Safety Plans by District/Building

Working with local law enforcement, first responders, and school security experts, CV has maintained an extensive emergency plan. The plan not only addresses the threat of a violent intruder, but how the District will proceed when faced with situations including but not limited to chemical spills, loss of a building mid-year due to a fire or natural disaster, closing a school due to a pandemic flu, closing buildings and sending students home in the event of inclement weather, an electrical or water outage, or other event around the school, and sheltering students in place in the event roads are not passable. In addition to a broad and overarching plan, individual emergency response plans are maintained for each of our school and support buildings. Cumberland Valley School District Policy requires that the plans are updated annually and any changes made over the course of the school year are reported to law enforcement and first responders.

For reasons that became evident in recent school shootings and threats of violence by individuals attempting to utilize school district safety procedures as a tactical advantage against a school/school district, Cumberland Valley has always held our Safety Plan in confidence when speaking publicly in broad terms and specifically only in controlled situations about details of the plan. On June 22, 2018, the state agreed to pass a new law that allows school officials to discuss matters related to safety behind closed doors — in executive session — if airing them publicly would be “reasonably likely to impair the effectiveness of such measures” or “are likely to jeopardize the safety or security of an individual or school.”

This does not mean that CV does not desire input from parents regarding District and building safety plans or to continue to report out, in general terms, the status and level of preparation and information that parents need to know to plan appropriately. In order to do so, each elementary principal has appointed one parent liaison, and each middle school and the high school have each appointed two parent liaisons, to a District Safety Committee. Under the Direction of the new Director of Student and Public Safety and the Superintendent, the parents on this committee will interact with administration, law enforcement, first responders, and security experts to better inform decision-making, to better understand and provide comment as to the parameters under which the District will and will not release specific details of its emergency plan, and to speak to the needs of parents in regards to school safety.

Some general information regarding District and School Safety Plans that parents should know:

• Safety plans have been developed for the District both as a whole and for each building. In addition, teachers are to develop and review professional safety plans for the spaces they share with students and colleagues.

• Safety Plans have been developed with direct input from local law enforcement who regularly visit and tour our schools and who have an open invitation to train in our facilities.

• Local, county, and state law enforcement agencies have mutually understood practices and procedures for entering our schools in the event of an emergency and specific detailed tactical plans to control access to and from and around each of our schools.

• Our administrators are trained in crisis management and a School Resource Officer (a Silver Spring Township Police Officer) is on site at Cumberland Valley High School and available in other buildings as needed. Additionally, it is not uncommon to find local law enforcement officers in and around our buildings on any given day.

• Buildings are locked during the school day; visitors must enter at a central location before being granted access into the hallways.

• We have a visitor registration software system that enhances school security by retrieving data from each visitor’s state-issued IDs and cross referencing it with both law enforcement and with District-created databases.

• We follow strict protocol, requiring that faculty, staff, parents, and community members who volunteer regularly have the proper clearances to be in our schools and require that outside companies and organizations that provide support services directly to students, such as bus drivers and Intermediate Unit employees, do the same.

• Staff and visitors must wear a District-issued identification badge.

• Schools will practice evacuation drills monthly at times disclosed only to faculty and staff and local law enforcement. Intruder drills will occur semi-annually at times disclosed only to faculty and staff and local law enforcement.

• Each building has specific evacuation plans with primary and secondary evacuation sites where students and faculty can gather and be moved to a secondary location if necessary. Those sites are known to and will be secured by second and third level responders from law enforcement early in a response.

• For safety reasons, primary and secondary evacuation sites are not disclosed to safeguard against a secondary attack. Police and first responders have detailed knowledge of each school and evacuation site and will secure those locations and direct traffic for parent arrivals.

• In the event of an emergency that requires students be moved to a secondary site, parents shall be notified of the specific location for reunification with their child via phone call and/or email, and if appropriate through the District website and local media. All of the information and notification systems necessary for mass communication with parents is accessible by school officials from remote locations and backed-up at separate sites. It is critical that parents keep their contact information with the District up-to-date at all times. We recommend bookmarking the school’s website and downloading the CV App (update coming late fall/early winter 2018/2019) to your smartphone.

• As much as the natural response for parents is to immediately go to their child’s school, massing at that location may only hinder first responders, evacuation procedures, or slow reunification. As difficult as it might be, we ask that – for the safety of students, faculty, law enforcement, and first responders – parents wait for instructions and then react quickly.

• The District has adopted a Run, Hide, Fight approach to dealing with violent intruders under the following general parameters:

o Intruders should be delayed as much as possible with locked doors and other safety measures designed to deny or slow access to our facilities.

o Students are always to follow the direction of faculty and staff.

o Teachers may exit the school or school grounds with their students if they are confident of a high degree of success in leading them to safety. If there is any doubt, faculty and staff are to shelter in place as rehearsed.

o Only as an effort of last resort and if in fear for their lives, teachers should fight an intruder. Faculty, staff, and students should never seek the location of an intruder to be combative. That will not only place their lives in danger, but impede law enforcement efforts and place their lives at risk.

• If you have questions about a safety plan you should speak directly with a building principal. In the event you were to ask a teacher, know that for consistency purposes, teachers have been instructed to direct you to the building principal.


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