Ellsworth School Department Emergency Crisis Plan: An Overview
The Ellsworth School Department (ESD) Emergency Crisis Plan was developed a few years ago and is currently being revised and updated by the ESD Safety and Security Committee, using various resources from the local, state and national levels. Among the most important of these resources was the document entitled, Practical Information for Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities, which was produced by the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Place Schools through the United States Department of Education.
The ESD defines a crisis as a situation where our schools could be faced with inadequate information, not enough time, and insufficient resources, but in which our school leaders and personnel must make critical, time-sensitive decisions. It is from this definition that the realization comes that schools and the people they employ cannot predict, nor can they prevent every undesirable outcome they may face in a crisis situation. Therefore, the goal of crisis management is to take all reasonable precautions to protect the safety of students and staff through diligent planning and regular communication. With that in mind, the ESD Emergency Crisis Plan identifies five essential components for crisis management, outlining the ways in which our schools manage crisis situations. This model is comprehensive in nature, building from the notion that prior planning and ongoing monitoring of the elements of a crisis plan are fundamental to managing crisis.
Purpose and Goals
This ESD Emergency Crisis Plan is designed to establish regular means of dealing with crisis and to assist administrators and staff in making sound decisions, even in the midst of an emergency. To this end, the following goals guide this plan and our reaction and response to crisis situations:
1. The most important consideration is the health, safety and welfare of the students and staff.
2. School security and safety are community endeavors: the school-community must bring all available resources in supporting this principle.
3. Comprehensive school safety and security plans place a strong emphasis on prevention, using strategies that range from building design and use to discipline policies and programs that improve school climate.
4. Students are entrusted to our care during the school day and in a crisis situation they need more support than ever.
5. Accurate, clear and timely communication is critical in a crisis.
6. Student privacy rights must be protected – this must guide how the ESD works with the media during a crisis.
7. Training and practice are essential to effective plan implementation.
Safety and security are everyone’s responsibility, and all must be engaged in the process in a meaningful and ongoing way. To this end, the ESD Emergency Crisis Plan will be reviewed regularly by the was ESD Safety and Security Committee, which includes membership from the ESD, law enforcement, and various agencies.
What can you do as students and parents to help keep our schools safe?
Here are two documents we would like you to consider:
Safety Action Steps for Students (PDF)
Tips for Parents to Help Create Safe Schools (PDF)
If you have any questions about the ESD Emergency Crisis Plan, please feel free to contact Superintendent Wayne Enman at 667-8136, or any of the building principals (see our contact page).