STILLWATER CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT WIDE SAFETY PLAN – PROJECT SAVE (Safe Schools Against Violence in Education)
Commissioner’s Regulation 155.17 – updated July 2022; public comments due by Aug. 22, 2022
- Section I: General Considerations and Planning Guidelines
- Section II: General Emergency Response Planning
- Section III: Responding to Threats and Acts of Violence
- Section IV: Communication with Others
- Section V: Prevention and Intervention Strategies
- Appendix 1
Emergencies and violent incidents in school districts are critical issues that must be addressed in an expeditious and effective manner. New York State School Districts are required to develop a district-wide school safety plan designed to prevent or minimize the effects of serious violent incidents, declared state disaster emergencies involving a communicable disease or local public health emergency declaration and other 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. Districts stand at risk from a wide variety of acts of violence, natural, and man-made disasters. To address these threats, the State of New York has enacted the Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) law. 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.
The Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex (WSWHE) BOCES, in coordination with the Stillwater Central School District, supports and complies with the SAVE Legislation, and is intent on being proactive and reflective regarding the planning process. The Superintendent of the Stillwater Central School encourages and advocates for on-going district-wide cooperation in support of Project SAVE.
Section I: General Considerations and Planning Guidelines
The Stillwater District-wide School Safety Plan was developed pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation 155.17. At the direction of the Stillwater School District Board of Education, the Superintendent of Stillwater School District appointed a District-wide School Safety Team and charged it with the development and maintenance of the District-wide School Safety Plan. Building level plans use the District-wide School Safety Plan as a foundation; they are not public documents due to the specificity of their content.
B. Identification of Chief Emergency Officer
The Stillwater Central School District designates the Superintendent of Schools as the chief emergency officer whose duties shall include, but not limited to:
a. Coordination of the communication between school staff, law enforcement, and other first responders;
b. Lead the efforts of the district-wide school safety team in the completion and yearly update by September 1, of the district-wide school safety plan and the coordination of the district-wide plan with the Building-level Emergency Response Plans;
c. Ensure staff understanding of the district-wide school safety plan;
d. Ensure the completion and yearly update by September 6, of Building-Level Emergency Response plans for each school building;
e. Assist in the selection of security related technology and development of Policies for the use of such technology;
f. Coordinate appropriate safety, security, and emergency training for district and school staff, including required training in the emergency response plan yearly by September 15; and
g. Ensure the conduct of required evacuation and lock-down drills in all district buildings as required by Education Law section 807.
C. Identification of School Teams
The Stillwater School District has created a District-wide School Safety Team consisting of, but not limited to, representatives of the School Board, students, teachers, administrators, parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel. The members of the team are as follows:
- Representative of the School Board
- Building Administrators
- Superintendent of Building and Grounds
- District Safety Personnel
- Transportation Director
- Representatives from local Emergency Response Agencies
- Representatives from Town / Village
D. Concept of Operations
The District-wide School Safety Plan shall be directly linked to the individual Building-level Emergency Response Plans for each school building. Protocols reflected in the District-wide School Safety Plan will guide the development and implementation of individual Building-level Emergency Response Plans.
- In the event of an emergency or violent incident, the initial response to all emergencies at an individual building will be by the Building Emergency Response Team.
- Upon the activation of the Building Emergency Response Team, the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee will be notified and, where appropriate, local emergency officials will also be notified.
- Efforts may be supplemented by Saratoga County and New York State resources, if needed. For emergency response needs, the Superintendent of Schools will contact the highest-ranking local Village and/or Town officials to provide notification and/or request assistance, and follow existing protocols.
E. Plan review and public comment
This plan shall be reviewed and maintained by the District-wide School Safety Team and reviewed on an annual basis on or before September 1 of each year. A copy of this plan is available in the Superintendent’s office.
Pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation 155.17 (c)(3), this plan was made available for public comment 30 days prior to its initial adoption on August 4, 2015. The district-wide school safety plan was adopted by the School Board after the one required public hearing that provided for the participation of school personnel, parents, students and any other interested parties.
While linked to the District-wide School Safety Plan, Building-level Emergency Response Plans shall be confidential and shall not be subject to disclosure under Article 6 of the Public Officers Law or any other provision of law, in accordance with Education Law Section 2801-a.
A copy of the District-wide School Safety Plan and any amendments will be posted on the Stillwater Central School District website within 30 days of adoption. Building-level Emergency Response Plans will be supplied to the Stillwater Police Department, the NY State Police and the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department within 30 days of adoption.
Section II: General Emergency Response Planning
A. Identification of sites of potential emergency, including:
The identification of sites of potential emergencies is located in Maps & Diagrams in each Building-level Emergency Response Plan. The location of potential hazards, such as: chemical storage, propane & motor fuel storage, potential fire hazards, electrical hazards, playground equipment, etc. are documented on a building and facility diagram. Potential off-site hazards are identified in the County/Town Hazard Assessment in each of the plans.
B. The Stillwater Central School District has plans for taking the following actions in response to an emergency where appropriate, including but not limited to:
- School cancellation
- Early dismissal
- Evacuation (before, during and after school hours, including security during evacuation and along evacuation routes), and
- Sheltering sites (internal and external)
- Emergency virtual learning days
Emergencies include, but are not limited to:
- Threats of Violence
- Explosive/Bomb Threat
- Natural/Weather Related
- Hazardous Material
- Civil Disturbance
- School Bus Accident
- Gas Leak
- Others as determined by the Building-level School Safety Team
*These protocols are protected and will not be elaborated upon in this plan.
C. The identification of district resources which may be available for use during an emergency, including the identification of personnel and other resources.
A District & Building Resources and Supply Inventory which identifies the district resources available during an emergency, (i.e. facilities, blankets, cots, food supply, communications equipment, fire extinguishers, first aid supplies, flashlights, bull- horn, district vehicles and buses.) This inventory will be updated and maintained in the District Office.
D. Description of procedures to coordinate the use of school district resources and manpower during emergencies, including: The identification of the officials authorized to make decisions and the staff members assigned to provide assistance during emergencies.
E. Policies and procedures for annual multi-hazard school training for staff and students, including the strategies for implementing training related to Multi-hazards.
Training, Drills, and Exercises
The district has established the following procedure(s) for multi-hazard school safety training for staff and students. Policies and procedures for annual multi-hazard school safety training for staff and students, provided that the district must certify to the commissioner that all staff have undergone annual training by September 15, 2016, and each subsequent September 15th thereafter on the building-level emergency response plan, which must include components on violence prevention and mental health, provided further that new employees hired after the start of the school year shall receive such training within 30 days of hire or as part of the district’s existing new hire training program, whichever is sooner:
- Annual review of building emergency response procedures with staff and students.
- Full participation in the Annual Early Dismissal – Go Home Evacuation Drill.
- Full participation in an on-site sheltering and accountability drill done every other year.
- Full participation in an evacuation and relocation drill done every three years.
- Full participation with four (4) Building Lockdown/Security Drills done annually.
- The District conducts (8) Fire Alarm Activation and Evacuation Drills annually as per NYS Fire Drill Requirement (2020 Fire Code of New York State Section 403.5 and 405.2)
- The District conducts three (3) School Bus Safety and Evacuation Drills annually.
- Emergency Response Incident Team members participate in simulated tabletop exercises annually to test the building-level safety plan components.
- The district has conducted drills and other training exercises to test components of the emergency response in coordination with the following agencies:
Note: Directly following each test or drill, a debriefing will be conducted to evaluate the exercises and determine if changes to the emergency response plan are necessary.
Section III: Responding to Threats and Acts of Violence
A. The school refers to its Crisis Intervention Plan via the post-incident response team and the Multi-Hazard Emergency Response Guides located in the building-level emergency response plan. These are reviewed by the district-wide school safety team to ensure content and consistency throughout the district. These policies and procedures are for responding to implied or direct threats of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel and visitors to the school, including threats by students against themselves, which includes suicide. The following types of procedures are addressed in the plan.
B. Policies and procedures for responding to implied or direct threats of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel and visitors to the school, including consideration of zero-tolerance policies for school violence.
The following types of procedure(s) are addressed, and could be used by the district:
- The use of staff trained in de-escalation or other strategies to diffuse the situation.
- Informing the Building Principal of implied or direct threat.
- Determining the level of threat with the Superintendent/Designee.
- Contacting the appropriate law enforcement agency, if necessary.
- Monitoring the situation, adjusting the district’s response as appropriate, and including possible implementation of the Emergency Response Team.
C. Policies and procedures for contacting the appropriate law enforcement officials in the event of a violent incident.
The District-wide Safety Plan provides guidance for obtaining assistance during emergencies from emergency services organizations and local government agencies. The following examples are the types of arrangements that could be used by the district:
- In an emergency, the superintendent, or his/her designee, will contact the regional emergency dispatch center by calling 911. The dispatcher will determine the appropriate services needed by the school.
- The Superintendent, or his/her designee, will contact the highest-ranking local Village and/or Town officials to provide notification and/or request assistance.
D. Identification of appropriate responses to emergencies, including protocols for responding to include the following, but are not limited to:
- Threats of Violence
- Natural/Weather Related
- Civil Disturbance
- Gas Leak
- Bomb Threat
- Hazardous Materials
- Biological Threat
- Public Health Threat
- Water Emergency
- Building Structural Failure
- School Bus Accident
- Mass Casualty
- Loss of Transportation
The district has developed multi-hazard response plans. These guidelines are present in the Multi-Hazard Emergency Response Action Guidelines in each Building-level Emergency Response Plan.
D. The district policies and procedures for contacting the appropriate law enforcement officials.
In the event of a violent incident, the district policies and procedures for contacting the appropriate law enforcement officials are located in each Building-level Emergency Response Plan. Each plan identifies individuals who are authorized to initiate contact with local law enforcement agencies. All communications during an incident at the school will flow through the Incident Command Center. Emergency services will be requested through the 911 system.
E. Policies and procedures for contacting parents, guardians or person in parental relations to students in the event of a violent incident or early dismissal.
In the event of an emergency, staff, students and visitors will be contacted in one or more of the following manners:
- Telephone (landline and cellular)
- Runner with verbal message
- School Messenger
- Radio System
- Regional Repeater Base Station Radio
For small-scale incidents, school personnel may directly call the parents / guardians of all students directly impacted by any acts of violence. All other parents / guardians receive an informational letter. The Crisis Intervention Plan and post-incident response team are activated and available. If needed, as needed, community meetings are scheduled in a timely manner for further discussion.
For any major incident, the district works through the above-mentioned forms of communication, including the media (TV, radio) to relay pertinent school related information (i.e., how and where can parents be reunited with children, etc.) It is unfortunate, although important, to remember that major emergencies can quickly tie up phone lines with incoming and outgoing calls and roads can be quickly blocked by traffic of emergency vehicles, concerned parents and community members. School personnel directly call the parents / guardians of all students directly impacted by acts of violence. All other parents / guardians receive an informational letter. Community meetings are scheduled in a timely manner.
Section IV: Communication with Others
The District-wide School Safety Plan provides the framework for the Building-level Emergency Response Plan.
A. Description of the arrangements for obtaining assistance during emergencies from emergency services organizations and local government agencies.
The district will utilize procedures outlined in Emergency Communications and the Incident Command System sections in the Building-level Emergency Response Plans for obtaining advice and assistance from local government officials, including the county or city officials responsible for implementation of Article 2-B of the Executive Law. The types of procedures for obtaining advice and assistance from local governments during countywide emergencies could include the following:
- Superintendent/Designee in an emergency will contact emergency management coordinator and/or the highest-ranking local government official for obtaining advice and assistance.
B. Procedures for obtaining advice and assistance from local government officials, including the county or city officials responsible for implementation of Article 2-B of the Executive Law.
The district has identified resources for an emergency from the following agencies:
- Malta-Stillwater EMS
- Saratoga County Office of Emergency Services
- Adirondack Chapter of the American Red Cross
- New York State Police
- Saratoga County Public Health Department
- Stillwater Police Department
- Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department
- Mayor of the Village of Stillwater
- Stillwater Town Supervisor
- Capital Region BOCES Health Safety Risk Management Services
- Waterford-Halfmoon UFSD
- Mechanicville CSD
- Schuylerville CSD
- Hoosic Valley CSD
In the event that the Stillwater Central School District has an emergency or has been informed of an emergency that could impact the district, it will be incumbent upon the school district to notify Stillwater Area Community Center, Palmer Street, Stillwater, NY 12170; (518) 664-2515, ext. 223.
Section V: Prevention and Intervention Strategies
The Stillwater Central School District regularly conducts programs for students, staff and parents, such as:
- Non-Violent Conflict Resolution Training Programs
- Student Mentoring Program
- Athletic Programs
- Transportation Safety Program
- Transition Program for Students entering Grade 6 and Grade 9
- Character Education
- Counseling Program
- Social Work Program
- Bullying Prevention Program
- Fire Safety Program
- Student Safety Forum
- Parent Safety Forum
- New York State Police Safe Schools Program concerned with bullying and violence prevention
- Established anonymous reporting mechanisms for school violence
- National Incident Management System (NIMS) training for emergency response team members
- Violence Prevention Training
- New York State School Safety Guide (2007)
- Collaboration with the Saratoga County Emergency Preparedness Committee/Town of Stillwater Emergency Planning Representatives
- School Resource Officer- Saratoga County Sheriff
- Utica National Safe Schools Staff Trainings
- On-site Student/ Family Mental Health Clinic- Parsons
- Threat Assessment Team
- School safety programs
A. Policies and procedures related to school building security, including, where appropriate, the use of school safety officers and or/security devices or procedures.
Each building has internal/external cameras and emergency strobes located conspicuously in essential indoor and outdoor locations.
The district has finalized secured entries at both the elementary school and middle/ high schools. These entries are accessed by the use of personalized swipe cards for personnel.
Exterior lock cores will be exchanged for new cores in the fall of 2021 to ensure that exterior door key access is secure.
B. Policies and procedures for the dissemination of informative materials, regarding the early detection of potentially violent behaviors, including, but not limited to:
- Annual staff, parent, student trainings
- Parental newsletter
- Informational video
- Emergency Response Quick Guide
C. Appropriate prevention and intervention strategies such as:
-Collaborative agreements with state and local law enforcement officials designed to ensure that school safety officers and other security personnel are adequately trained, including being trained to de-escalate potentially violent situations (TCI training)
-Peer mediation programs
D. Strategies for improving communication among students, and between students and staff, and reporting of potentially violent incidents, such as the establishment of:
- Youth-run programs, i.e., SADD, Student Council, Friends of Rachel, Peer mediation
- Wellness activities, including: anti-bullying presentations, internet safety, cyber-safety
- Students, staff or parents that have concerns about an individual’s potential threat to others or to themselves should immediately report those concerns to the school superintendent or other school administrators. Students are encouraged to contact a trusted adult who then will refer the matter to the appropriate administrator.
- If the district becomes aware of information that an individual is likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious physical harm to him/herself or others, the Superintendent and/or designee will contact law enforcement and/ or the school attorney, outside agencies, etc. to determine the appropriate next steps.
Currently the Stillwater Central School District does not employ hall monitors. The SCSD contracts with the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department to employ a full-time School Resource Officer. SCSD subscribes to the Health Safety Risk Management Services through the WSWHE BOCES. In addition, the district has implemented a Student Safety Committee.
Appendix 1: (District-owned facilities)
Stillwater Elementary School
1072 Hudson Avenue
Stillwater, NY 12170
Principal: Mrs. Rebecca Toleman
(518) 373-6100, ext. 31001
Stillwater Middle School
1068 Hudson Avenue
Stillwater, NY 12170
Principal: Mr. Timothy Hulihan
(518) 373-6100, ext.30010
Stillwater High School
1068 Hudson Avenue
Stillwater, NY 12170
Principal: Ms. Carolyn Manzella
(518) 373-6100, ext. 30002
Stillwater Transportation Department
21 Palmer Street
Stillwater, NY 12170
Director: Mr. Thomas Murphy