At the Derry Area School District, the safety and security of our students is our top priority. We understand the importance of being prepared for any potential crisis, which is why we have established an emergency planning committee team. This team includes members from our school district, first responders, and specialized behavioral and law enforcement agencies, all working together to focus on prevention, response, and recovery.
We are committed to providing our community with information about school safety and security, and encourage you to explore the resources available on our website. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to our school safety and security coordinator, Mr. Brett Miller, or any of our building principals. Together, we can ensure that our students feel safe and secure at all times.
Emergency Planning Committee
The Derry Area School District Emergency Planning Committee meets several times during the school year to discuss the DASD Emergency Operating Plan (EOP). The district's EOP contains three sections: (1) Emergency Operations Plan, (2) Functional Annex, (3) Threat and Hazard or Operational Annex:
1. Emergency Operations Plan: The EOP is a comprehensive document that organizes and defines all emergency operations and incident response command structures within the Derry Area School District. The EOP aligns with the best practices of the National Incident Management System - Incident Command System (ICS). The DASD ICS consists of four positions: Incident Commander, Liaison Officer, Public Information Officer, and Safety Officer. There are also several core teams responsible for crisis response: Finance and Administration Chief, Logistics and Transportation Chief, Operations Chief, and Planning Chief. The leaders of these teams are made up of school district administrators, supervisors, and teachers.
2. Functional Annex: The functional annex contains a list of governmental and non-governmental resources, evacuation points, and response plans for use in a crisis.
3. Threat and Hazard Operational Annex: The Operational Annex identifies crises most likely to occur. For each crisis, a plan is developed to prevent, respond, and recover from each utilizing the resources available within the functional annex. Job responsibilities and checklists are also outlined to assist in high-stress situations.
Online Safety and Awareness for Parents
Children’s increased online presence, coupled with evolving and emerging digital platforms, can expose them to a range of potential online safety threats and risks. These threats can include online predators and criminals and forms of harassment, enticement, and exploitation such as sextortion. Cyberbullying, which includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else, can also take place over digital devices and in online forums, and targeting youth online has become an increasingly common tactic among traffickers and criminals, who can gain access to children and adolescents because they are not always aware of how dangerous online environments can be.
Teaching children about digital risks and how to avoid them can be one of the most effective ways to help young people make smart and safe choices in their online interactions. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to have conversations with their children early on regarding their online activity and to keep the lines of communication open so that children feel safe and supported in coming forward with potential concerns. Parents and guardians should also know the apps their children use, tell children to avoid sharing personal information, photos, and videos, enact parental controls where possible, and be aware of potential signs of abuse and/or exploitation.
Safe2Say Something Anonymous Hotline
Safe2Say Something is a youth violence prevention program from Sandy Hook Promise – a national violence prevention organization. Safe2Say Something Anonymous Reporting System allows youth and adults to submit secure & anonymous safety concerns to help identify and intervene upon at-risk individuals BEFORE they hurt themselves or others. The system enables school administrators and law enforcement to create effective interventions and to help prevent violence, suicide, bullying, self-harm and other forms of threatening behavior.
With our Anonymous Reporting System, it’s easy and completely confidential to report safety concerns to help prevent violence and tragedies.
How Does It Work
- Submit an anonymous tip 24/7 through the website, app or by phone.
- Receive a Report ID and Password if you would like to follow-up on your report.
- Crisis center reviews, assesses and processes all submissions.
- Crisis center sends all submissions to law enforcement and/or school administration for intervention.
- If needed, crisis center may contact you anonymously through the app or by case number follow-up.
- Crisis center posts status of submission with case number as case progresses and closes.
Threat Assessment Program and Procedures
The Derry Area School District recognizes all members of the school community have the right to be safe and feel safe in the school community. In most violent incidents, there are warnings signs that an incident may occur anywhere from one day to one year in advance that could prevent the incident from occurring.
During the 2021-2022 school year, the Derry Area School District formed and trained a multi-disciplinary team of school officials and community partners as members of a Threat Assessment Team (TAT). The school district’s threat assessment team will be responsible for accepting threat information, analyzing the data, developing an Individual Management Plan for the student(s) involved, and determining an appropriate course of action.
What Behaviors Initiate a Threat Risk Assessment?
A student threat risk assessment will be initiated when behaviors include, but are not limited to:
1. Serious violence with the intent to harm themselves or others. (i.e: homicide/suicide)
2. Clear, direct, and plausible verbal/written threats to harm others or themselves.
3. Internet/website/social media threats to seriously harm others or themselves.
4. Possession of weapons, including replicas.
5. Threats related to explosives or arson.
6. Gang-related intimidation and violence.
7. Significant worrisome behavior.
8. Any form of assault or harassment.
9. Stalking or Kidnapping