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A New Education Leader Resource for School Safety and Crisis Planning

As students and educators head back to school this month, there is a growing concern about school safety. One in 3 parents fear for their child’s physical safety in school, according to the 2018 PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools.To help education leaders navigate disruptive and potentially traumatic events in schools, The School Superintendents Association (AASA) released in July the School Safety and Crisis Planning toolkit. The online resource features a select group of safety leaders throughout the country who are ready to provide guidance about a variety of crises that come without notice. AASA has also set up a crisis hotline that education leaders can call with questions and concerns about school safety. The 24-hour hotline gives access to mentors with experience dealing with floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and school shootings.

“There is no greater need in our communities than to ensure that our children attending our public schools have a safe environment to learn and to grow,” said Chris Gaines, president of AASA. “We encourage schools and school districts to share our resources and work together to make our communities stronger and safer.”

Specifically designed for superintendents and other district administrators, the portal provides a checklist on things all education leaders should think about, ranging from building strong relationships with local public safety officials and ensuring that staff, teachers, and other leaders know and understand the district’s school safety plan before a disaster strikes to handling communications and reunification during any unfortunate event. The toolkit pulls together resources on crisis management from other sources, including the National Association of School Psychologists, the National School Boards Association, the American School Counselors Association, and the National School Public Relations Association.

You can access the School Safety & Crisis Planning tool kit here. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.

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Jerrica Thurman

Director of Marketing & Communications, AACTE