The following was prepared for the December 18th meeting of the New Rochelle Board of Education. Some but not all of these questions were raised at the meeting. Speakers were prevented from asking the complete set of questions by School Board President Chrisanne Petrone who arbitrarily cut speaking times from 5 minutes to 3 minutes and interrupted and bullied speakers to prevent them from making effective use of their limited time to address the board in the Public Discussion period.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Under the law, each Board of Education was required to develop a District-wide School Safety Plan, a Building-level Emergency Response Plan for each building in the District, and formal codes of conduct for all members of the school community, including students, teachers, school personnel and visitors. Each plan is to be updated annually by committees compromised of teachers, administrations, security personnel, parent organizations, community members and first responders. There is to be a public comment period after a plan is updated and a public hearing held. The District-wide School Safety Plan is intended to be a public document available for inspection at school offices. The Building-level Emergency Response Plan is required to be confidential but a summary version of the plan is to be made available for inspection at school offices.
The District-wide School Safety Plans are required to set forth policies and procedures for dealing with violence and threats of violence. these include defining procedures for contacting law enforcement in the event of a violent incident; defining procedures for contacting parents in the event of a violent incident; designating an emergency response team within each school building; providing annual safety training to staff and students and describing the duties of hall monitors and other school safety personnel.
The Building-level Emergency Response Plans are required to set forth evacuation policies and procedures in the event of an emergency; procedures to review those plans including drills, the implementation of an incident command system, the designation of an emergency response team, access to floor plans, blueprints, schematics of school interior, grounds and road maps of surrounding areas, and coordination with the Statewide Disaster Mental Health Plan. The plans are to be developed and then updated annually by a School Safety Committee compromised of Board of Education representatives, teachers, administrators, parent organizations, school safety personnel, community members, law enforcement and emergency responders. Full copies are to be provided to local police and fire departments and the New York State police.
The Project SAVE Law also required the development and annual review of the district’s Code of Conduct -- in consultation with students, teachers, parent organizations, school safety and other personnel -- to address such topics as appropriate dress and language, disciplinary procedures, compliance with state and federal laws relating to students with disabilities and a committee to review actions relating to the code.
The Project SAVE Law provides for uniform reporting of violent incidents in schools, known as VADIR reports, fingerprinting and criminal history background checks of school district job applicants prior to hiring, whistle-blower protection for employees, and child abuse reporting requirements.
So, again we ask: “Is the City School District of New Rochelle in Compliance with the S.A.V.E. law and all New York State rules and regulations that pertain to school safety?”
When did the district last review and update a comprehensive district-wide school safety plan?
Is there a district-wide school safety team in place? Who are they?
Does the district-wide school safety team include representatives of the school board, student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel, and other school personnel? Who are the members of the district-wide school safety team and their category? Who appointed them and when?
Has the district-wide safety plan been reviewed by the district-wide safety team on at least an annual basis, and updated as needed?
Are there records of the district-wide school safety team such as Agenda, Minutes, Public Notices, Public Hearings?
Has the board of education made the district-wide school safety plan available for public comment at least thirty days prior to its adoption?
Did the board of education hold at least one public hearing to provides for the participation of school personnel, parents, students and any other interested parties prior to adopting the original district-wide school safety plan or any subsequent update to the plan?
Was a copy of each district-wide comprehensive safety plan, and all amendments, filed with the New Rochelle police and New York state police within thirty days of its adoption?
Was a copy of the district-wide comprehensive safety plan, and all amendments, filed with the New York State Education Commissioner no later than thirty days after their adoption.
Does the comprehensive district-wide safety plan include all of the minimum requirements listed in Article 55, § 2801, 2?
Are there building-level school safety teams for each school?
Who are the members of each of these building-level school safety teams?
Has each the building principal appointed a building-level school safety team with representatives of teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, and school safety personnel? Have the building principals appointed any other school personnel, community members, local law enforcement officials, local ambulance or other emergency response agencies or any other representatives the board of education, chancellor or other governing body deems appropriate?
Has the building-level school safety plan been reviewed by the building-level school safety team on at least an annual basis, and updated as needed?
Has the board of education made the building-level school safety plan available for public comment at least thirty days prior to its adoption?
Did the board of education hold at least one public hearing to provides for the participation of school personnel, parents, students and any other interested parties prior to adopting the original building-level school safety plans or any subsequent updates to the plans?
Are there records of the build-level team meetings such as Agenda, Minutes, Public Notices, Public Hearings?
Do the school emergency response plans, developed by the building-level school safety teams include all of the minimum requirements listed in Article 55, § 2801, 3?
Was a copy of each building-level safety plan, and all amendments, filed with the New Rochelle police and New York state police within thirty days of its adoption?
Was a copy of the building-level safety plan, and all amendments, filed with the New York State Education Commissioner no later than thirty days after their adoption.
Has the New York State Education Commissioner withheld any public money from the district for failure to be in compliance with this section of state law?
Has this district developed its plans in a form developed by the commissioner in consultation with the division of criminal justice services, the superintendent of the state police and any other appropriate state agencies?
Has the New York State Education Commissioner grant a waiver of the requirements of this section to the board of education?
When did the district last conduct a review and update of building-level school safety plans as described by the Project SAVE law regarding crisis intervention, emergency response and management, for each of the district's 11 public schools
Has the district conducted drills including use of evacuation routes and shelter sites and procedures for addressing medical needs, transportation and emergency notification to persons in parental relation to a student?
During the district-wide early dismissal drill on October 5th, did the district inform the New Rochelle Police Department, New Rochelle Fire Department or New York State Police that the district was having that drill? Did anyone from these other agencies participate in the drill?
When was the last time the school district conducted a drill in coordination with the New Rochelle Police Department, New Rochelle Fire Department or New York State Police or any other agency?
Has the district designated an emergency response team comprised of school personnel, local law enforcement officials, and representatives from local regional and/or state emergency response agencies, other appropriate incident response teams, and a post-incident response team that includes appropriate school personnel, medical personnel, mental health counselors and others who can assist the school community in coping with the aftermath of a violent incident? Who are they?
Has the New Rochelle Police Department, New York State Police or any other law enforcement agency conducted active shooter invasion drills in any of the New Rochelle public school buildings or campuses?
How will the school communicate with me during an emergency?
Does the school have an active shooter response plan?
Are staff, administrators and students trained regularly on emergency preparedness? Who conducts the training?
Do students have alternate escape routes from their classrooms?
How is access controlled within the school and its classrooms during the day?
How are visitors at the school monitored?
When does the school go into lockdown?
Are all of the employees who are assigned safety roles still working in the district?
What do the plans say about how often drills will be held?