STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WTAJ) — Safety continues to be a concern for schools across the country and the State College Area School District is making sure they are prepared no matter the event.
The district is launching an Emergency Operations Plan. Its introduction states the plan will, “Provide information on how to respond to emergency incidents by outlining the
responsibilities and duties of the District and its employees.”
“Hopefully we’ll never need to use it but we’ll be prepared when we do,” SCASD Director of Student Services Jeanne Knouse said.
The plan was unanimously approved by the Board of Directors at the June 26 meeting.
“It really took us to a place where we feel more prepared,” Knouse said. “It really addresses each individual’s role before during and after an event.”
The district previously had an All Hazzards Plan. Knouse said it was more generalized than the EOP.
“It digs deeper,” Knouse said. “So, it’s not as wide, but it’s much deeper.”
These safety plans are not uncommon. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 64% of all public schools reported having a threat assessment team.
Knouse said SCASD’s plan came about through conversations with faculty, staff, first responders, students and district families.
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“They’re the ones that are doing it,” Knouse said. “So, when they do the drills and they practice, they know what works and what doesn’t work from their perspective. Us creating things and telling them how to do things isn’t what we want to do. We want to do it with them rather than to them or for them.”