3516 - Safety

Policy 3516

Business/Non-Instructional Operations

Safety


Safe and Secure School Facilities, Equipment, and Grounds 

Goal:  It is the goal of the Board of Education (Board) to ensure that all facilities, grounds, equipment, and vehicles meet accepted injury and violence prevention standards for design, installation, use, and maintenance.

Safety and Hazard Assessments:  Schools/District shall develop and implement a written school security and safety plan to conduct regular safety and hazard assessments of all classrooms, buildings, school grounds, gymnasiums, playgrounds, sports-related equipment, and buses and other vehicles used to transport students.  

The school security and safety plan shall be an all-hazards approach to emergencies at schools and shall include, but not be limited to:
  1. Involvement of local officials, including the First Selectman, Superintendent of Schools, law enforcement, fire, public health, emergency management and emergency medical services, in the plan’s development.
  2. A command center organization structure based on the federal National Incident Management System and a description of the responsibilities of such command center organization.
  3. A requirement that a school security and safety committee be established of each school.
  4. Crisis management procedures.
  5. A requirement that local law enforcement and other local public safety officials evaluate, score and provide feedback on fire drills and crisis response drills.
  6. A requirement that the Board of Education submit annually reports to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection regarding fire drills and crisis response drills.
  7. Procedures for managing various types of emergencies.
  8. A requirement that the Board of Education conduct a security and vulnerability assessment for each school in the district every two (2) years and develop a school security and safety plan for each school based upon the school security and safety plan standards developed by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. (DESPP)
  9.  A requirement that the Safe School Climate Committee of each school collect and evaluate information relating to instances of disturbing or threatening behavior that may not meet the statutory definition of bullying.
  10. A requirement that each school provide an orientation pertaining to the security and safety plan to each employee and provide violence prevention training as prescribed in the school security and safety plan.

The Board will annually submit each school’s security and safety plan to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.
The plan shall include provisions for reporting hazards to appropriate staff, prompt repairs or upgrade of identified hazards and other shortcomings, and appropriate communication of repair/upgrade plans to staff, students and family members.

Safety and hazard assessments shall be conducted annually for building facilities and grounds and monthly for classrooms, gymnasiums, playgrounds, sports-related equipment, laboratories, and industrial arts facilities.  The school/district shall report annually on safety and hazard assessments to the Superintendent of Schools or his or her designee. Written inspection reports shall be kept on file for 7 years.  School/District shall correct identified hazards before used by students, staff, or community members.

Maintenance: Schools/District shall develop maintenance plans for all classrooms, buildings, school grounds, gymnasiums, playgrounds, sports-related equipment, and buses and other vehicles used to transport students. The plan shall include provisions for reporting maintenance needs to appropriate staff, schedules of maintenance activities, and communication of details to appropriate staff, students, and family members.  Maintenance reports shall be kept on file for 7 years.

Supervision of Students: All school-related activities shall be supervised by adults to enforce safety rules and prevent injuries. All adults supervising playgrounds, athletic fields, gymnasiums, science classrooms, industrial arts classrooms and cafeterias shall have easy access to appropriate first aid supplies. Supervising adults shall be informed of any relevant medical guidance on file with the school concerning limits on the participation of individual students in physical activity. Such information will be treated with strict confidentiality.

Staff Training: All school personnel, including bus drivers and athletic program coaches, shall receive adequate preparation and participate in ongoing professional development activities relating to preventing and responding appropriately to unintentional injuries and acts of violence at school.  The professional development program shall include at a minimum the following topics:
•    emergency response procedures, including the use of fire extinguishers;
•    proper use of protective gear by students and staff when appropriate; 
•    identifying students in need of medical attention and referring them for appropriate services;
•    administering first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation;
•    methods of responding to bullying, sexual harassment, and threats of violence;
•    identifying students who have been victims of crime or violent behavior and referring them for appropriate services; and
•    maintaining student confidentiality.

School Security and Safety Committee

Beginning with the school year commencing July 1, 2014, and each school year thereafter, each District school shall have a school security and safety committee under the jurisdiction of the Board. Such committee is responsible for assisting in the development of the school security and safety plan for the school and administering the plan.

Membership must consist of a local police officer, a local first responder, a teacher at the school, a school administrator, a mental health professional (guidance counselor, social worker, school psychologist, school nurse, or child mental health specialist), a parent/guardian of an enrolled student and any other person the Board finds necessary.

Parents/guardians on the committee shall not have access to information about disturbing or threatening student behavior reported to the committee, as such access may compromise student confidentiality.

(cf. 3517 – Security of Buildings and Grounds)
(cf. 3523.3 – School Facilities – Playground Equipment)
(cf. 4148.1/4248.1 – Employee Safety)
(cf. 6114 – Emergencies and Disaster Preparedness)
(cf. 6114.1 – Fire Emergency (Drills) Crisis Response Drills)
(cf. 6114.3 – Bomb Threats)
(cf. 6114.7 – Safe Schools)
 
Legal Reference:    Connecticut General Statutes
10-203 Sanitation
10-207 Duties of medical advisers
10-231 Fire Drills
29-389 Stairways and fire escapes on certain buildings.
P.A. 13-3 An Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety

Policy adopted:    July 21, 2016  
NEWTOWN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, Newtown, Connecticut