Author Topic: Components of School Crisis Planning Training  (Read 710 times)


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Components of School Crisis Planning Training
« on: September 19, 2012, 05:07:56 AM »
Crisis planning occurs at the building, district , team, and community level. Each building has its own plan, the district has policy on how buildings can support each other, and all of this is coordinated with mental health and other agencies. CMI training includes incorporating all of the following, and provides opportunity for skill-building in areas that support all of what needs to be managed in order to plan, respond and provide follow-up.
The Building Level

After an initial call comes in of a death, tragedy or crisis, a series of tasks and decisions must be made:
* verification of information
* informing district administrators
* informing all impacted staff
* decisions around handling of information/rumors/updates/media
* delegation of responsibilities/defining people's roles
* use of support personnel/incoming crisis response team
* handling of regular routine/changes to be made
* writing of announcement to students
* agenda for staff meeting for before school
* brainstorming others who might be impacted (feeder schools, etc.)
* preparing supplies for the "safe" room
* coordination with other agencies (mental health, churches, other)
* decisions about unique factors (need for Critical Incident Debriefings, etc.)
* much more
During the school day:

* the before-school staff meeting
* handling the announcement to the kids/classroom discussions
* staffing the safe room
* handling parent calls/concerns
* handling the press
* screening of incoming counselors
* means for students to express sympathies
* varieties of activities for assisting students in processing grief/trauma
* handling updates of information
* contact with the family
* decisions around returning of the deceased student's belongings to family
* meeting needs of special groups (if student was on teams, in clubs, etc.)
* beginning of planning of memory activity
* after-school meeting agenda
Related activities

* parent meetings
* decisions around student's attendance at the funeral
* community resources if appropriate and available
Special considerations

* there are always many, and they are varied depending on the situation
* Follow-up
* PTSD check-ups
* networking of students/staff for support
* buddy systems
* ongoing referrals to mental health/other agencies
* amending curriculum to add relevant topics/content
* support groups
* parent program
* the memory activity
Other issues to address in planning:

* how to interface with incoming crisis response team members ("Flight Team members")
* how building staff will access support from team if needed in classrooms
* how to build in lots of staff support
The District Level

The district works together in decisions about how crisis response team members ("Flight Team members") will be shared between buildings. It is most helpful if team members who come in are not personaly emotionally impacted by the event. All team members should have the same training (although some will have more than the basic package to fulfill certain roles). The school board needs to approve this concept, since some costs may be incurred for those on the team who are teachers (which then involves hiring substitutes).
The Team Level

This planning primarily involves the coordination of the initial contact person, notification of team members who will be responding, notification of their administration, hiring of subs where necessary, and other elements related to the response. Additionally, team planning must include several meetings during the year for training as well as scheduling debriefings immediately following each response. Ongoing mini-trainings for team members is essential, and yearly training to add members to the team becomes necessary as some leave each year for a variety of reasons. The team coordinator will do ongoing updating of the crisis response plans and will create needed handouts to be used.
The Community Level

Depending on the resources available, each community has a unique opportunity to both use their best resources as well as to work together on coordinating and creating those needed. The breadth of a community crisis response team might include first responders (the 911 folks), mental health workers, juvenile department, CSD, church youth workers, parents, specific cultural or interest groups (for instance, people from minority groups), funeral home employees, hospice, the hospital social workers, service groups, businesses and more.