Code of Conducts – District-wide School Safety Plan – Identification of Chief Emergency Officer – Delegation of Authority – Incident Command System – Emergency Procedures – Transportation Plan Details – Staff Obligation – Risk Reduction/Prevention Intervention Components & Strategies – Reviewing Training, Drills, & Exercises – School Safety Personnel Duties – Implementation of School Security – Information on Schools in District – Early Detection of Potentially Violent Behavior – Identification of Potential Hazards – Contacting Law Enforcement Officials in the Event of a Violent Incident – Notification to Other Schools – Response Notification & Activation for Parents & Guardians – Response to Threats of Violence – Arrangements and Procedures for Obtaining Emergency Assistance and Advice from Local Government – Declared State of Emergency Involving a Communicable Disease – District Resources Available for Use in an Emergency – Recovery from Crisis – District-Wide School Safety Team and Safety Plan Review
Child Abuse Hotline Notification
If you suspect a child is being abused or maltreated (neglected), report it by calling 1-800-342-3720, a toll-free 24-hour hotline operated by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. If you believe a child is in immediate danger, call 911 or your local police department. Information about reporting child abuse and maltreatment (neglect) is available online at http://ocfs.ny.gov/main/cps/.
Code of Conduct
- Code of Conduct
- For a printed copy of the Code of Conduct, please contact the main office of any district school or the district office at 518-356-8200.
- Code of Conduct Plain Language Summary for Elementary Students
- Code of Conduct Plain Language Summary for Middle & High School Students
- Athletic Code of Conduct
District-wide School Safety Plan
At its July 2023 meeting, the Board of Education discussed the 2023-24 District-wide School Safety Plan. The public subsequently had 30 days to comment on the contents of the plan. Following the public comment period, the Board adopted the plan. See the draft plan here: Mohonasen CSD District-Wide School Safety Plan
Please send all commentary to email@example.com.
Emergencies and violent incidents in school districts are critical issues that must be addressed in an expeditious and effective manner. Districts are required to develop a district-wide school safety plan designed to prevent or minimize the effects of serious violent incidents and emergencies and to facilitate the coordination of the district with local and county resources in the event of such incidents or emergencies. The District- Wide School Safety Plan is responsive to the needs of all schools within the district and is consistent with the more detailed emergency response plans required at the school building level. Districts stand at risk from a wide variety of acts of violence, natural, and manmade disasters. To address these threats, the State of New York has enacted the Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) law. Project SAVE is a comprehensive planning effort that addresses prevention, response, and recovery with respect to a variety of emergencies in each school district and its schools.
The Mohonasen-Rotterdam Central School District, supports the SAVE Legislation and intends to facilitate the planning process. The Superintendent of Schools encourages and advocates on-going district-wide cooperation and support of Project SAVE. This plan will be reviewed and updated annually. Copies will be kept in each school building, the transportation center, office of the supervisor of buildings and grounds, and the district office where they will be readily available if needed. Procedures outlined in this plan will be reviewed by the building administrator with students and staff by September 1st of each year.
Identification of Chief Emergency Officer
The Rotterdam-Mohonasen Central School District designates the Assistant Superintendent of Business as the Chief Emergency Officer whose duties shall include, but not be limited to:
- Coordination of the communication between school staff, law enforcement and other first responders;
- Lead the efforts of the Health & Safety Committee in the completion and yearly update by September 1st, of the District-Wide safety plan and coordination with the building-level emergency response plan;
- Ensure staff understanding of the District–Wide school safety plan;
- Ensure the completion and yearly update by September 1st, of building-level emergency response plans for each school building;
- Assist in the selection of security related technology and development of policies for the use of such technology;
- Coordinate appropriate safety, security, and emergency training for staff, including required training in the emergency response plan yearly by September 15th; and
- Ensure the conduct of required evacuation and lock-down drills in all District buildings as required by Education Law section 807.
Delegation of Authority
In the event that key members of the chain of command are unavailable or have been incapacitated, a delegation of authority is in place to assure that the individuals who act on behalf of the district have sufficient authority to take appropriate action. It is also essential that staff know to whom they must report in the absence of the superintendent, principal or other designated official.
The following delegations of authority shall apply to the operations of the Emergency Plan for the Mohonasen Central School District. In the event the designated authority in the district or building is absent or incapacitated, the next district official in the chain shall be empowered to make all decisions falling under the purview of the designated authority. The subsequent officials in the chain shall have the authority in the absence of the others. This delegation shall remain in effect until the designee shall notify the alternate that he or she has been relieved.
Designation Authority/ Chain of Command
- Superintendent of Schools
- Assistant Superintendent for Business
- Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction
- High School Principal
- Middle School Principal
- Elementary School Principal(s)
- Assistant Principal(s)
- Director of Facilities
- Transportation Supervisor
- School Nurses
Incident Command System
Description of Committee Responsibilities
- Assume Command
- Stabilize Scene
- Establish an Appropriate Command Post
- Coordinate Security Efforts
- Assign Search/Rescue Duties
- Conduct Damage Assessment
- Establish Triage Area and Administer First Aid
- Coordinate Student Release
- Sign Out
- Manage unfolding events, inform and coordinate
- Obtain and distribute individual plans for resources
- Obtain and Distribute Campus Maps
- Establish and Message Center (color-coordinated boards)
- Facilitate information between agencies
- Communicate as per Incident Commander
- Secure and Distribute Necessary Supplies
- Coordinate Available Staff and Resources
- Securing and Assigning Facilities
- Record keeping
- Finance Clearance and Ordering of Resources to be delivered to Logistics
- Keep Parent Up to Date on Situation
- Share Procedures for Accessing Children
- Upon notification of an emergency, the Superintendent of Schools will activate the Incident Command System: district administrators, transportation supervisor, supervisor of buildings and grounds, and the cafeteria supervisor. This Emergency Team will remain in force until the emergency is concluded.
- The degree of the emergency will be determined from information supplied by County/Town officials, civil defense officials and other authorities. One or more of the following steps may be taken:
- Retention of pupils at one or more of the schools of the district beyond the normal dismissal time.
- Students and staff evacuated to a designated reception center on site.
- Closing of one or more school buildings for a specified length of time and transferring students to another school. Two alternative locations are Schalmont and Guilderland High Schools if students need to be evacuated off property.
- Early dismissal of students and staff.
- Alert parents with emergency instructions (School Messenger, text, radio, television, telephone).
- The transportation supervisor, or designee, will be alerted to:
- Implement emergency notification to available drivers, and
- Implement deployment of vehicles to buildings for evaluation of pupils.
- Building principals will be alerted to the emergency and advised to implement established emergency plans for the building.
- Communication will be established, as necessary, to the law enforcement, fire protection, and related agencies.
- Appropriate announcements will be submitted to local radio and television stations to keep parents and community advised. Appropriate communications will also be made to County/Town or civil defense official.
- District maintenance employees and other district support services may be mobilized to assist building staffs.
- The Incident Command will review the status of the emergency on a continuous basis and make any determination affecting pupils or staff members.
- All designated personnel should process the following items: “Gotta go Bags”, student name, address and trip detail, laptops/tablets as assigned by district, radios, and cells phones as appropriate.
If the emergency situation dictates the emergency evacuation of pupils and staff of the Rotterdam-Mohonasen Central School District, normal bus driver assignments and routes will be suspended.
The transportation supervisor will maintain a current list of regular and substitute bus drivers, an up-to-date file of bus routes, student bus lists, and an updated copy of the emergency evacuation bus deployment schedule.
Members of the transportation staff will be oriented to the emergency response procedures by the transportation supervisor.
Transportation Plan Details
- All drivers will be notified by the dispatcher and supervisor to report to the transportation office in case of an emergency. This takes approximately ½ to ¾ of an hour.
- Drivers reporting to the transportation office will be assigned a route. The supervisor will notify the school principals of the area which should be dismissed first.
- The outlying areas will have preference because of the distance and terrain that must be covered.
- The supervisor will assist in loading the students and giving the drivers last minute instructions before departing on their route.
- Students who are outside of the school district, under district authorization (i.e., field trips, athletic events, BOCES) will be returned to the school or to a designated reception center as the emergency dictates.
- If the emergency involves transportation to a designated center, all students will be evacuated by district buses only. No student will be allowed to drive any vehicle while the emergency evacuation is taking place.
In the event of an emergency, all employees of the Rotterdam-Mohonasen Central School District have a responsibility to protect and maintain the health, safety, and welfare of the district pupils. Staff members will be assigned to accompany and supervise pupils.
Emergency Phone Numbers
- Fire, Ambulance, Police – EMERGENCY: 911
- Local Police, non-emergency: 518-630-0911
- State Police, non-emergency: 518-630-1700
- Poison Control Center: (800) 222-1222
- Child Abuse Hotline: (800) 342-3742
Emergency Numbers for Mohonasen Schools
- Bradt Main Office: 518-356-8401
- Pinewood Main Office: 518-356-8432
- Draper Middle School Main Office: 518-356-8357
- High School Main Office: 518-356-8314
- District Office: 518-356-8200
- Transportation (Bus Garage): 518-356-8260
- Director of School Safety and Security: 518-356-8355
- School Resource Officer: 518-356-8214
Risk Reduction/Prevention Intervention Components & Strategies
The district has numerous programs and strategies in place to improve communication, reduce risk factors, and promote positive interventions. For example:
- Security Checkpoints – manned by Trained Security Personnel at all main entrances of each building. This includes secured entranceways for visitors to be buzzed into building only after registering with security personnel. ID scanning software allows visitors to be registered into the system and alerts security personnel of any potential concerns. This system is integrated with the NYS DCJS Sex Offender Registry and alerts with any listed offender. Faculty and designated staff have been issued proximity cards that allow for restriction and/or monitoring of building access points.
- Health, Wellness, Safety and Security Committee – meets quarterly to discuss, implement and resolve issues concerning all of the above. Each department head and each building level committee reports. The committee may work in conjunction with the Professional Development Committee to plan appropriate staff development/training for faculty and staff.
- Student Assistance Counseling Program and Social Work – The district utilizes the services of a trained counselor in the High School from the BOCES CAPIT program, to provide an outlet for students with problems, concerns, etc. Students may meet with these counselors for their own needs or to report/discuss potential problem situations involving other students that they may have witnessed. Counselors may make referrals or other contacts as needed, depending on the situation. The district makes referrals regularly to a number of outside counseling agencies and is currently working with Northern Rivers to provide more intensive counseling on campus for students and their families. The district is committed to providing district social workers in every building to help teachers and administrators meet the needs of students.
- Resource Officer Program – The availability of a police officer on-site at the High School and available as needed to all other buildings is a tremendous resource for all students for the prevention or reporting of potential or actual violent incidents, drug abuse, bullying, etc. The district has a commitment to utilizing the expertise of this officer to train district security staff. All security staff receives training regularly.
- YMCA After School Program – This is a daily program held at the Bradt Elementary School for local youth through age 10. It gives these children a place to go after school to allow them to make constructive use of their time and avoid potentially problematic situations that might otherwise occur in unsupervised after-school idle time. Many craft-like and other activities are carried out, in addition to physical activities in the school gymnasium. The program is entirely supervised by YMCA staff members.
- “Afterglow” – Each year the district PTSO, in conjunction with the high school administration, sponsors a social function on school property scheduled immediately after the Junior Prom/Senior Ball event. This is held to discourage and prevent potential problematic activities, which can occur when students are unsupervised after an event like the Prom/Ball. The Afterglow provides a structured, supervised social activity that has proven to be a great success based on the high attendance in recent years.
- Mock DWI Crash & Vehicle Rollover Demonstration/Presentation – High school annually presents programs to students for the prevention of driving while intoxicated and to encourage the use of seatbelts. The program has included a mock DWI crash and/or a guest speaker who described first hand the consequences of driving while intoxicated. The program was presented in conjunction with the New York State Police, the town police department, paramedics, and fire department. The timing of the program was scheduled to coincide with the spring social events for students such as Junior Prom/Senior Ball, Senior Picnic, and High School Graduation.
- Peers for Peace – This is a student group of middle school and high school youth dedicated to learning and promoting peaceful co-existence among all persons in the school district. The group holds a variety of peace-themed programs during the school year that are very visible to the. The group promotes acceptance of diversity among students. Paid advisors from school district faculty facilitate “Peers for Peace”.
- Character Education – This is a K-12 program coordinated by building Administrators. The purpose of the program is to teach students to be civic-minded, to encourage participation in their communities, and to promote the values of good citizenship. The program brings guest speakers to the schools, establishes monthly program themes at elementary schools, and also schedules assemblies on various character education topics including conflict resolution and the identification/avoidance of potentially violent situations.
- Drug Prevention – The topic of drug abuse is covered thoroughly in health classes taken by all students in grades 6, 8, and 10. School Resource Officers present lessons on drug abuse and prevention to elementary students. Random searches by trained canine units are employed at the middle school and high school level as a means of sending a strong message of zero-tolerance for drugs on campus. The district continues to enforce strict suspensions for students involved in use, possession, or sale of drugs.
- The Guidance Plan K-12 – is a detailed document of district programs for students, compiled by the Student Assistance Counselors, Guidance Counselors, School Psychologist, and School Social Workers. The plan covers a broad range of topics, including several programs specifically addressing risk reduction/prevention and intervention components and strategies. Examples of these programs are:
- Peer Mediation
- Crisis Intervention
- Study Circles
- Collaborative Assistance Team (CAT)
- Child Study Team (CST)
- School Social Workers (DSS)
Reviewing Training, Drills, & Exercises
Numerous multi-hazard training and awareness exercises are conducted each year by the district to make staff and students aware of procedures in place, including:
- HAZ-COM/”Right to Know” Training Sessions – This is held each year for all employees at group sessions and with online training from Capital Region BOCES Health, Safety, and Risk Management Office. All new employees also take this training online as a required part of their new job orientation. Central Administration coordinates this training.
- Safety Training – As per July 1, 2016 amendment of sections 807 and 2801-a of Education Law all staff will undergo annual training, by September 15th, on the building level emergency response plan. This plan must include components on violence prevention and mental health. New employees hired after the start of the school year must have this training within 30 days of hire.
- Lockdown and Lockout Drills – Each school building holds its own lockdown and lockout drills a minimum of 4 times per year. The School Resource Officer, the Rotterdam Police Department and District Administrators organize and run these drills.
- Fire & Evacuation Drills – Each school building holds the mandated number of fire drill evacuations annually (8 during the regular school year and 2 during summer school), with records maintained on the time taken to evacuate the buildings for each drill. Principals and/or assistant principals coordinate these drills. A sample listing of fire drills and evacuation times is attached. In addition, each school also holds evacuation drills to simulate the need to evacuate the building through certain safe exits.
- Bus Driver Safety – The Transportation Supervisor conducts safety classes at a minimum of 2 times per year to keep drivers current on bus safety matters.
- Code of Conduct – The principals, assistant principals and teachers review the Code of Conduct with students. Sample pages from the Code of Conduct are attached in the appendix of this document.
- Bullying Prevention Information – The middle school goes to great lengths to send a strong anti-bullying message. This is accomplished through team meetings, the use of classroom presentation, individual interventions and the regular character education sessions held school wide.
- Bus Evacuation Drills – Are held for all students annually, coordinated by the Transportation Supervisor with the principals and/or assistant principals.
Reviewing Training, Drills, & Exercises
Each time the district conducts a safety-related drill or other exercise, such as those described in Subsection B, an administrator reviews the results of such drill/exercise. This review may not only be performed by the person conducting this drill/exercise, but may also be reviewed by the Central Administration of the district (superintendent and/or assistant superintendents) depending on the nature of the drill. For exercises held on a district-wide basis, such as practicing an emergency evacuation or a lockdown, the administrative team will discuss the results of the exercise at a group meeting, and recommendations for improvements needed, if any, will also be made at these meetings.
It should be noted that the local Rotterdam Police Department (RPD) is directly involved in reviewing safety/emergency drills and exercises as the district employs a School Resource Officer (SRO) from RPD. The advice of this officer is requested and considered in virtually all matters of school safety. In addition, certain exercises, such as the annual emergency weather hazard drill held in March, are coordinated through Capital Region BOCES along with the County Emergency Management Office along with the Central Office of the school district. Other contact is made with outside emergency responders throughout the year in various regional meetings, including workshops coordinated by BOCES 2-4 times per year, and also at the school safety seminars held by Utica National Insurance in October and March each year. These seminars cover a broad range of school safety issues from violence prevention to facility safety.
The district periodically conducts tabletop exercises in preparation for potential emergency situations.
School Safety Personnel Duties
The district has thorough screening measures in place for its safety personnel. The requirements for district hall monitors are outlined in the job description and job posting. In addition, all monitors hired after July 1, 2001, are subject to fingerprinting under the new SAVE requirements. This fingerprint screening includes a criminal background check.
All monitors are also included in any violence prevention and intervention workshops presented by the district, and related articles/newsletters, are distributed to the monitors to supplement their knowledge and training. Monitors receive periodic updates on behavior management, de-escalation strategies, etc.
The district relies on screening measures of the Rotterdam Police Department (RPD) for the School Resource Officer who came to work at the district from the RPD. The SRO is a fully-trained professional police officer with multiple years of experience, and has complete security clearance prior to working at the district.
The district has a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in place that defines the areas of responsibility of school personnel, security personnel and the SRO officer in response to student misconduct that violates the code of conduct. This MOU clearly delegates the role of school discipline to the school administration.
Implementation of School Security
A variety of security measures are in place in the Mohonasen Central School District, as follows:
- All employees are required to wear photo ID badges at all times while on the job.
- All employees, visitors, substitute teachers, etc., who enter a school building are required to register and sign in and out at the main security desk of the building and obtain a visitor badge to wear until leaving the premises. For visitors, their name is run through the NYS Department of Criminal Justice Sex Offender Registry.
- Video surveillance cameras are in place at main entrances to school buildings and throughout each building. District security personnel at the security desk at each building monitor these cameras. The video is recorded, in the event that an incident occurs, and can be reviewed if necessary.
- An alarm system with motion detectors is in place in all school buildings and throughout each building. When the system is armed, if there is unauthorized entry to a building, a 24 hr. security company is notified automatically by the alarm, and district security or administrative personnel are contacted immediately for follow-up. The local police department is also contacted at the same time and a police unit is dispatched.
- A proximity system is in place on district buildings to monitor regular and after-hours access by non-key holders. The system records the ID of the proximity card assigned to that employee.
- All school buildings, during regular school hours, limit access into the building to one door at the main entrance, with all other remaining doors locked.
- The district is a partner with the New York State Intelligence Center and receives notifications and information regarding current threats or intelligence in an effort to protect the district from criminal activities and events to include potential acts of terrorism. This information is received almost daily via email notification.
- The district has fully implemented employee fingerprinting, a process required by SAVE legislation as of July 1, 2001, which is a valuable security-screening tool.
- Adult chaperones selected from district staff members are utilized for security purposes at virtually all school district functions, including athletic contests, dances, etc. District administrators supplement the security work of the chaperones at these functions, too. Buildings & Grounds personnel also play an important role in building security by maintaining an awareness of who is in the building after hours and making sure the building is secured and alarmed at the appropriate time.
- Signage directing visitors, employees, etc., in proper conduct, direction, safety, emergency access, etc., is very visible on district grounds, both outside and inside of district buildings. The signs in place are an important component of the overall safety and security system for the district.
- Security personnel and playground monitors are employed in school buildings to fill a constant role of maintaining the safety and security of our district. A description of the responsibilities of monitors can be found in the appendix of this document.
Information on Schools in District
Mohonasen High School
- Address: 2072 Curry Road, Schenectady, NY 12303
- Primary Contact: Craig Chandler, principal
- Number of students: 750
- Grade levels: 9-12
- Number of faculty/staff: 190
Draper Middle School
- Address: 2072 Curry Road, Schenectady, NY 12303
- Primary Contact: Richard Arket, principal
- Number of students: 650
- Grade levels: 6-8
- Number of faculty/staff: 185
- Address: 901 Kings Road, Schenectady, NY 12303
- Primary Contact: Jason Thompson, principal
- Number of students: 620
- Grade levels: 3-5
- Number of faculty/staff: 91
Herman L. Bradt
- Address: 2719 Hamburg St., Schenectady, NY 12303
- Primary Contact: Leslie Smith, principal
- Number of students: 600
- Grade levels: K-2
- Number of faculty/staff: 86
Center for Advanced Technology
- Address: 2072 Curry Road, Schenectady, NY 12303
- Primary Contact: Bill Vacca, assistant principal
- Number of students: 100
- Grade levels: 9-12
- Number of faculty/staff: 15
Early Detection of Potentially Violent Behavior
The district has various measures in place to aid in the early detection of potentially violent behavior from students:
- Violence prevention and intervention training is provided on an annual basis to district staff. The topics of violence prevention are discussed with staff in various meetings and workshops throughout the year. Safety is an agenda topic at each monthly building faculty meeting. Violence prevention is also now a part of the required training each year for district staff.
- Various Staff Members are trained each year in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention strategies. These focus on the recognition of potentially violent behavior and the attempted de-escalation of this behavior.
- Numerous articles on violence prevention are circulated among staff during the school year. Also, articles on the prevention of bullying have been sent to parents and distributed among the faculty since 2001.
- Members of the Central Administration, district administrators and faculty attend outside workshops and seminars from time to time in order to keep current on methods of early detection of violent behavior, and prevention of student violence. These workshops have been provided by outside sources including Capital Region BOCES Office of Health, Safety, and Risk Management, Utica National Insurance Company, and the NYS Center for Coordinated School Health.
- Student Assistance Counselors/Social workers are employed at the high school, Center For Advanced Technology, middle school, and elementary schools and are professionally trained to note any signs of potentially violent behavior from students.
- Security personnel for the district are also responsible for noting any potentially violent behavior in students, and for reporting and/or acting to prevent such behavior. Each school in the district employs security personnel at the front entrance to register visitors and monitor visitor traffic in and out of the building.
The district will continue to provide training and information to staff members regarding the early detection of potentially violent behavior.
Identification of Potential Hazards
The district has taken and will continue to take measures to identify and rectify any areas in or around or nearby school facilities, as follows:
- Safety Audit and School Walk-Through – These are performed by district SRO in each school building during each school year. Each audit is coordinated with the principal and/or assistant principal for each location. Each building report is reviewed by principals and by Central Administration and actions have been or will be taken to remedy problem areas as needed.
- Insurance Audit –The Utica National Insurance Company, carrier for the district’s liability, property, and auto insurance, provides a professional safety inspector free of charge to the district as needed. This inspector automatically reviews each school playground for safety hazards and prepares a report submitted to the central administration if there are any findings requiring attention. The district has also contacted the inspector from time to time to review specific areas of facilities to determine if any safety hazards exist.
- Insurance Claim Review – Utica National Insurance prepares a summary of liability claims against the district on a quarterly basis. This summary is reviewed by the superintendent and/or assistant superintendent for business to note safety items which may need to be addressed, including facility issues, incidents of violence, and any problems which appear to be trends. Corrective actions are taken as needed.
- Schenectady County Emergency Management Office – The district has maintained open levels of communication with county emergency officials. This will serve to assure that the district is notified promptly in the event of any emergency incidents in the areas around the school district. An example of this would be a chemical spill or hazardous waste spill on one of the major highways (Interstate 90, Interstate 890) that run through the district. Another example would be notification from the county if there was any major flooding potential near the district, or if the nearby Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory has any safety incidents.
- District-Wide School Health Safety and Security Committee – Potential hazards for the district are also discussed before the Safety Committee as it meets a minimum of 3-4 times per year. Committee members from all buildings and departments bring safety concerns about potential hazards to the meetings, or they may contact the building or district level administration any time during the year with a safety issue.
- Administrative Staff Meetings – The district holds a number of administrative team meetings at regular intervals throughout the school year. Safety issues are always an agenda topic for these meetings, and they are given a priority. Any safety issues brought to these meetings are acted upon as needed to rectify a situation. Safety is an agenda item at each building during each monthly faculty meeting.
Contacting Law Enforcement Officials in the Event of a Violent Incident
The district maintains open channels of communication with its most immediate level of law enforcement, the Rotterdam Police Department (RPD), mainly through the employment of a full-time School Resource Officer who is a veteran of the RPD force. In the event of any violent incident, the SRO would be contacted first for immediate response during the school day. At any other time when the SRO is not present, all school staff are directed to call 911 to reach appropriate law enforcement agencies.
Internally, all main offices in each building, as well as the security personnel, possess 2-way radios to contact each other, and to contact the SRO. There is a PA system in each building that also may be used to summon assistance in the event of a violent incident. The current phone system also automatically connects to 911 in the event that a lockdown is called.
It should be noted that response protocols for several different types of violent incidents are outlined in the confidential Building-Level Emergency Response Plans – including bomb threats, hostage situations, intruders, and more. The Incident Command System will go into effect in the district during such emergencies, as outlined in Building-Level Emergency Response Plans.
Notification to Other Schools
In the event of an emergency, district office secretarial personnel may be directed by the superintendent (or assistant superintendent in the absence of the superintendent) to inform other local educational agencies by phone of any significant incident that has occurred in the district for situational awareness.
Response Notification & Activation for Parents & Guardians
In the event of an emergency situation when the parents, guardians, or persons in parental relation to the students need to be notified, the district has a variety of methods to reach these persons. After a call has been placed to 911, and/or a district administrator, faculty member, or staff person has been notified of a situation, the emergency contact plan moves into action. First the district maintains a continually updated database of student information through the School Tool software program. All emergency contact information is available through this system which may be accessed by district administrators, faculty & staff, including the school nurse in each building. The Transportation Department also maintains emergency parental contact information. This information facilitates direct contact to parents, guardians, etc. Parents and others are requested at the beginning of each school year to provide the district with emergency contact information and to update it throughout the year if necessary.
Other methods of contacting parents, etc., during an emergency situation is through information posted on the district’s website and sent through the School Messenger. School Messenger allows for instant communication with families via email, phone calls and/or text messaging services. The district’s communications coordinator (employed through the BOCES Communication Service) is charged with the responsibility of maintaining and updating the website, so as a result is included in all decisions regarding emergency situations where information needs to be disseminated to the public. In addition to the postings on the website, the district’s communication coordinator, as well as the central administrative team, is charged with contacting local media sources to have emergency information broadcast as soon as possible when applicable. A 1-page emergency calling tree is prepared each year to outline the responsibilities for contact among the district administration and to the radio and television stations in the area. The calling tree contains sensitive “password” information from the media and therefore is not available for inclusion in the District-Wide School Safety Plan. Instead, it is distributed and reviewed with members of the school district administration only.
To summarize, the combination of a parent contact database, district website information, and local broadcast media notification, in response to emergency notification of a situation via 911 or other method, is very effective in keeping all those necessary to be informed with the latest information.
Response to Threats of Violence, and Subsection M – Response to Acts of Violence
The district has established a formal Code of Conduct, which includes policies and procedures to respond to implied or direct threats of violence and acts of violence made by any and all persons on school grounds and/or at school events. The Code of Conduct is updated annually. Specific pages and sections of the Code which deal with violence and threats of violence are attached. The complete Code of Conduct is distributed to all district employees, and also to district parents and students.
Policies and procedures for contacting parents, guardians, or persons in a parental relation to a student in the event of an implied or direct threat of violence by a student against themselves, including threat of suicide can be found in the building level emergency response plans.
The district also has established an athletic handbook that addresses proper conduct by athletes and spectators, including rules and consequences regarding incidents of violence. Specific pages and sections of the Athletic Code which deal with these matters are attached to the end of this document. This code is distributed to all student athletes and their parents, in addition to all administrators.
In addition, the district has publicized information from time-to-time to the staff and community regarding the prevention of violence. This may include written information, evening programs or a variety of other mediums.
Arrangements and Procedures for Obtaining Emergency Assistance and Advice from Local Government
In the event of an emergency, the district has arrangements in place with various outside emergency organizations to obtain assistance as needed. Direct meetings or contacts made include the following regarding emergency assistance plans:
- Schenectady County Emergency Management Office
- Schenectady County Public Health Department
- New York State Police
- Rotterdam Police Department
- American Red Cross – local Chapter
- REMO (Regional Emergency Medical Organization)
- Local Fire Department personnel
- Rotterdam Town Officials
- Schalmont and Guilderland Central School Districts – neighboring districts
- Capital Region BOCES Health, Safety & Risk Management Office
Contact information for emergency organizations is included in this plan. A reminder to dial 911 is included in bold print.
In addition, discussions have been held with the Schenectady County Public Health Department regarding the potential use of district facilities to administer mass inoculations, and with the Schenectady County Emergency Management Office regarding the potential use of district buses for mass transportation during an emergency, as well as the use of district facilities for sheltering. The procurement by the County of district facilities and buses is recognized by district officials as a possibility if Article 2-B of Executive Law Section 155.17 is implemented during an emergency.
Declared State of Emergency Involving a Communicable Disease
On September 7, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed into law Chapter 168 of the Laws of 2020 that requires public employers, including public school districts, to adopt a continuation of operations plan in the event that the Governor declares a state disaster emergency involving a communicable disease. The legislation (S.8617-B / A.10832) amended subdivision 2 of section 2801-a of New York Education Law to require that District Safety Plans include protocols for responding to a declared state disaster emergency involving a communicable disease that are “substantially consistent” with the provisions of section 27-c of the Labor Law. A technical chapter amendment (S.01295 / A.009980) to the legislation became effective February 16, 2021 (Chapter 30 of the Laws of 2021).
As per section 27-c of the Labor Law, the operations plan must include, but is not limited to:
A. A list and description of the types of positions considered essential in the event of a State- ordered reduction of in-person workforce. For this purpose, essential is defined as required to be physically present at a work site to perform his or her job. Such designation may be changed at any time at the sole discretion of the employer.
B. A description of protocols the employer will follow in order for nonessential employees to telecommute including, but not limited to, facilitating, or requesting the procurement, distribution, downloading, and installation of any needed technology, including software, data, and the transferring of office phone lines to work or personal cell phones as practicable or applicable to the workplace, and may include devices.
C. A description of how the employer will, to the extent possible, stagger work shifts of essential employees to reduce overcrowding on public transportation and at worksites.
D. Protocols the employer will implement to procure personal protective equipment (PPE), defined as equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards, including gloves, masks, face shields, foot and eye protection, protective hearing devices, respirators, hard hats, and disposable gowns and aprons and, for essential employees, a quantity sufficient to provide PPE to each essential employee to meet his or her tasks and needs during any given work shift. A plan for storage of equipment and access to equipment must be included.
E. Protocols in the event an employee is exposed to a known case of the disease, exhibits symptoms of the disease, or tests positive for the disease to prevent the spread or contraction in the workplace. The protocols shall not violate any existing federal, state, or local law regarding sick leave or health information privacy and must include detailed actions to immediately and thoroughly disinfect the work area, common area surface and shared equipment. The protocols must also describe the employer policy on available leave in the event of the need of an employee to receive testing, treatment, isolation, or quarantine.
F. Protocols for documenting hours and work locations, including off-site visits, for essential employees. The protocol shall be designed only to aid in tracking of the disease and to identify exposed employees and contractors to facilitate the provision of any benefits which may be available.
G. Protocols for working with the employer’s locality to identify sites for emergency housing for essential employees to further contain the spread of the communicable disease to the extent applicable to the needs of the workplace.
H. Protocols for implementing any other requirements determined by the Department of Health such as contact tracing or testing, social distancing, hand hygiene and disinfectant, or mask wearing.
The employer must consider and respond to recommendations received from the recognized or certified representatives of the employer’s employees in writing, within a reasonable timeframe. A copy of the final version of the plan shall be published in a clear and conspicuous location, and in the employee handbook, and in a location accessible on either the employer’s website or on the internet accessible by employees. No employer shall take retaliatory action or otherwise discriminate against any employee for making suggestions or recommendations regarding the content of the plan. “Retaliatory action” is defined as the discharge, suspension, demotion, or discrimination against any employee, or other adverse employment action taken against an employee in the terms and conditions of employment. See Appendix for the full plan.
District Resources Available for Use in an Emergency
The following district-owned resources are available for use during an emergency:
Two-way Radios: – The following district personnel have 2-way radios: superintendent, assistant superintendent for business, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, all building principals and assistant principals, all security personnel, the director of facilities, school resource officer, transportation supervisor, building and district office staff, and all district buses.
School Buses: See attached list for specific details on bus fleet, including passenger capacity of each bus. A list of district bus drivers who have volunteered to drive in an emergency situation is maintained by the transportation supervisor. A copy of this list is attached. Snow
Plows/Snow Removal Equipment: 7
Pickup Trucks: 8
Backup Generator: 1, located at bus garage
American Red Cross Sheltering Agreement – The district has made an agreement with the local Red Cross to make school buildings available as needed for sheltering during an emergency situation.
Potable Water: The district maintains a considerable quantity of bottled water on hand through its food service program.
Food Supplies: A considerable amount of usable food supplies are in each building for the districts’ food service program, but may be used in an emergency situation. This includes canned goods, dry foods (cereal, etc.), and frozen foods stored in the large walk-in freezer at the high school.
Recovery from Crisis
In the event of an emergency or crisis, the district has procedures in place to deal with the recovery from such crisis. A formal crisis management plan is established and includes the mobilization of a crisis response team. Each building has a crisis team consisting of administrators, counselors, nurses and other key personnel. The administrative staff in the district office will coordinate the operation of the plan and the team in the event of a crisis.
The district also utilizes the services of a Student Assistance Counselor, from Capital Region BOCES, who is available on a daily basis to handle the needs of students, including post-crisis counseling. Referrals to outside support agencies, including mental health resources, are made as needed for students and staff members. An Employee Assistance Program is also contracted by the district, and is available to staff 24 hours per day, every day. The toll free phone number for this EAP is 1-800-634-6433, or online www.empathia.com for the Employee Assistance Program, or Empathia, Inc.
District-Wide School Safety Team and Safety Plan Review
A District-Wide School Safety Team was originally appointed by the Board of Education during the 2000-2001 school year in accordance with the SAVE regulations. The team consisted of representatives from our school board, administration, faculty, staff, parent organizations, school safety personnel and local community safety personnel. The School Safety Team was charged with assisting in the development and ongoing review of the District-Wide School Safety Plan.
The team continues to meet throughout the school year, in addition to meeting any time there is a safety need that requires immediate attention on a district-wide basis. The Safety Team continues to review and revise the Safety Plan annually at a minimum, more frequently as needed.
Building Level Emergency Response Plans are also updated annually. These plans are confidential, but are shared with the New York State Police as well as local law enforcement. The District-Wide School Safety Plan was adopted by the Board of Education after it was made available to the public for 30 days prior to adoption and after a public hearing was held on the plan. The updated District-Wide Safety Plan will be filed with the Commissioner of Education and posted on the district website. Copies of the plan were also provided to various local emergency/safety organizations, including Rotterdam Police, NYS Police, local fire departments, and the Schenectady County Emergency Management Office.