I am writing to provide you with information about the Department of Education’s Emergency Readiness Initiatives that are in place in all NYC Public Schools.
Every school currently has procedures for emergencies. In 2000, New York State Education Law Section 2801 was enacted requiring schools to develop safety plans regarding emergency response. In July of 2001, the law was amended to require that plans include information for evacuation and sheltering. In accordance with this, “schools need to conduct drills and other exercises to test components of the emergency response plan.”
School staff members are trained in various procedures that are outlined in the School Safety Plan and we currently conduct a variety of drills throughout the year to prepare our staff and students. Section 807 of the New York State Education Law requires all schools to conduct a minimum of 12 fire drills each year. Section 917 of the State Education Law states that schools are required to provide and maintain automated external defibrillator (AED) equipment, and drills are conducted during the year to assess the use of AED units in an emergency. In accordance with Section 3623 of the State Education Law, drills are also conducted at schools that focus on safety on a school bus.
In addition to conducting these types of drills, our school has a Building Response Team that is trained to activate and respond to different incidents that may occur at our school. Under the new General Response Protocol (GRP), every school will be conducting specific drills designed to help prepare all school communities for three different types of response to emergencies that may occur: evacuation, shelter-in, and lockdown. Opportunities for parent engagement are available at our school to ensure that families are involved in our school-based emergency readiness program. Parent versions of the School Safety Plan are available upon request in the main office, and information explaining the GRP is included with this letter. Many other important resources for families are also available by visiting http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/OSYD/default.htm
During the first week of March, our school community will participate in a lockdown drill. The drill will provide us with the opportunity to practice the steps that are necessary to maintain a safe environment for all students. I will continue to make announcements to staff and students about this exercise to ensure that all students understand that it is merely a drill. Immediately following the drill, students will continue with their school day. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Parent Coordinator Elaine DiAngelo at 781-420-2103.
I look forward to seeing you at Parent/Teacher Conferences on March 26th and 27th.
Timothy M. Gannon
CONTACT ELAINE DIANGELO
FOR THE PARENT CODE AND DIRECTIONS