that do not pose imminent danger, the principal or counselor should contact a school psychologist or other qualified professional, who takes responsibility for addressing the concern immediately. The child's family should be contacted. The family should be consulted before implementing any interventions with the child. In cases where school-based contextual factors are determined to be causing or exacerbating the child's troubling behavior, the school should act quickly to modify them.

It is important to avoid inappropriately labeling or stigmatizing individual students because they appear to fit a specific profile or set of early warning indicators. None of these signs alone is sufficient for predicting aggression and violence. Moreover, it is inappropriate--and potentially harmful--to use the early warning signs as a checklist against which to match individual children.

Threat Assessment:

A threat is an expression of intent to do harm or act out violently against someone or something. A threat can be written, spoken, or symbolic – as in motioning with one’s hands as though shooting or strangling another person. A threat is an explicit or implied demonstration or declaration of intent to inflict harm, punishment, injury, loss or death on an individual; an express or implied indication that violence, injury, loss or pain will be inflicted on another.  There are principally four types of threats:

  • Direct,

  • Indirect,

  • Veiled, and

  • Conditional.

Threats are made for a variety of reasons: as a warning signal, a reaction to fear of punishment, anxiety, demand for attention or as retribution for a perceived or actual slight or affront. Threats may be intended to taunt, intimidate, assert power, punish, manipulate, coerce, frighten, terrorize, compel desired behavior, to strike back for an injury, injustice or slight; to be disruptive, to challenge authority or to protect oneself.

Individuals who make threats normally manifest other behaviors or emotions that are indicative of a problem. These can include: signs of depression, prolonged brooding, evidence of frustration or disappointment; fantasies of destruction or revenge in conversations, writings, drawings or other actions; expressions of intense love, fear, rage, revenge, excitement or pronounced desire for recognition. Use of alcohol or drugs can be an aggravating factor, as can a romantic breakup, failing grades or conflicts with parents or friends.

The following factors must be considered in assessing a threat:

  • The specific, plausible details of the threat.

  • The identity of the victim(s).

  • The reasons for making the threat.

  • The means (weapon) and method for carrying it out.

  • The date, time and place for carrying it out.

  • Any concrete information about plans or preparations already in place.

  • Are the details logical and plausible or unrealistic.

  • The emotional content of the threat (emotionally charged or not).

  • Any evidence of precipitating stressors that brought on the threat.

Specific details can be a manifestation of a high level of planning and thought and should heighten concern. Lack of detail may indicate that the threat has not actually taken steps to carry it out.

Levels of Risk:

Low Level of Threat: A threat that poses a minimal risk to the victim and public safety:

  • Threat is vague and indirect.

  • Information in the threat is not consistent, is implausible or is vague.

  • The threat lacks realism.

  • Content of threat suggests person is unlikely to carry it out.

Medium Level of Threat: A threat that could be carried out, although it may not appear entirely realistic:

  • Threat is more direct and more concrete.

  • Content of threat suggests the threatened has given thought to means and method.

  • There is a general indication of possible place and time (though plan is not detailed).

  • There is no strong indication of preparatory steps.

  • There may be a specific statement seeking to convey the seriousness of the threat.

High Level of Threat: A threat that appears to pose an imminent and serious danger to the safety of others:

  • Threat is direct, specific and plausible.

  • Content of threat suggests that concrete, specific steps have been taken to implement it.

Assessing Students:

The National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime has developed an assessment instrument for evaluating people who threaten and considering the likelihood that the threat will actually be carried out. A more detailed explanation of them is available from the Superintendent, Principals, or Counselors.

The four major areas for consideration include:

  • personality of the student;

  • student family dynamics;

  • school dynamics

  • the student’s role in those dynamics; and social dynamics.

Procedures to be Followed in Response to a Threat and/or Threat of Violence

The following procedures will be followed in case of receipt of a threat:

  1. Any student who receives a threat or hears or observes one being made, shall immediately notify a member of the staff, faculty or administration.

  2. Any member of the staff or faculty who is informed of, or hears or observes a threat on another, or who receives a threat, shall immediately notify the building administrator.

  3. Any building administrator who is informed of a threat, or hears or observes a threat on another, or who receives a threat, will conduct an immediate and thorough investigation of the matter.  This will include conferences with those alleging that a threat was made and the individual(s) who allegedly made such threat.  Appropriate efforts will be made to separate and/or monitor the students involved in the threat while the investigation is ongoing.

  4. If after such investigation, it appears reasonably certain that the allegation is true, the building administrator will immediately consult with the school guidance counselor, psychologist, social worker and/or child study team.  These consultations may lead the building administrator to contact county agencies, including those concerned with mental health, social services and child protection.  If necessary, arrangements will be made for an emergency mental health evaluation.

  5. The building administrator will, before the start of the next school day, call the parents or guardians of all students involved in the incident.  He or she will also maintain records of the incident.

  6. Unless otherwise required by law, school district policy or as a reasonable and prudent response to an imminent threat to health and safety, the building administrator will consult with the Superintendent as to whether law enforcement officials should be contacted.

  7. The behavior of a student found to have made a threat will be addressed in accordance with the school code of conduct.  If the student behavior is not proscribed by the code of conduct, the building administrator or superintendent will take reasonable measures to provide an appropriate school response to the behavior consistent with federal, state and local due process requirements.

  8. The results of all findings and actions taken shall be communicated in a timely manner to the parents of all students involved.

 

Providing Medical Assistance:

If a person is in need of medical assistance, the school nurse shall be contacted.  In addition specific district employees hold CPR, EMT or First Aid certification.   The Emergency Management Plan states procedures to be followed for medical emergencies, accidents, and bus accidents.

 

The Role of Local Governments:

Local Law Enforcement:

Local law enforcement agencies shall be contacted at the discretion of the Superintendent of Schools or building principals according to the steps specified in the Emergency Management/Crisis Plan.  In addition there is a School Resource Officer assigned to the district. 

Availability and Coordination of District Resources:

The following procedures and resources as described in the District Emergency/Crisis plan shall be used to coordinate the use of district resources during an emergency:

Procedure for Contacting Those in Parental Relation

The school connects emergency calling service will be utilized by school personnel for contacting those in parental relation in case of an emergency, including a violent incident or early dismissal are included in the district crisis management plan.

Annual Emergency Drills:

At least once per school year, the district shall conduct drills and other exercises to test and evaluate the effectiveness of the district emergency response plan. These drills shall be coordinated with and include the participation of county and local emergency response providers. The results of such drills and exercises shall be assessed by the superintendent of schools and reported to the board of education. 

Public Information and Media Relations:

The following individuals shall be designated to deal with the news media in the event of a school emergency:

  • Superintendent or the Board President

Members of the media shall not be allowed on school grounds except by invitation of the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee.

 

Building-Level Safety Plans

Each school building shall prepare a building level school safety plan on an annual basis. This plan shall address crisis intervention, emergency response and emergency management at the building level. Each plan shall be developed by a building level school safety team to be appointed by the building principal and to include representatives of teachers, parents, local emergency service providers and such others as the principal deems appropriate. Such plans shall include policies and procedures to be followed in the event that evacuation of the building is necessary due to a serious violent incident.  

Serious Violent Incident:

A serious violent incident is an incident of violent criminal conduct that is or appears to be, life threatening and warrants the evaluation of students and staff because of an imminent threat to their safety of health, including but not limited to, the use or threatened use of a firearm, explosive, bomb, incendiary device, chemical, or biological weapon, knife or other dangerous instrument capable of causing death or serious injury; riot; hostage-taking or kidnapping.

School Building Response Teams:

Each school building shall have an emergency response team appointed by the building principal, subject to the review and approval of the superintendent. Each team shall be comprised of school personnel, law enforcement officials and representatives of emergency services providers for that school building and such others as the principal may deem necessary and appropriate.

Provision of Building Information to Emergency Service Providers:

It is imperative that emergency service providers and those others responding to a school crisis have immediate access to floor plans, blue prints and other maps and information about school premises. Accordingly, the Superintendent will ensure all updated copies are forwarded to Emergency Service Providers and others responding to school crisis.

In addition copies will be maintained by the appropriate staff. 

Internal and External Communications:

Appropriate methods will be used accordingly to facilitate internal and external communications in the event of an emergency.  The districts Emergency notification system will be used for parental notification.

In addition, a summary of responsibilities in the event of a crisis or emergency shall be made available to faculty, staff and substitutes.

Pertinent information about emergency or crisis management plans shall also be regularly reviewed at faculty meetings.

Chain of Command:

Each building level plan shall contain information concerning the chain of command to be observed at an emergency. This chain of command shall be consistent with the National Incident Management System/ Incident Command System.

Evacuation of Buildings and Grounds:

Each school building in the district shall develop safe evacuation policies and procedures to be utilized in the event of a “serious violent incident” or other emergency.

Intergovernmental Coordination:

Building plans shall be coordinated with the local police, sheriff departments, fire departments, etc. to ensure school access to federal, state and local mental health resources in the event of a violent incident at a school building.

Commission of a Crime:

In the event of the commission of a crime on school property, the following procedures shall be implemented to preserve evidence:

  • Once authorities have been contacted and the situation turned over to them, they assume all responsibility.

Post-Incident Response Team

Each school building shall have a post-incident response team appointed by the building principal, subject to the approval of the superintendent. Each team shall be comprised of appropriate school and medical personnel, mental health counselors and such others as the principal may deem necessary and appropriate.  That team may include but not be limited to the personnel stated in the District Emergency Management Plan.

 

 

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