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Date Adopted: April 27, 1981

1. Purpose

The following guidelines shall apply to emergencies that affect the operation of the schools of the district.

2. Authority

The district's system of emergency preparedness shall ensure that the health and safety of students and staff are safeguarded, the time necessary for instructional purposes is not unduly diverted, minimum disruption to the educational program occurs, and students are helped to learn self-reliance and trained to respond sensibly to emergency situations.

All threats to the safety of the schools shall be identified by appropriate personnel and responded to promptly in accordance with the plan for emergency preparedness as promulgated by the Superintendent, consistent with these guidelines.

Bomb threats and reports of fire shall normally require the evacuation of the threatened school or building.

All principals and other administrators in charge of schools are required to develop plans to be used when schools are closed for emergencies during the day. A copy of each emergency plan is to be forwarded to the district office and a copy is to be retained in the school office.

3. Delegation of Responsibility

The Superintendent shall develop procedures for the handling of school emergencies which include: a plan for the prompt and safe evacuation of the schools and safe dispersal of students from school property which shall be practiced monthly in fire drills conducted in accordance with law, the conduct of bus evacuation drills twice a year in accordance with law, a plan for the sequestration of students in a safe place other than the school, design of a communications system to alert the whole school community when necessary and to notify parents of the evacuation of students, instruction in emergency preparedness and survival techniques as a part of the regular curriculum of the schools (Policy No. 105) the immediate notification of appropriate administrative personnel whenever any employe becomes aware of an emergency or impending emergency, cooperation with local agencies such as police department or fire department or civil defense, instruction of staff members in the techniques of handling emergencies, the continual evaluation of the effectiveness of emergency planning in preparing the schools to cope with disaster, and the arrangement for an annual inspection by fire police officials.

If a developing storm leads to a decision by the Superintendent to close all schools at noon, every attempt shall be made to have that information on radio and television by 11:00 a.m. If the decision is to close schools during the afternoon but before regular dismissal time, every attempt will be made to have that information broadcast by 1:00 p.m.

Prompt relays will be sent to all administrative and school offices indicating dismissal times of pupils and staff.

On-Site Supervision

Pupils must not be left alone or unsupervised during emergency closings.

Areas of the building to be used shall be easily accessible to entrances and to the office.

All staff members (except custodial personnel) must remain in the building until all pupils are dismissed. If the pupils are still in the building beyond one (1) hour after the official closing time, the procedures described below are to be followed. All other staff members may leave the building one hour after the official closing time.

Principals and vice-principals are to remain in their schools to supervise the pupils. Additional personnel shall be retained only if there is a need beyond the principals and vice-principals. Principals and vice-principals do not receive extra-curricular compensation.

The number of persons needed during an emergency shall be determined by the principal. The authority to retain more than five (5) persons shall be obtained from the Office of Field Operations.

The principal shall list a minimum of ten (10) staff members in priority order who will assist with the supervision of pupils who may still be in the building one (1) hour after the official closing time. Personnel for this duty shall be selected in accordance with the negotiated contract. Personnel who remain will be compensated at the extra-curricular rate for the time served beyond one hour after the official closing time. Among personnel to be employed, both men and women must be represented. Adult volunteers may assist during these emergencies.

If no emergency contact for a pupil can be made, the Maintenance and Operations Dispatcher's Office must be called as the last resort to secure help for the pupil.

The principal shall be the last person to leave the building after all pupils are dismissed and no other emergencies exist. Just prior to leaving, the principal shall notify the District Superintendent's office that everyone has been dismissed.

Off-Site Supervision

Emergency plans must be on file in the administrative principal's office. Copies of these plans shall be sent to the Superintendent's office and/or the immediate supervisor's office.

When schools are closed at midday, the principal shall contact the off-site location to be sure everyone is aware of the time of closing and established plans are followed.

Before leaving the school, the principal shall ascertain that all pupils at the off-site location have been properly dismissed. If any problems develop, the principal shall report to the off-site location.

After all pupils have been dismissed, the District Superintendent's office shall be notified.

Special Situations

Individual school closings because of problems relating to heating, air conditioning, plumbing, vandalism, etc. will be made as determined necessary.

Fire Drills

Fire drills shall be held at least twice monthly throughout the school year, except in December, January and February, when one drill is required. Additional fire drills beyond these requirements are to be held when needed to insure a high degree of order and control under all school conditions. City Fire Code No. 5-1201 requires that a record of the date and time of fire drill be maintained in the school office. These drills shall be held at irregular intervals and at different times during the school day.

Advance notice of fire drill shall be given to persons in charge of the cafeteria, medical sciences area, administrative offices in the building, and to the custodian. This advance notice shall not be given more than one (1) hour prior to calling the drill. In the absence of an advance notice, it shall be assumed an emergency exists.

Fire drill procedures pertaining to each room and all other school areas must be posted conspicuously.

Changes in fire drill procedures shall be submitted promptly for approval to the District Superintendent or to other administrators as indicated.

The status of all fire drill plans shall be reported annually, in September.

Visiting school district personnel and all other guests in a facility must participate in a scheduled fire drill and may be requested by the principal to assist, if necessary.

In the event of a fire near the school, the principal or his/her designee shall consult with the Philadelphia Fire Department to determine the action to be taken to insure the safety of school personnel.


School Code: SS 1517, 1518
F.O.M. 110.2