School Business Affairs February 2020

asbointl.org SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS | FEBRUARY 2020 11 threat assessment, (4) drug and alcohol prevention and recovery, (5) restorative racial and social justice, and (6) increased access to mental health support. These efforts all drive the improvement of the school climate and psychological safety and provide safe schools for robust learning. Although Portland Public Schools personnel believe that their campuses are the safest places for their stu- dents, bad things can happen. As a result, they continu- ously reexamine and invest in the four critical areas that contribute to a comprehensive and holistic safety approach: prevention, mitigation, response, recovery. The U.S. Department of Education’s definition of “crisis” is: A crisis is an event that is extraordinary. It cannot be predicted. . . . [A] crisis is a situation where schools could be faced with inadequate information, not enough time, and insufficient resources, but in which leaders must make one or many crucial decisions. With that in mind, we work to build relationships and put infrastructure, systems, and supports in place. When critical decisions must be made, they may save the lives of our students and staff members. As leaders, our job is to ensure that we have done the work necessary to pre- pare our districts for prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery. Molly Emmons is director of security services for Portland Public Schools, Portland, Oregon. Email: memmons@pps.net • A volunteer/visitor management system that screens for registered sex offenders. Crisis-in-a-Box for each school’s main office includes: • Emergency plan maps. • Utility shutoff procedures. • Shutoff procedures for fire alarms and sprinklers. • Parent reunification documents. • Blueprints. • Student photos. • Student attendance rosters. • Employee rosters. • A list of the school’s emergency team and contact information. • A list of students and staff members with special needs. Every district classroom has: • A customized emergency-response flip chart. • Emergency go-buckets that contain essentials teachers can use in a crisis. • Classroom rosters. • First-aid supplies. • An emergency response plan poster. Prevention Support and Resources The district’s approach to ensuring safety and promot- ing learning comes from a prevention perspective. District staff, educators, and community partners have worked tirelessly to develop programs that address (1) bullying and harassment, (2) suicide prevention, (3) Portland Public Schools Security Services Team

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