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Student & Personnel Services Division




Jo Ann Allen
ERCM Grant Director
Phone:
(831) 466-5703
Fax:
(831) 466-5719

Francisco Estrada
ERCM Project Specialist
(831) 466-5704




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A Message from Region V Safe Schools Training Coordinator – Jo Ann Allen

Public Schools in California are mandated under Education Code 32280 to develop a comprehensive school safety plan that is updated annually to meet emerging needs and legislative requirements.

The components of a school safety plan include polices and procedures to ensure a safe and orderly campus, specialized instructional programs that promote equity, tolerance, safety, health and wellbeing, and a stand alone emergency crisis response plan. A school's emergency crisis response plan must align with the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) (as required by the Petris Bill, California Government Code Section 8607) as well as the National Incident Management System (NIMS), established in the wake of 9/11 as part of the Homeland Security Act.

To assist schools in meeting the new requirements, the US Department of Education, Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools established the Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant in 2004 which was awarded to the Santa Cruz County Office of Education in the fall of 2005. Through this grant the County Safe Schools Consortia was created.

The Emergency Response and Crisis Management (ERCM) Safe Schools Consortia is comprised of local fire and law enforcement agencies, Office of Emergency Services Health Services Agency, the Red Cross, Emergency Communications Center (911), and representatives from the ten Santa Cruz County school districts and the Santa Cruz County Office of Education.

For the past 18 months the Consortia has been working with all local schools to assess the vulnerability and needs of school sites and personnel to respond to a variety of natural and manmade threats that could impact our students, families and communities. The Consortia is working closely with the County Office of Emergency Services and the various County Emergency Management Council’s sub-committees to develop uniform county response plans for large-scale events such as earthquakes, severe weather, flooding, flu outbreaks, and a variety of terrorist-type attacks. All school emergency plans are currently being aligned and integrated with the County Emergency Management Plan, which incorporates Homeland Security Priorities, National Incident Management System and California’s Standardized Emergency Management System use of Incident Command Systems under a Uniform Command protocol.

Through these collaborative efforts, ERCM Safe Schools Consortia has established updated procedures in four critical areas of emergency management at our local schools; mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. We are in the final stages in the approval process for the uniform ERCM procedures and have begun to implement and train school personnel in the use of the new countywide procedures and protocols that will enhance their current school safety plans. Schools will be even more prepared for any large-scale emergency or disaster under a County Unified Emergency Response System. The School Emergency Response Plan template will be completed by each school site in the county, updated annually and be on file with the County Netcom 911 center to ensure an efficient and expeditious response to school emergencies.

Although emergencies cannot be predicted, it is the vision of the ERCM Grant Project that they can be effectively managed. Safety and peace of mind for our students and parents is something we cannot put a price on. The ERCM Grant Project is working hard to prepare our schools so that they may be able to concentrate on student performance and achievement.

Through these collaborative efforts, ERCM Safe Schools Consortia has established updated procedures in four critical areas of emergency management at our local schools; mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. We are in the final stages in the approval process for the uniform ERCM procedures and have begun to implement and train school personnel in the use of the new countywide procedures and protocols that will enhance their current school safety plans. Schools will be even more prepared for any large-scale emergency or disaster under a County Unified Emergency Response System. The School Emergency Response Plan template will be completed by each school site in the county, updated annually and be on file with the County Netcom 911 center to ensure an efficient and expeditious response to school emergencies.

An important element in our efforts to keep schools safe have centered on the implementation of uniform lockdown procedures throughout the county. Here is a brief overview of the three escalating levels of lockdown procedures:


  • (1) Shelter in place would be implemented during severe weather emergencies. Students and staff are allowed to enter and exit buildings as long as the incident commander deems it appropriate.

  • (2) Lockdown would be implemented during an emergency that did not threaten the immediate safety of the students and staff, allowing them access to school facilities while still requiring doors to be locked.

  • (3) Code Red Lockdown would go into effect the minute the incident commander knew there was an immediate threat to students and staff. Students are to remain barricaded within their classrooms and no one is allowed to enter or exit buildings/classrooms once a Code Red Lockdown has been declared by the incident commander.

Code Red Lockdown trainings have been completed for several individual school sites throughout the County of Santa Cruz. If you would like to know if your school has completed training for Code Red Lockdown or would like information on the training please feel free to contact Jo Ann Allen or Francisco Estrada at the Santa Cruz County Office of Education.

For more details, please see the ERCM Newsletter.

Contact Information:
Jo Ann Allen
ERCM Grant Director
Phone:
(831) 466-5703
Fax:
(831) 466-5719
joallen@santacruz.k12.ca.us

Francisco Estrada
ERCM Project Specialist
festrada@santacruz.k12.ca.us
(831) 466-5704




Community Partners

Santa Cruz County Office of Emergency Services

Santa Cruz Consolidated Emergency Communications Center

Santa Cruz County Chapter of the American Red Cross

Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency Capitola Police Department

Watsonville Police Department

Santa Cruz City Police Department

Santa Cruz County Sheriff Department

Scotts Valley Police Department

Scotts Valley Fire Department

Central Fire

Santa Cruz City Fire

Felton Fire

Aptos/La Selva Fire

CDF

Ben Lomond

Boulder Creek Fire Department

Pajaro Valley Fire

Watsonville Fire Department



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