- Part 1: Introduction
- Part 2: District-Wide Safety Plan: Emergency Management Plan
- Part 3: Building Level Emergency Response Plan
- Part 4: Intervention/Code of Conduct
- Part 5: Prevention/Risk Reduction
- Part 6: Professional Development for Violence/Prevention Education/Character Education
The Guilderland Central School District recognizes that all stakeholders (staff, students, administrators, parents, Board of Education members, etc.) must be part of creating a safe school environment. Creating and maintaining safe schools requires comprehensive preventive interventions and crisis response measures. All such protocols and systems must be part of a comprehensive plan intended to address problem behaviors, unsafe situations.
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 district-wide and school safety plans. Such plans are 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 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. To address potential threats, the State of New York has enacted the Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) Law. It was signed into law by Governor Pataki on July 24, 2000. 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.
Our S.A.V.E. plans at the district and building levels represent collaborative efforts to prepare an all-encompassing program that ensures the safety and security of all students and staff. Striving for safety for all is an ongoing commitment that requires long- and short-term safety measures to prevent aggressive and intolerant behaviors in school. Our goal is to create a positive and welcoming climate for which all members take pride. The school climate will be free of violence, drugs, intimidation, bullying, prejudice, fear and shaming. A healthy, positive school climate promotes the emotional well-being and growth of every student and staff member. At the same time, our schools provide fair and consistent rules, guidelines and models for behavior. These are addressed in the Code of Conduct.
We continue to develop and expand programs that emphasize prevention, the nurturing of competent social skills and behaviors. Our school climate builds on the strengths and assets of each student, improving resiliency and protective factors while promoting responsibility. Research shows that improving school order and safety enables students to find a meaningful role and participate fully in a variety of positive educational and social activities. Students who are engaged in such school activities are less likely to engage in school violence and anti-social behaviors than students who have yet to establish meaningful connections at school.
Our work has included:
- Create and maintain a comprehensive district-wide emergency management plan.
- Create a team-approach to implementing building-level safety plan search school site.
- Implement relevant programs for our youngest learners which will serve as a preparation for their entire educational experience.
- Provide strong leadership for a positive school climate where all students feel included.
- Communicate consistent and clear policies in a Code of Conduct.
- Seek input from parents, law enforcement, students, building cabinets, PTA and school personnel in the development of safety plans.
- Provide staff development, including skills for preventing all levels of disruption, aggression, harassment, hazing, bullying or violence.
The Guilderland Central School District’s District-wide School Safety and Emergency Management Plans were developed pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation 155.17. At the direction of the Guilderland Central School District Board of Education, the Superintendent of Guilderland Central School District appointed a District-wide Safety Team, charged it with the development and maintenance of the Emergency Management Plan.
Identification of District-Wide Safety Team
The District-Wide Safety Team is comprised of, but not limited to, representatives of the Board of Education, teachers, social workers, administrators, parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel. Individual names and contact information are included in the confidential Building Level Emergency Response Plan.
District-Wide Safety Team
This group, formerly known as, The Safe Schools Committee has developed a school safety plan which would establish a safe and welcoming environment for all students. This team has examined:
- Data Collection: What information does the school already have?
- Data Analysis: How can the school identify its needs?
- Problem Solving: Can school solutions and plans?
- Implementation and evaluation.
In recent years, the group focused on three components of school safety:
- Management of risk – addressed procedures necessary to assure safety and discouragement of acts of violence – District Emergency Management Plan.
- Intervention – planned for those students who are unwilling or unable to conform to school discipline and Codes of Conduct as well as those with substance abuse problems. Counseling, mediation, conflict resolution and alternative programs have been implemented to address these matters.
- Prevention – developed programs to promote safe and healthy lifestyles. This component addresses curriculum as well as training for students, staff and parents
Mission Statement Regarding School Safety
To ensure that our teachers can concentrate on teaching and guiding our students in their learning. Our students will not be distracted from learning by anxiety or fear for their safety; they can enjoy socializing with classmates and adults in a climate of acceptance and warmth without fear of bullying and harassment. Expectations for behavior and a sense of responsibility will be clear. We will address the district priority to foster trust, respect and a greater sense of community among the staff, students, parents and other district residents through effective communication and understanding.
- Develop programs to assure that students and staff have the skills, knowledge and dispositions necessary to establish a safe and healthy environment for teaching and learning.
- Implement a comprehensive school safety plan including a Code of Conduct through the Safe Schools initiative. Annual crisis training will be held, Emergency Response Plans updated and the District-wide Safety Team will meet several times a year.
- Eliminate bullying and harassment among students and adults through training and education. All new staff will receive training regarding sexual harassment and bullying. Students also receive ongoing information and training at middle and high school levels regarding issues of discrimination related to sexual harassment. All students receive training to prevent cyberbullying.
- Reduce incidents of disrespect and aggression at the secondary level as measured through the implementation of a Code of Conduct and compliance with the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA). This has been documented through building reports and bus discipline referrals and the SED Violent Incident and DASA Reports. Alternative programs, counseling, and at-risk programs have addressed this. Staff has also received training on violence prevention at each level.
- Improve school climate and academic achievement. Workshops will be provided for staff and students on anti-bias, antiracist and anti-hate behaviors, avoidance of substance abuse and conflict resolution. Staff will receive training in bullying prevention, crisis intervention, and dealing with challenging student behaviors.
Our schools will foster learning, safety, civility, respect and caring. There remains a commitment to academic excellence, achieving high standards, participatory decision making, and encouraging positive relationships between staff and students. Guilderland Schools recognize that safety and well-being are directly related to students’ academic, social and emotional development.
The district has for prevention, intervention, and crisis response that will function in our school communities with an:
Community Connections: The Guilderland Police Department, Capital Region BOCES, Albany County Department of Substance Abuse, Albany County Mental Health, St. Peter’s Addiction & Recovery Center, Red Cross, and the New York State Police have all assisted in planning programs and security plans in our schools.
Roles of School Communities in Creating Safe Schools
- Provide leadership in developing and monitoring safe school activities.
- Establish procedures for documenting school crime as well as harassment and bullying.
- Design a school environment that ensures safe traffic patterns within and to and from school.
- Adopt procedures for bus safety, emergency evacuation and crisis management.
- Participate in Building Level Emergency Response Teams and the District-Wide Safety Team. They will work with building cabinets and PTA’s on issues of school safety.
- Support teacher training on conflict resolution, crisis management, cooperative learning, sexual harassment, bullying prevention, violence prevention and effective teaching strategies as well as legal issues.
- Respond to students in a caring manner. They develop cooperative rules and consistent classroom guidelines for behavior that prevent bullying behavior.
- Include the teaching and modeling of pro-social behavior, conflict resolution and collaboration to be as important as teaching academic content.
- Maintain diligent and impartial attention and response when supervising students. They recognize positive behavior and take steps to correct unacceptable behavior.
- Refer struggling students to the School-Based Support Team (SBST), social worker or counselor for intervention.
- Inform parents of their concerns about students.
- Participate on Building Level Emergency Response Teams.
- Assist in the development of the Project SAVE Plan as well as the implementation of our sexual harassment policy, weapons policy and policies regarding drug use.
Parent/Community Members Will:
- Parents will serve as equal partners with the Board of Education members, administrators and staff in the development of our safety plans.
- Building Cabinets including parent representatives will contribute to the development and review of school safety and Emergency Response Plans and procedures.
- Volunteer regularly in schools and assist with student activities.
- Support all efforts to create and maintain a school environment and climate in which all students feel safe, supported, respected and valued.
- Maintain a sense of responsibility for contributing to the improvement of school climate and safety.
- Participate in school programs designed to establish strong peer-to-peer relationships.
Safe School Plans
Our work includes:
Emergency Management Plan and Emergency Response Plans as required by SAVE Legislation: An effective district-wide safety plan as well as building level emergency response plans are in place to involve all school personnel, law enforcement, fire and medical rescue personnel, emergency management personnel, school district personnel, and any other persons essential to resolving any possible crisis.
Student Participation/Empowerment: Student involvement is essential in solving and preventing violent acts on school campuses. Students are involved in National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) training, Sources of Strength, Leadership Training, Second Step, and Natural Helpers.
Parent Participation: Parents are encouraged to participate in building cabinets, on committees and as volunteers for all school functions. District PTA Council and PTA/PTSA presidents are involved. Parents serve on many district committees.
Partnership between the school and local law enforcement: Guilderland Police and school officials work together to ensure the safety of the school environment.
Crime prevention through environmental design: Safety assessments of the school facilities have been conducted with recommendations to administrators by the BOCES Risk Management personnel and the New York State Police.
Drug and alcohol prevention programs: Our K-12 Health curriculum, Wellness Days, DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education, Counseling and other programs available for drug, tobacco and alcohol prevention.
Fire and Arson Prevention and Injury Prevention: All are part of K-12 health instruction.
School crime reporting and tracking mechanism
Administrators have worked to develop a method to report, track and monitor any crime committed on school campuses. They work closely with the Guilderland School Resource Officer. This is now mandated in the Violent and Disruptive Incident Reporting (VADIR).
Training will be provided prior to the beginning of school and throughout the course of the year for all staff. Topics will relate to safety issues, anti-bullying, hazing, crisis management, Internet safety, harassment, gang awareness, and dealing with difficult students.
Purpose: Commissioner’s Regulation 155.17 of the New York State Education Department requires each School District to prepare, and update annually, a District-Wide School Safety Plan. Its purpose is to insure the safety and health of children and staff. It is also intended to integrate and coordinate school activities with municipal, county, and state emergency preparedness efforts. This plan is available in each school district for public inspection and to the commissioner upon request.
In order to protect the safety and health of students and staff, it is critical that plans be read, understood and practiced by all staff to assure that each of them will operate in accordance with it in the event of an emergency or disaster. It is equally important that staff treats the plan as a living document that can and should be reviewed and updated periodically and after every situation that requires its use. This assures that needed modifications are made and included in the plan without delay before another emergency or disaster occurs. The district-wide school safety plan was developed using existing protocols and feedback from individual schools’ Building Level Emergency Response Teams, and the District-Wide Safety Team.
Required Contents: Per New York State regulations, our plan is intended to prevent or minimize the effects of emergencies and to coordinate the use of resources. Our plan includes the following:
1. Identification of sites of a potential emergency.
The school district has identified sites of a potential emergency, per Section 155.17(e)(1)(I): They include but are not limited to: Route 20, NYS Thruway, Northway, Routes 155 & 146, The Northeast Industrial Park (all occupants), Albany County International Airport, Schenectady County Airport, Conrail tracks, Crossgates Mall, and National Guard Shooting Range. On-site at each elementary school: heating boilers and playgrounds. At the middle and high school: heating boilers, chemistry labs, athletic competition areas, and wood shops. Off-site field trips are also emergency exposure.
2. Identification of appropriate responses to emergencies.
Appropriate school district response to a variety of emergency situations is the notification of emergency services via 911 and the use of the Incident Command System. As of September 2010 the District-Wide Safety Team distributed the uniform response protocol flip charts in all classrooms and kitchens. All school personnel receives the required SAVE training annually.
3. Description of arrangements for obtaining assistance during emergencies from emergency services organizations and local government agencies.
Contact with emergency services organizations has been simplified with the inauguration of enhanced 911 service in this area. Initial response to all emergencies within the individual school buildings will be by the School Crisis Response Team. Immediate notification of appropriate emergency agencies will be made using the 911 system, and notification to the district office will be made using a telephone, fax, radio, or other means as determined by the individual situation.
In 2016, amendments to the SAVE Law required district-wide safety plans to include the designation of a Chief Emergency Officer.
The Chief Emergency Officer is responsible for:
- Coordinating communication between staff and law enforcement and first responders.
- Leading the efforts of the district-wide school safety team in the completion and yearly update of the district-wide school safety plan and the coordination of the district-wide plan with the building-level emergency response plans.
- Ensuring student and staff understanding of the district-wide school safety plan.
- Ensuring the completion and yearly update of building-level emergency response plans for each school building.
- Assisting in the selection of security-related technology and development of procedures for the use of such technology.
- Coordinating appropriate safety, security, and emergency training for district and school staff, including required training in the emergency response plan.
- Ensuring the conduct of required evacuation and lock-down drills in all district buildings as required by education Law section 807.
- Ensuring the completion and yearly update of the building-level emergency response plans by the dates designated by the commissioner.
The Chief Emergency Officer in the Guilderland Central School District is the Superintendent of Schools.
4. Descriptions of procedures to coordinate the use of school district resources and manpower during emergencies, including identification of the officials authorized to make decisions and the staff members assigned to provide assistance during emergencies.
During an emergency, the chain of command in a school district does not alter. The Superintendent (or designee) is the source of all authority to act. In a building level emergency, the building principal (or designee) is in charge. The Building Level Emergency Response Team is gathered. Incident Command Procedures are followed. Cooperative decisions, based on response agencies and personnel involved, are made. Each site-based team will be comprised of teachers, nurses, custodians, and other key personnel within each building. Each site will maintain a list of current members of the individual Building Level Emergency Response Teams.
5. Identification of district resources that may be available during an emergency.
In the event that any school district property, personnel, or services are required, the Superintendent will meet with the agency/persons requesting such aid and the individual building(s)/location(s)/supervisor(s) through which the aid would be provided. The school district has filled out and submitted Red Cross facilities/equipment availability. First aid kits, blankets, 2-way radios, vehicles, cell phones are just some of the district resources available.
6. A system for informing all education agencies within the district of the emergency.
The educational agencies within the district would be primarily notified by phone of an emergency.
In the absence of phone service on a district-wide or area level, alternative procedures for notification are in place – The Community Notification Plan, which lists the radio and TV stations that would be used to announce emergency situations. If this process was not deemed adequate, school district employees, namely maintenance staff or bus drivers, would be dispatched to the educational agencies to explain the situations. Contact with the mobile staff would be accomplished via 2-way radio system (maintainable with power outage), and with call alert 2-way radio communications.
In the event that a situation arose that did not require a “go home early” response, but one of re-location or shelter-in-place, a note written by the principal, and approved through the Superintendent, would be sent home immediately through electronic messaging systems (SchoolMessenger, email, web site). The message would describe what occurred, the school response, and a name and phone number that the parent could contact to obtain additional information if desired.
7. A description of plans for taking four types of action in response to emergencies:
- school cancellation;
- early dismissal;
- evacuation; and
- sheltering in place
School cancellation, early dismissal, and evacuation decisions will be made by the Superintendent or his/her designee, and are based upon information obtained from district staff, local, county, state, and federal agencies. Sheltering plans are enacted on an individual school basis, as determined by the building principal, or designee.
Individuals will exit from buildings following posted Fire Exit routes, unless conditions at the time do not allow for same.
School cancellation before the start of the school day is done through the media notification procedure, normally prior to 6 am. Cancellation of after school or evening activities is done via media notification procedures and the district website. Children would receive a verbal announcement that after school activities are canceled. This is done with enough lead time so that children may call a parent and advise them.
Early dismissal procedures are conducted school and district communication procedures have been enacted and media notification has started. This is also posted on Channel 16 and the district website. School notification systems are also used to inform parents and the community.
Evacuation and sheltering procedures are customized at each site location in the district. Each facility has a primary and a backup evacuation area.
Notification to parents of these locations would be via phone tree, school notification systems, and/or media notification procedures at the time of the emergency. Each building site has several sheltering areas available, dependent upon the nature of the emergency. The route(s) taken to these areas are dependent upon the nature of the emergency. Each individual site-based building plan has specific sheltering areas for various emergencies. Examples of some of the potential evacuation/sheltering areas are gyms, cafeterias, halls, in the classroom under desks, in a tight group in a corner not being able to be seen from the doorway. In Spring 2019 each Building Level Emergency Response Team did a relocation site visit and updated their reunification plan.
8. Procedures for obtaining advice and assistance from local government officials.
In an emergency, the Superintendent or designee will contact an emergency management manager and/or the highest-ranking local government official to obtain advice and assistance. The chief emergency officer will be responsible for coordinating communication between staff and law enforcement and first responders and for ensuring staff understanding of the district-level safety plan. Guilderland’s chief emergency officer is the Superintendent of Schools. The district has identified resources available from but not limited to the following agencies: Red Cross, local fire departments, police, town public works, police, EMS, and others.
9. Training, Drills, and Exercises.
Each school within the school district, will have at a minimum, one annual multi-hazard drill. Such drills will be conducted during the annual go-home-early drill day as announced by the Capital Region BOCES. Historically this date is in mid-October, but has been as late as April.
On this day, communications are tested in all buildings such as: intercoms, 2-way radios, and bullhorns. Directives, as provided from BOCES, are distributed to staff regarding leaving the building and not re-entering during the drill time. Alternative student loading areas are used. In some cases, these locations are at the other side of school district property and involve moving the student body from the school building across school grounds to the alternate site. In some cases, police agencies close down major roadways through the area to allow for safe passage. Incident command protocols are practiced at this time.
Evacuation, intruder and weather emergency drills will be planned and conducted in individual school buildings within the district. The site-based Building Level Emergency Response Team set the date and scenarios for the drills. At least one fire drill must be conducted during lunch periods. Staff is notified of the drill in advance. Students are guided through what is expected of and from them before the drill date. Information about drills is included in a Multi-Hazard Response Protocols Flip Chart located in each occupied space in the school district.
Classroom teachers provide guidance during the course of the regular classroom day. This would include, but not be limited to: proper duck/cover position, expected behavior, and the importance of being prepared. Advance information provided to students is prepared and cleared for use by Building Level Emergency Response Team members at each site. The local fire, EMS, and police agencies are advised of the date(s). After the drill is conducted, students are gathered into one of the on-site interior evacuation locations and debriefed by the principal.
The following additional drill requirements apply for summer school, after school programs, events or performances:
- At least two additional drills must be held during summer school in buildings where summer school is conducted, one must be held during the first week of summer school.
- For after-school programs, events or performances conducted within a school building and include persons who do not regularly attend classes in the buildings, the principal or other person in charge of the building must require the teachers or person in charge of the after-school program, event or performance notify attendees of the procedures to be followed in an emergency.
Beginning with the 2016-17 school year:
- All staff will receive annual SAVE Training which includes components on violence prevention and mental health. New employees hired after the start of the school year will receive this training within 30 days of hire.
- The fire drill requirement was amended. Each school now has to conduct eight evacuation drills and four lockdown drills during the normal school year. Eight of those drills (either evacuation or lockdown), need to be completed by December 31st each year.
10. Responding to Threats and Acts of Violence
During emergencies, school administrators and their incident command system back-ups will refer to the Emergency Preparedness Procedures flip chart or app. These protocols are reviewed by the district wide school safety team to ensure content and consistency throughout the district.
By definition, threats of violence include implied or direct threats by students, faculty, staff and visitors. Threats of violence also include threats by students against themselves, including suicide. Anytime they have knowledge of it, school personnel will coordinate with incident command to directly call parents/guardians of any students that are directly impacted by threats of or acts of violence. This notification will also take place when a student implies or specifically threatens self-inflicted violence, including suicide.
The Building Level Emergency Response Team will assemble and review the overall drill. From these reviews alternative plans have been formulated. These types of drills have been conducted for many years within the district. Specific meeting, attendance, and review notes are maintained at each site location, and are in the possession of the principal or assistant principal.
Per New York State Education Law, each school will conduct at least four lockdown drills and eight fire drills during the normal school year.
Local Fire Departments and EMS staff conduct walk-throughs of each school building annually. Specific dates are determined by the day/date of their regularly scheduled monthly meetings.
During the annual Right-to-Know/Hazcom training that is conducted at each site during the school year, a description of the purpose of the Emergency Management Plan is given. Staff is advised of its location, availability, purpose, and requested to look it over and to volunteer to be on the site-based and district team(s).
Information about each educational agency
The (confidential) Building Level Emergency Plan includes information about each educational agency, including:
- School population
- Number of staff
- Transportation needs
- Names and contact information of key officials
Crisis Intervention and Recovery Plan (AFTERMATH)
The Crisis Intervention and Recovery Plan is intended to provide guidance to assist the members of the staff and community to cope with the psychological and social impacts of school emergencies and community events. The goal of such a plan is to provide the appropriate counseling to the victims of tragedy and their friends, family, and acquaintances. In many cases, an established crisis recovery team may offer valuable resources in the event on an emergency or natural disaster.
Partnerships established between businesses, community-based agencies, local government and senior citizen groups have been integral to making our school safe.
Social workers at each level have provided referrals and linkage to human service agencies. Social workers also work with area therapists, Brattleboro Services, Four Winds, Albany County Mental Health, Project Hope, and the Albany County Department of Social Services.
District representatives will serve on the Albany County PINS Diversion Board which involves presentations from each Albany County School District as well as state, county and private providers, Family Court, Probation, Albany County Office of Children & Families, and the Guilderland Police.
Other related activities include:
NCBI (National Coalition Building Institute) at the High School and Middle School; Leadership Training at the High School; Gardening Projects – Farnsworth Middle School; Senior citizen/student collaboration at various schools; Pine Bush project; Guilderland YMCA/GCC; Summer Enrichment Programs with the Town of Guilderland; PTA/PTSA; Parent Education; Natural Helpers, and Sources of Strength.
At the town level, the district has participated in a number of initiatives. Guilderland Police School Resource Officers are in our schools and work closely with administrators.
Community Notification Plan
The Community Notification Plan is a multi-stepped procedure to notify the community of any changes in the normal operation of the school buildings. Attached is the media notification used by the Superintendent or the designee, and the media sources used.
Site-based procedures include phone, email polling procedures, school notification systems, media notification guidelines and special requirements for public notification whenever other emergency service agencies are involved. The district has a Communication Specialist on staff, through BOCES. This person assists with notifications and community outreach.
Implementation of School Security
Each site-based team has developed a locked-door procedure during the school day. Entry into the buildings is through a front door, or via a controlled access at a rear “delivery door.” Visitors are required to sign in and out, and are assigned passes to be displayed while in school buildings. The district has enacted a district-wide photo ID system. The high school location has a local police agency provided Resource Officer. The resource officer provides a wide range of services, see attached. The Resource Officer services are district-wide, not just limited to the high school facility. All staff wear photo I.D. nametags.
The middle and high schools each have hall monitors. Guidelines for monitors dealing with students are provided in the plan. At the middle and high school, the monitors provide supervision of the visitor sign-in as well as assisting visitors with directions to the areas they need to visit. All hall monitors are unarmed and have 2-way radios that allow them to communicate with each other and the main offices of the school buildings.
Pre-employment screening is done through the Human Resources Department. Fingerprints and standard background checks are conducted. Various duties during emergencies are expected of hall monitors. These include securing key hallway intersections and making that students remain in classrooms, sweep hallways for suspicious-looking items, and secure any open doors.
During regular school hours, monitors check the halls during classes to make sure that students have proper passes, between classes-to keep hallway intersections clear of groups, and to check parking areas during the day to check for proper parking permits on cars.
Public conduct expectations are outlined in the attached Board of Education Policy.
The superintendent shall notify the commissioner as soon as possible whenever the emergency plan is activated and results in the closing of a school building in the district and shall provide such information as the commissioner may require. School districts within a supervisory district shall provide such notification through the district superintendent who shall be responsible for notifying the commissioner. Such information need not be provided for routine snow emergency days.
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 Guilderland Central School District. In the event the designated authority in the district or building is absent or incapacitated, the first alternate shall be empowered to make all decisions falling under the purview of the designated authority. The second alternate shall have authority in the absence of the other two. This delegation shall remain in effect until the designee shall notify the alternate that he or she has been relieved.
Designated Authority: Superintendent of Schools
First Alternate: Assistant Superintendent for Business
Second Alternate: Assistant. Superintendent for Human Resources
Designated Authority: Building Principal
First Alternate: Asst. Principal (if one is assigned)
Second Alternate: Office Secretary
Designated Authority: Director of Facilities
First Alternate: Assistant Director of Facilities
Designated Authority: Supervisor of Transportation
First Alternate: Asst. Transportation Supervisor
Second Alternate: Bus Maintenance Supervisor
Designated Authority: School Nurse
First Alternate: Head District Nurse
Each Guilderland school’s Building-Level Emergency Response Plan was developed pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation 155.17. At the direction of the Guilderland Central School District Board of Education, the Principal of each school has established a Building-level School Safety Team and charged it with the development and maintenance of the School Emergency Response Plan.
Identification of School Teams
Each school has developed two emergency teams:
- Building-level Crisis Response Team. This team is a combination of mandated Building-Level School Safety Team and the Building-Level Emergency Response Team. This joint team has provided input into the School-level Emergency Response Plan, and provides the initial response and duration to all emergencies within the school building.
- At the conclusion of the emergency, they will conduct a de-briefing and hold subsequent meetings to determine changes, if any are needed, to the response protocols within the building.
- Building-level Post-Incident Response Team. This team would conduct “AFTERMATH” services to the individual school, providing counseling services to staff, students, and others needing assistance. Members of this committee will assist in the return of the building to a useable service.
Concept of Operations
Initial response to all emergencies at each school will be by the School Emergency Response Team. Upon activation of the team, The Superintendent of Schools or his designee will be notified, and where appropriate, local emergency officials will also be notified. Additional resources are available through existing protocols.
The District-Level Plan has identified sites of emergency, and the School-Level Team has identified areas within and immediately around the school building that requires protective actions. After identification, training has been conducted as determined in the district-wide plan. Local emergency services are notified of pending drills and exercises and are requested to attend.
School-Level responses are based upon the Incident Command System(ICS). The level of ICS needed is based upon the needs of the incident. The school building has developed contingency plans to continue operations during an emergency. Emergency Services have been given site-specific plans for the school building. Procedures are in place for the activation and notification of the Building-Level Emergency Response Plan.
School plans include site-specific responses for the multi-hazard responses named in the District-Level School Safety Plan. Policies and procedures for the safe evacuation of students, staff, other school personnel, and visitors are established. These policies and procedures include, but are not limited to:
- Evacuation before, during and after school hours
- Evacuation Routes
- Sheltering areas
- Procedures for addressing medical needs
- Notification of persons in Parental Relation
Policies and Procedures for building security and restriction to crime scene areas in order to preserve evidence from being disturbed or destroyed in case of violent crimes on school property are in place.
Each school has a Building Level Emergency Response Team. Names and contact information of key players are included in the (confidential) Building Level Emergency Response Plans at each school.
District-Wide Emergency Response Teams
Each school has a Building Level Emergency Response Team. Names and contact information of key players are included in the (confidential) Building Level Emergency Response Plans at each school.
School Resource Officer
The Guilderland Police Department has had a long-standing commitment to the youth of our community. We have taken great strides to try to keep our children safe and make the Town of Guilderland a great place for parents to raise their children. The police department youth services division has been one such group that makes children’s safety a daily job. The Department has had a youth services division nearly since the formation of the department, and has maintained the same services to youth.
The goals of the SRO program are to build relationships between the school and the police department and provide an added resource to the school, but more so to the students and youth that attend the school. The SRO program is a community based policing effort that helps break down barriers that have existed between youth and police and open new doors for kids to be able to converse and trust the police in a new light.
The SRO provides assistance in the form of counseling to students, parents, and faculty, giving a new viewpoint or perspective from an outside source, not tied to the school. A School Resource Officer can be a teacher or information gatherer, as the police officer is a wealth of information relative to criminal justice and law enforcement. SRO’s are able to be guest speakers in classrooms regarding the laws and rules that govern our society. Teaching in classes such as criminal justice, public policy, and health are just examples of the various classes that the SRO can teach and provide insight. The concept is to provide a pro-active measure to try and deter crime before it happens.
Knowledge of a police officer on campus may deter some crimes from occurring, and should a crime occur, the SRO is readily available to provide police service to the school and resolve the issue.
The SRO is part of the school community and part of the community as a whole. Making these bonds, friendships and connections is what makes the program work. This feeling of community is what helps the SRO with resolving issues and problems not only in the school but outside in the community. Children have issues outside of school and having the ability to work with a known, friendly face when the child may be in a time of need is an added bonus to helping someone through difficult times.
Presently, Officer Nick Ingle serves in this position. Officer Ingle is a certified Juvenile Officer and School Resource Officer. His primary responsibility is the high school, but he responds to calls for service at each school as needed. Lt. Eric Batchelder, Supervisor of the Community Services Division at the Guilderland Police Department is also a valuable resource to the school district’s S.A.V.E. Plan.
Students who demonstrate behavioral difficulties and social problems may require a range of intervention involving school Child Study teams, social workers, counselors, multiple agencies, community-based service providers and intense family support. Effective intervention uses multiple, focused approaches over time and can reduce the potential for more serious problems and violence.
Nontraditional or alternative school approaches are available in the middle and high school through FOCUS and Strive for Success.
Strive for Success is another Farnsworth Middle School program offered to sixth, seventh and eighth graders who need assistance with studying and organizational skills. Parents are also involved in this program.
FOCUS is a school program that provides a success-oriented learning environment for high school students identified as unsuccessful within the regular school situation. FOCUS assumes a holistic approach to education, dealing with the whole student – intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically.
Alternative education programs have offered students who may have given up, another chance at education and success. Programs such as FOCUS model effective instructional strategies such as high expectations, counseling and family work, use of varied learning styles, expanded academic options, and school-to-work opportunities.
Dealing with Sudden Death and Suicide Procedures
The district social workers have developed a plan for dealing with the sudden death of a student and suicide. This plan lists procedures for administrators and staff for notifying staff and students, grief counseling for students, sensitivity and help for parents coping with loss and public notification. The plan contains much helpful information for staff and administrators to deal effectively and sensitively with this issue.
Instructional Support Teams
In each school there is a multi-disciplinary Instructional Support Team composed of teachers, social workers, counselors and therapists. The teams help teachers and parents of students experiencing difficulty – both academically and socially. The IST helps identify problems and assess steps toward solutions. These solutions may involve in-school counseling, behavior plans, alternative education or outside counseling. Parents, the student’s teacher and, where appropriate, the student, participate in these meetings.
Social Work Services
As a service to our school population, the Guilderland Central School District employs twelve social workers, K-12.
These school social workers provide unique services to students, their families and school staff by facilitating the resolution of situations where behavioral and social barriers interfere with a student’s ability to attain his or her potential.
Social workers provide short-term individual counseling to assist students through crisis situations as they arise (i.e. sudden death). They also offer group counseling to help students cope with school, family and social stresses (i.e. divorce, separation, death, relocation, academic difficulties, peer problems and school adjustment). Referrals may come from parents, staff or students.
Through the Academic Intervention Services Initiative, social workers assist the student in identifying causes of their problems, accepting responsibility for their actions, developing decision-making skills, overcoming crisis, enhancing self-concept, resolving conflict without violence, identifying and utilizing resources within the school, home and community, increasing motivation, respecting cultural and physical differences, and improving their attendance.
The school social worker also assists parents in becoming partners in their children’s education. They provide consultation to parents regarding their child’s academic performance, behavior and developmental needs. They assist parents in identifying and utilizing community resources. Crisis counseling, parent education and support are also provided to parents as needed.
School social workers hold a 60-hour master’s degree in social work from an accredited graduate school of social work. They hold a certification in social work (CSW) through the State Education Department, must additionally be certified through the State Education Department as school social workers, and are bound by professional ethics. The goals behind school social work are to increase the rate of students’ success: to facilitate, cooperate and collaborate with team members; to be a liaison for the community; and to provide leadership in working towards the fulfillment of the whole student.
Code of Conduct
The third component of Guilderland’s S.A.V.E. plan is the Code of Conduct. This was developed by a subcommittee of the District Safety Team. This has been shared with building cabinets, PTA/PTSA presidents, teachers, G.T.A. presidents, Board of Education Policy Committee, Guilderland School Resource Officers, and students.
To see the Guilderland CSD Code of Conduct please go to the district website at: https://www.guilderlandschools.org/about-us/district-code-of-conduct/
Guilderland Schools encourage staff and students to take pride in their schools and to experience a sense of community. In each school many programs and activities offer students the chance to have a pro-social role in the school and community. Whether they are involved in a school garden project or taking part in a school club, involvement in these activities grant all student participants the satisfaction of positive action.
Students are involved in school governance through student council and building cabinets, and are members of the Council for Safe & Respectful Schools. In addition to these organizations, students are involved in social consciousness, peer governing and peer assistance programs.
A partial list of K-12 programs include:
The Alliance; Elementary Study Buddies Program; Natural Helpers; Amnesty International; Students & Teachers Against Racism (STAR); Student Government; Bus Buddies; Key Club; YMCA/GCC; Student Gardening Programs; Students Against Hunger; Pine Bush Project; NCBI – MS, HS; Achieving Cultural Togetherness; Peaceful School Bus; Peer Leadership; S.A.D.D. – High School, Guilderland Elementary; Banana Splits; EKP; Martin Luther King programs; Second Step; Strive for Success; High School Advisory.
Another way to empower students is to involve them at every level in carefully created and nurtured school traditions that contribute to a feeling of school community and pride. For example, some schools establish a school theme or project annually.
At all levels school Spirit Weeks and assemblies are often a powerful way to involve students and staff in a feeling of togetherness and pride. Daily connections are made at the middle and high school through the use of student/teacher-designed news programs.
- Activities have been developed to foster school norms against violence, aggression and bullying. Wellesley Center for Women’s Bully Proof curriculum, the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program and the Committee for Children’s Second Step Program are used by elementary and middle school social workers and teachers. Schools cultivate respect for diversity and celebrate learning, athletics and social education. PTA’s are highly supportive of student activities.
2. Instructional strategies/skills training is offered to staff and implemented in classroom instruction.
Teachers are trained in best practices in classroom instruction to foster social behavior and effective learning in the classroom. Workshops offered dealt with classroom management, cooperative learning, handling disruptive students, active listening, academic controversy, brain-based learning, mind mapping and concept attainment. Administrators and supervisors were part of this training and supervise implementation in the classroom.
3. Teachers and social workers are knowledgeable in assessing students with violent tendencies and helped access treatment.
Staff meetings and workshops have helped teachers address risk factors in students at all levels.
Teachers have been given instruction on student risk factors associated with potential violence toward self and others as well as crisis intervention training. Any one of these risk factors is sufficient for predicting violence, but it may be inappropriate or potentially harmful to use them simply as a checklist for individual youth. These lists should not be used to stereotype or stigmatize individual youth because they appear to fit a set of risk factors.
- history of tantrums/uncontrollable angry outbursts
- past violent behavior
- characteristically resorts to name-calling/cursing
- bullying of peers or younger children
- history of being bullied
- a pattern of violent threats when angry
- cruelty to animals and/or fire-setting
- use and abuse of alcohol or drugs
- past suicide attempts
- often depressed and/or has significant mood swings
- tends to blame others for problems caused by oneself
- recent experience of humiliation, loss or rejection
- excessive preoccupation with weapons/explosives
- poor peer relations is on the fringe of a peer group with few or no close friends
- involvement with cults or gangs
- unstructured time
- family history of violence
- history of being a victim of abuse
- severe or inconsistent punishment
- absence of clear expectations/standards for youth behavior
- little or no supervision or support from parents or caring adults
- extreme economic deprivation
- low neighborhood attachment and community disorganization
- past destruction of property/vandalism
- few organized activities in the community for youth
- previously brought a dangerous weapon to school
- aggressiveness in grades K-3 may be combined with social isolation or hyperactivity
- skipping school, getting into fights, misbehaving in class
- background of serious disciplinary problems
- previously been truant, suspended, or expelled for aggressive behavior
- reflects anger or frustration in school essays/drawings/journals
- academic failure beginning in grade school (experience of failure escalates risk rather than ability)
4. In addition to staff training, the district has reached out to parents and students on potentially dangerous behavior through parent and student handbooks outlining policies as well as the Code of Conduct. Brochures on sexual harassment, bullying, and diversity are sent to parents and students at appropriate grade levels. A particular focus of the district has been on bullying, using the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. Several parent workshops for elementary and middle school parents have been held. Student programs such as N.C.B.I. (National Coalition Building Institute) involve middle school and high school students in anti-violence and anti-bullying activities. “Second Step” is a nationally recognized anti-bullying program that is used in elementary schools. The district newsletter, Channel 16 Cable TV and the district website also provide information to parents and students as well.
5. Also teachers and staff are annually given copies of policies and procedures in handbooks for responding to implied or direct threats of violence by students or visitors to schools.
Many of the initiatives in our district’s Professional Development Plan are designed to prevent school violence and to build character. The most effective character education is based on core values and a philosophy articulated through district priorities. Each of our schools has made deliberate and effective efforts to embed both district priorities and our core values in the educational lives of students. These are also conveyed to parents and community through school newsletters, video programs, school events, and district publications.
Effective character education requires an intentional, proactive and comprehensive approach that promotes core values in all phases of school life. It also includes a meaningful and challenging academic curriculum that respects all learners and helps them succeed. Our health curriculum K-12 allows time for teachers to address issues of violence prevention and mental health.
Professional development for all staff helps them to identify and constructively addresses potential violence and peer abuse such as put-downs, racial slurs, sexual harassment, insensitive gender remarks, remarks on appearance or economic or social status. Training such as cooperative learning has allowed staff to promote a team effort, and to create inclusive standards for responsible classroom behavior. Our implementation of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program has been a priority. Our school’s approach to behavior management emphasizes our core values within constructive discussion, explanation and consequences. This is what our Code or Conduct emphasizes.
In the district’s Professional Development Plan, our training for staff focuses on developmentally appropriate forms of behavior management. It offers staff ways to routinely deal with behavior issues in ways that encourage intrinsic motivation and offer students opportunities for reparation while not demeaning the individual. Violence prevention education goes beyond a Superintendent’s Conference Day and is part of all our staff development.
Our Professional Development Plan for 2019-20 can be viewed on the Guilderland CSD website www.guilderlandschools.org.
Safe Schools/SAVE Activities
Code of Conduct
- Through our Code of Conduct and staff handbook, teachers are given information regarding policies and procedures on responses to violent behavior
- Student handbooks, parent handbooks
- Clear student rights and responsibilities
- Board of Education policies
- Violence Prevention Training
Emergency Response Plan
- Tabletop training
- Building Level Emergency Response Teams in buildings
- Codes, tactical plans
- Handling the media, informing parents
- Training for all staff
Positive, Safe Physical Environment
- Guest management, security
- Securing doors/video monitors added
- Traffic patterns
- Cleanliness, order
- Subcommittee on Security
Issues in Respect
- Council for Safe & Respectful Schools
- Sexual harassment training
- Bullying Prevention
- Expected student and staff behavior
- Hazing Policy
Safety To and From School
- Driver training, Peaceful School Bus
- Cameras on buses
- Safety assemblies, bus drills
- Parking lot safety
- Bus Buddies
- Cyber bullying Safe curriculum I
- Council for Safe & Respectful Schools
- Natural Helpers
- Second Step
- Youth Court
- Peer Leadership
- District-wide Safety Committee
- Leadership/Allies Training
- Character Education
Violence Prevention Training
- Conflict resolution, crisis intervention
- Classroom management
- Educational Karate Program
- Instructional Support, social work services
- Study Buddies
- Anti-bullying curriculum
- Anger management, friendship clubs
- Suicide Plan
- Primary Bridges Intervention Program
- Character Education
Instructional Strategies/Curriculum/Staff Development
- Cooperative Learning
- Health curriculum
- Wellness Day, Wellness Week, Wellness Policy
- Academic Intervention Services
- Expanded summer school
- Alternative programs – New Start, FOCUS
- Block scheduling
- Summer curriculum work
- Technology applications
- Second Step
- Hooked on Health Committee
- Response To Intervention
- Council for Safe & Respectful Schools
- Education programs
- PTA links
- Parent volunteers
- Task Force on Bullying & Harassment
- Website news, PTA Webpage
- Guilderland Community Partnership
- Senior Citizens
- Service Learning
- Gardening Projects
- Pine Bush Project
Public Hearing: May 21, 2001
Available for Public Review: July 1, 2001
Adopted by the Board of Education: July 10, 2001
Available for Public Review: May 20, 2002
Updated and Approved: June 25, 2002
Available for Public Review: May 27, 2003
Updated and Approved: June 24, 2003
Available for Public Review: June 9, 2004
Updated and Approved: July 6, 2004
Available for Public Review: June 1, 2005
Updated and Approved: June 21, 2005
Available for Public Review: June 1, 2006
Updated and Approved: June 20, 2006
Available for Public Review: June 1, 2007
Updated and Approved: June 19, 2007
Available for Public Review: June 1, 2008
Updated and Approved: June 24, 2008
Available for Public Review: June 9, 2009
Updated and Approved: June 23, 2009
Available for Public Review: July 1, 2010
Updated and Approved: August 17, 2010
Available for Public Review: July 5, 2011
Updated and Approved: August 16, 2011
Available for Public Review: June 19, 2012
Updated and Approved: June 21, 2012
Available for Public Review: June 18, 2013
Updated and Approved: July 1, 2013
Available for Public Review: June 17, 2014
Updated and Approved: July 1, 2013
Available for Public Review: July 1, 2015
Updated and Approved: August 18, 2015
Available for Public Review: July 5, 2016
Updated and Approved: August 16, 2016
Available for Public Review: July 5, 2017
Updated and Approved: September 12, 2017
Available for Public Review: June 12, 2018
Updated and Approved: July 5, 2018
Available for Public Review: June 11, 2019
Updated and Approved: July 2, 2019
Available for Public Review: September 15, 2020
Updated and Approved: October 6, 2020