Scope – This handbook provides a basic emergency response plan with employees’ emergency procedures. This plan:

    • Applies to all employees
    • Applies to all employees tasked to provide response assistance in an emergency/disaster and describes actions to be taken in providing immediate response assistance.
    • Includes those actions and activities that support the school’s effort to save lives, protect the health and safety of students, employees, and protect school property.

    Definitions –

    • “Evacuation” is defined as any crisis that requires students and staff to exit the building.
    • “Modified Lockdown” is to isolate the staff and students from a possible threat, but still continue instruction.
    • “Emergency Lockdown” is to hide in place in the school from a threat to the staff and students.
    • “Crisis” is situations involving the death of a student, staff member, or a member of a student’s immediate family by suicide, substance abuse, illness, or accident; situations involving threats of harm to students, personnel, or facilities, such as natural disasters, fire, use of weapons/explosives, and the taking of hostages.
    • “Disaster” is any incident that results in multiple human casualties and/or disruption of essential public health services or any incident which requires an increased level of response beyond the routine operating procedures, including increased personnel, equipment, or supply requirements.


    Administrative oversights sometimes interfere with the proper provision of crisis intervention services.  Poor crisis intervention actually may prevent or delay the school’s return to a normal level of function.  Each crisis situation may require some flexibility and common sense to be used by the school administrator and staff.

    Simple Oversights:

    1. Absence of a rehearsed plan: The moment of crisis is not the ideal time to inquire about crisis response procedures.  The well-practiced plan affords staff and students the ability to respond during a crisis situation.
    2. Failure to inform the school population in an appropriate or timely manner: In a crisis situation the administrator must be prepared to communicate the unfortunate news to the school population in an empathetic and timely manner.
    3. Supervision of students leaving the school campus during a crisis situation: The students’ primary source of support following a crisis is found on campus in the form of trained counselors and crisis intervention specialists.  Early exits from the campus could place the emotionally distraught student in an environment where harm can occur.
    4. The importance of communicating before, during and after a crisis: The well-practiced plan before a crisis affords staff and students the ability to respond during a crisis situation.  Proper communication during a crisis will instill confidence and security for staff, students and parents.  The importance of sharing information after a crisis situation encourages the sharing of emotions, promotes problem-solving, and helps direct future planning.

    These suggestions can help school administrators and their staffs manage emotional laden situations.


    Prevention is an indispensable tool in building and maintaining the framework of a safe, secure environment for staff, students and visitors.

    The Othello School District utilizes the following prevention measures:

    • Employee orientation: All district employees are given an initial orientation when hired, and receive specific information when they report to assigned building/department.
    • All schools perform emergency response drills. (Evacuation, Modified Lockdown, Emergency Lockdown, Earthquake, Shelter-in-place).
    • Visitors are required to enter through the main entry, sign in at the school office and are issued a dated ID badge to be worn while on campus/in building.
    • Signage is posted prominently throughout the district on buildings and fences.
    • Video surveillance recording throughout the district.
    • Counseling services are provided by both staff members and third party organizations and are available as needed.
    • Various family counseling services are available and utilized district wide to meet the needs of the family unit.
    • Anonymous reporting system is available to anyone in the community to report Harassment, Bullying, Suspicious behavior, or a General comment (SafeSchools Alert).
    • School Security Specialists continuously monitor school campuses’ for any signs of unsafe practices.
    • Mandated SafeSchools training for all staff annually.
    • Risk Management assessments performed randomly throughout the year.
    • The Fire department building inspections performed twice a year.
    • District Incident Command Training with all administration staff throughout the year.
    • The services of a School Resource Officer (SRO) from the Othello Police Department are employed during the school year.
    • The use of Gaggle Notification.
    • All buildings have implemented social and emotional learning programs to foster healthy and safe relationships and environments.
    • The district has a trained Threat Assessment Team that will determine the credibility, intervention and follow-up of any student or staff threats.


    1. Confirm membership of the school’s District Safety Advisory Council.
    2. Update roles of staff members (with backups) for evacuation and lockdown procedures in each building.
    3. Send updates to the Director of Risk & Safety.
    4. Plan a monthly safety meeting to review procedures, plans, equipment, etc.
    5. Inform staff of safety, prevention and crisis plans and procedures.
    6. Print plans and procedures in the Staff Handbook.
    7. Update the school’s staff phone tree. Inform staff of this.  Send copy to Risk/Safety Director.
    8. Update the staff’s emergency contact numbers and names of individuals to contact in case of an emergency with a staff member.
    9. Meet with new staff members to educate them more fully about the school’s crisis plans and procedures.
    10. All-staff training to review the Safety, Prevention, Crisis handbook.
    11. Educate the staff about mandated SafeSchools Training.


    The following components make possible a thorough crisis response box/kit:

    1. Map(s) of grounds and blueprint(s) of building(s) including electrical, water, gas, and sprinkler system(s) shut off valves and fire alarms.
    2. Map(s) of neighborhood including potential hazards, major utilities, and meeting place for students, staff and parents.
    3. Staff roster including work schedules, medical needs and contact numbers.
    4. Set of master keys and Allen wrench keys for locking security doors.
    5. Student attendance rosters including pictures (if possible) and student information for special needs’ students (including medical conditions, medications, and agreements for medical treatments). If appropriate, include strobe light and American Sign Language cue cards for communicating with deaf students, picture cue cards for neurologically involved or significantly delayed students, and ESL translators.
    6. Access to cell phone, district radios, bullhorn or megaphone, phone numbers for necessary district administrators and local emergency agencies, and portable radios, if available.
    7. Release forms to track students being released to parents, relatives, emergency personnel or hospital. Digital camera to record unidentified students, students with injuries, and other pertinent information that might be needed during the follow-up.
    8. Staff resource lists, including medical/first aid training, fire/police training, bilingual capabilities, grief-counseling training, and search and rescue training.
    9. Other resources necessary for dealing with a crisis, such as, clip board with lined notepad, release forms, contact forms, pens, pencils, permanent markers, chalk, plain white, peel-off stickers, flashlight, batteries and first aid kit (including extra rubber gloves). Sheets, blankets, pillows, bottled water, flashlight, extra batteries, paper towels, battery powered radio, duct tape, roll of plastic. First Aid - Hydrogen Peroxide, iodine, alcohol, assorted Band Aids, sterile water, tape scissors, tweezers, chemical cold-packs, elastic wrap bandages, anti-biotic ointment, disposable gloves (nitrile/latex), disposable face masks, CPR packet.


    In the Othello Public Schools & Support Services


    • In all cases of an emergency the principal or his/her designee shall dial 911. (If emergency services–fire, police, utility, ambulance, etc., are required), then call the superintendent’s office.  (488-2659)
    • The safety of students and staff in all situations is the prime consideration.
    • In the absence of orders from superiors, each department director or staff member, is authorized and directed to take such action as may be necessary to save lives and mitigate the effects of disaster.

    In Case of an Emergency DIAL 911


    Unanticipated tragic events can quickly escalate into a school-wide catastrophe if not dealt with immediately and effectively. The exact nature of such tragic events varies. Knowing what to do when a crisis occurs can minimize the impact of the event on students and community. 

    A crisis is defined as sudden, generally unanticipated event that profoundly and negatively affects the school population, possibly involving serious injury or death. Students and staff may be affected. The psychological and emotional impact will be moderate to severe. Outside assistance will be needed.

    The Othello School District will utilize Incident Command System protocols in the event of a Crisis/Emergency.

    Incident Command System is a standardized, on-scene, all-hazard incident management approach.  ICS:

    • Is based on proven incident management practices.
    • Defines incident response organizational concepts and structures.
    • Consists of procedures for managing personnel, facilities, equipment, and communications.
    • Is used throughout the lifecycle of an incident (e.g., from threat to parent reunification).

    In the event of a crisis/emergency a trained school district administration staff member shall be Incident Commander.  He/she shall follow the Incident protocols learned in training and outlined in this plan.

    Each school building in the Othello School District shall maintain and keep on file a copy of the Othello School District’s Comprehensive Safe Schools plan for reference to any Crisis/emergency.