AAPS Crisis Response Protocol

  • A safe learning environment for all students is the top priority of the Ann Arbor Public Schools. Assessment, planning, development of protocols, training and evaluation are key components in ensuring that a student’s education will not be disrupted by any safety concerns and that staff are properly trained to respond to any emergency situation.

    Emergency and Crisis Response
    When a traumatic event or crisis occurs within the Ann Arbor Public Schools, the district provides planned, specific intervention. The district does its utmost to be prepared to meet the needs of affected individuals during the time of crisis. Every staff person has the potential to perform a task or take a role in the management of crisis situations. The district has protocols to serve as the guide to the response roles of staff. Training and evaluations are an important part of the response process.

    Procedures and Protocols
    The district has thorough procedures in place for school emergencies including individual student medical emergencies.

    The district has a three-level crisis response team protocol.

    • School Teams - Each school has a crisis response team, which includes a team coordinator, medical liaison, counseling support, family liaison, social worker, psychologist and a member of the local law enforcement division.
    • Cluster Teams - The second level teams are divided up by middle school clusters creating 5 support teams. Each crisis cluster team is responsible to support a set of schools. When an emergency occurs at one of the schools in the district the cluster team reports to the school to assist.
    • District Teams - The final level of support is at the district level. The district crisis team reports to the scene and assists the cluster team.

    FEMA Guidelines
    The district uses the FEMA guidelines of Prevention-Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery. Staff members including first responders and administrators at each school are trained in this emergency response protocol

    Emergency Response Resources
    The district has a number of emergency response resources and materials in each school.

    • Emergency Response Flip Charts
      Every classroom and office has an emergency response guide, designed as an easy-to-use flip chart. These are posted on the wall of the room for quick reference. This flip chart gives step-by-step instructions for a wide variety of emergencies including medical, bomb threats, fire, weapons, unauthorized visitors and severe weather. Parents are welcome to view the flip chart in the classrooms.
    • Emergency Response Manuals
      Each office(s) has a copy of the emergency response manual containing protocols, crisis response teams and contact information, and a variety of direction and support materials. Parents are welcome to review the manuals in the school offices.
    • AEDs
      Every school in the district has at least one AED unit. Staff is trained in the proper use of the units. They are placed in strategic location(s) at the school.
    • “To Go” Bags
      Each classroom has a bag that contains basic first aid equipment. Each office has a more comprehensive bag of first aid materials. School nurses in coordination with the crisis team staff determined the contents of these bags. They are placed in the rooms for easy access during an emergency situation.

    911 calls are made immediately upon the assessment of the emergency situation and it is determined that EMS units are required. Under all AAPS procedures the 911 call is the first action to be taken (if appropriate) after the initial assessment.

    CPR and Emergency Response
    School staff has basic knowledge of emergency response and P.E. teachers are trained in CPR. Parents are welcome to review the crisis response manual available at each school. The district takes emergency management and response very seriously. We know that we are responsible for students when they are at our schools. Training and drills are all part of the ongoing process for staff to be prepared for an emergency.

    Local Law Enforcement Coordination
    The district has a very close relationship with local and regional emergency management providers including EMS, Fire and Police. We jointly plan and participate in emergency response. Local law enforcement are members of the staff at the three comprehensive high schools and act as a liaison between the police and the school. They are part of the district’s crisis response teams and are always available to offer procedural advice and assistance. Law enforcement personnel also participate in the various drills held throughout the district.

    Critical Incident Stress Management – CISM
    Many staff in the district are trained in Critical Incident Stress Management. These trained staff are members of every cluster and district teams as well as many of the school teams. AAPS staff with CISM certification have completed the formal training program with Washtenaw County and CISM experts. The AAPS staff members are there to assist during an emergency situation and are available to help families and school staff after the crisis.

    REMS Grant – Readiness Emergency Management for Schools
    In 2008 the Ann Arbor Public Schools received a grant from the United States Department of Education. The district received funding to have a professional emergency management firm come in and review and revise the emergency management protocols used by the district. This 18 month long process included the development of enhanced protocols, training of staff in emergency response methods, new emergency response resources for each school and further coordination with local law enforcement. A full report on the REMS grant activity will be available and shared with each school upon completion of the grant in spring 2009.
    School Nurses
    All AAPS nurses are RN’s and are required to obtain a School Nurse Certification from the Michigan Department of Education. There are three levels of certification the State Board of Education requires: interim, standard and professional. School nurses are required to continue their education to the "professional" level of certification as well as continued professional development to maintain Michigan licensure. Nurses in the district meet monthly to collaborate and increase their skills in order to promote health and safety and respond to student needs.

    You can access the school nurse requirements at: www.michigan.gov/mde/ and click on the certification law/rule/policy link.

    The Ann Arbor Public Schools takes emergency readiness very seriously. The protocols that have been implemented are meant to prepare staff to assess the incident and respond to an emergency situation in a timely manner with support of local emergency response personnel.

    February 2009