Emergency management is a central component of school safety where the most important consideration is the health, safety, and welfare of the students and staff. This plan and supporting school crisis plans emphasize positive, proactive, and progressive strategies to improve school climate. An “emergency” may be characterized as a crisis and require time-sensitive, focused, and immediate reactions. Crisis management, a component of emergency management, may be defined as the division’s approach to school safety which focuses more narrowly on a time-limited, problem-focused intervention to identify, confront and resolve the crisis, restore equilibrium, and support appropriated adaptive responses.

While the safety of students and staff in school is always a priority, this responsibility takes on added urgency during times when the city, region, commonwealth and/or nation are threatened by extraordinary emergency situations to include, but not limited to flash flooding, hurricanes, hazardous materials incidents, resource shortages, influenza pandemics, violent incidents, intruders, and terrorism. The Winchester Public School’s Emergency Management Plan focuses on:

  • Preparation for crises
  • Identification and intervention with individuals who may present a potential threat
  • Response to events which impact the school, but do not present serious threat of harm to students, personnel, or facilities
  • Management of critical incidents which do involve the threats of harm
  • Response to inclement weather situations
  • Appropriate reactions to public health emergency situations

An integral WPS communication and notification tool for emergency management available to students, parents or guardians and staff is the AlertNow service. Within minutes of an emergency, school officials can use AlertNow to deliver a single, clear message to students, parents and staff by telephone, cell phone, e-mail, pager, or PDA in any combination. In addition, WPS may prepare messages beforehand to handle almost any emergency situation allowing a swift response when time counts.

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