School Business Affairs February 2020 SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS | FEBRUARY 2020 9 • Planning and training • Supplies and materials • Prevention program support and resources The foundation and success of the district’s work are in large part due to collaboration, relationships, and partnerships with key internal stakeholders—students and staff members—and external stakehold- ers, including school resource offi- cers, mental health professionals, and other community partners. Physical Environment During the past decade, Portland Public Schools has addressed risks to its facilities by implementing incremental safety and security upgrades. Thanks to voter-approved bonds and grant funding, the district has been able to improve the safety of the buildings by investing in the following features: • Seismic bracing • Access control—fully secured perimeters • Mass notification systems • Surveillance systems • Intrusion and fire systems These upgrades have mitigated the risks associated with natural hazards like earthquakes, as well as man-made hazards such as violent school incidents. Planning and Training Emergency planning is difficult in a large school district with many complex layers. Those complexities mean the district must have comprehensive actionable plans that can be implemented at any of the campuses for a local- ized event and that have the flexibility to be scaled up for a larger district-wide incident. In collaboration with stakeholders, a school emergency response plan was developed to cover six emergency sig- nals and the emergency actions associated with each of those signals. In addition, a district-level emergency oper- ations plan includes a detailed process for parent–child reunification and an emergency operations center plan. Although plan development is extensive, in many ways this development can be considered relatively pain- less compared to actual implementation of and staff training on the plan(s). The training model balances flex- ibility and consistency and requires all staff members to (1) participate in an online preparedness and response course, (2) attend campus-specific critical incident train- ing, and (3) participate in monthly emergency drills and tabletop exercises that provide a low-stress environment while promoting a culture of safety in our buildings. Embedded in all plans and training components is the option-based decision-making concept developed by John Van Dreal, director of safety and risk management for Oregon’s Salem-Keizer School District. Option-based decision making is a version of ALICE training and Run. Hide. Fight. This model teaches staff members and students how to use situational awareness to inform critical decision making before, during, and after an emergency event. Although plan development is extensive, in many ways this development can be considered relatively painless compared to actual implementation of and staff training on the plan(s). Supplies and Materials School emergencies range in scope and intensity; they can affect a single student or an entire community. Each day, our staff members prepare themselves for situations that can directly or indirectly affect them and the stu- dents they serve. Along with robust plans and training, campuses and classrooms must be equipped with sup- plies and materials essential for staff and students. All PPS campuses have: • Voice over Internet Protocol phones that can activate an emergency signal. • Two-way radio communications. Portland Public Schools students take part in an earthquake drill.