MMSD District Safety Plan, 2023-2026
- Safety Plan Review
- Background on Building Comprehensive School Safety Plan
- Individual School Safety Plan Design
- About the Madison Metropolitan School District
This plan was first created in 2018 and updated every three years by MMSD’s Safety Team, utilizing the Wisconsin School Safety Coordinators Emergency Operations and School Safety Plan as an example.
This plan is aligned to Wisconsin Statute 118.07(4) (a-d), 2017 Wisconsin Act 143, US Department of Education Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans, and The US Department of Education Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) EOP ASSESS assessment tool.
Wis. Statute 118.07 (4) states that:
- (a) Each school board and the governing body of each private school shall have in effect a school safety plan.
- (b) A school safety plan shall be created with the active participation of appropriate parties, as specified by the school board or governing body of the private school. The appropriate parties may include the department of justice, local law enforcement officers, fire fighters, school administrators, teachers, pupil services professionals, as defined in s. 118.257 (1) (c), and mental health professionals. Before creating or updating a school safety plan, a school board or governing body of a private school shall, in consultation with a local law enforcement agency, conduct an on-site safety assessment of each school building, site, and facility that is regularly occupied by pupils. The on-site assessment shall include playgrounds, athletic facilities or fields, and any other property that is occupied by pupils on a regular basis.
- (bm) A school safety plan shall include all of the following:
- An individualized safety plan for each school building and facility that is regularly occupied by pupils. The individualized safety plan shall include any real property related to the school building or facility that is regularly occupied by pupils.
- General guidelines specifying procedures for emergency prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.
- Guidelines and procedures to address school violence and attacks, threats of school violence and attacks, bomb threats, fire, weather-related emergencies, intruders, parent-student reunification, and threats to non-classroom events, including recess, concerts and other performances, athletic events, and any other extracurricular activity or event.
- The process for reviewing the methods for conducting drills required to comply with the plan.
- (c) The school board or governing body of the private school shall determine which persons are required to receive school safety plan training and the frequency of the training. The training shall be based upon the school district's or private school's prioritized needs, risks, and vulnerabilities.
- (cf) Upon the creation of a school safety plan under par. (a) and upon each review of a school safety plan under par. (d), a school board shall submit a copy of the most recent blueprints or critical incident mapping data for each school building and facility in the school district to each local law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over any portion of the school district and to the office of school safety. Upon the creation of a school safety plan under par. (a) and upon each review of a safety plan under par. (d), a governing body of a private school shall submit a copy of the most recent blueprints or critical incident mapping data for the private school and all of its facilities to each local law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the private school and to the office of school safety.
- (cm) Neither a school board nor a governing body of a private school may include in a school safety plan any of the following:
- A requirement for an employee to contact a school administrator, school official, or any other person before calling the telephone number “911.”
- A prohibition against an employee reporting school violence or a threat of school violence directly to a law enforcement agency.
- A prohibition against an employee reporting a suspicious individual or activity directly to a law enforcement agency.
On March 26, 2018, Wisconsin Legislature enacted 2017 Wisconsin Act 143 (“Act 143”). The Act was, in large part, a response to both the increasing number of safety threats to schools and a universal need to ensure that all Wisconsin schools are as safe as possible and fully prepared to respond to and mitigate any hazards or threats. While MMSD has always had emergency procedures and safety protocols in place, Act 143 provided the opportunity and impetus for the district to analyze and improve upon those procedures and protocols. Consequently, the District Critical Response Team has worked closely with school communities throughout the district to strengthen safety measures and protocols.
Developing, maintaining, and exercising the plan empowers all staff to act quickly and effectively during any emergency hazard or safety threat. The plan provides staff, students, family members, and other key stakeholders information on roles and responsibilities before, during, and after an incident. The District Safety Plan also provides all members of the Madison community with assurances that MMSD has established guidelines and procedures to respond to any incident or safety hazard in an effective way.
MMSD’s District Safety Plan is designed to:
- Use the systematic approach of the National Preparedness Model, which organizes the plan into prevention, mitigation, response and recovery to any hazard, threat, or safety incident;
- Capture all of MMSD’s policies, practices, protocols, and rationale for how to respond to any safety concerns;
- Synthesize all current procedures and plans into a single comprehensive plan; and
- Provide the standard practices for all individual schools, while also including school-specific information critical to emergency response planning for each school site.
In 2021, MMSD introduced a new department, the Office of School Safety, to continue to monitor, assess, analyze, and respond to any instance concerning the safety of students, staff, and families in the district. The Office of School Safety leads the District Critical Response Team and their focus is simple: create safe and welcoming learning environments that nurture the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical well-being of all students, staff, and families. Regular review, assessment, evaluation, and planning will be championed by MMSD’s Office of School Safety, in collaboration with MMSD’s District Critical Response and Safety Teams and Madison’s community partners. The Office of School Safety strives to constantly improve and build capacity for everyone's ability to embrace safety throughout the school and community.
Organization of District Safety Plan
The information, guidelines, and procedures for handling hazards, threats, and unsafe incidents are defined in this plan. Congruent with national guidance from the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), the plan is organized as follows: systematic methods to mitigate/prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from incidents. Operational definitions, procedures, and processes for each area are contained within the sections that follow.
Prevention & Mitigation
|Prevention: The capabilities necessary to avoid, deter, or stop an imminent threatened or actual mass casualty incident. Prevention is the proactive stance schools take to decrease the likelihood of a threatened or actual incident from occurring.
Mitigation: The capabilities necessary to eliminate or reduce property damage, serious injury and the loss of life by lessening or deterring the impact of an event or emergency; it also means reducing the likelihood that threats and hazards will happen.
|Preparedness||Refers to the actions taken to plan, organize, equip, train, and exercise to build and sustain the capabilities necessary to reduce the effects of, respond to, and recover from any threat or safety hazard that poses risk to the school building or district.|
|Response||The capabilities necessary to quickly and efficiently stabilize an emergency situation, re-establish a safe and secure environment, minimize impact and injury, save lives and property, and facilitate the transition to recovery.|
|Recovery||The capabilities necessary to re-establish positive school climate and culture, process impact, repair harm that has been caused, and debrief incidents to fully restore the learning environment for all students, educators, staff, visitors, and property.|
Ongoing development of each school’s School Safety Team will be done continuously and with the support of the Office of School Safety, to improve and build capacity throughout the school and community. Each School Safety Team should meet on a biannual basis to review, revise, and strengthen school safety processes, procedures, and community resources.
In accordance with Act 143 and Board Policy 4147-Student/Staff Safety, an individualized School Safety Plan for EACH school building and facility that is regularly occupied by pupils (includes athletic fields, off-site locations, etc) must contain:
- An identified school safety team
- General guidelines specifying procedures for emergency prevention & mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.
- Methods to review and complete practice drills required by the plan
- Annual training of active threats and submission of written evaluation of such training to BOE
- Completion confirmation of required annual staff member training
- A copy of each building’s blueprint submitted to local law enforcement and DOJ
The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) is the second largest school district in Wisconsin and serves over 25,000 students across 52 schools. The district covers approximately 74 square miles, including all or part of the cities of Madison and Fitchburg, the villages of Maple Bluff and Shorewood Hills, and the towns of Blooming Grove, Burke, and Madison.
MMSD’s vision is that every school will be a thriving school that prepares every student to graduate ready for college, career, and community. The district is committed to providing students and staff with a safe, respectful, and welcoming learning environment. It is MMSD’s belief that the safest schools are those that foster support and respect, and that instill a sense of community among their students, families, and staff.
As a district and in every school, MMSD strives to cultivate a culture and climate that promotes academic and social-emotional achievement, while concurrently promoting school safety. This commitment is codified in the district’s strategic framework priorities, which help us develop positive, trusting relationships that foster safe, inclusive, and dynamic environments in which to learn and teach.
Strategic Framework Goals
- Goal 1: Every child is on track to graduate ready for college, career, and community.
- Goal 2: The district and every school in it is a place where children, staff, and families thrive.
- Goal 3: African American children and youth excel in school.
This plan is a blueprint that relies on the commitment and expertise of individuals within and outside of the MMSD community. It is crucial that this plan be acknowledged in partnership with all stakeholders across the city of Madison.
The following MMSD BOE policies (in numerical order) have connections and implications to school and community safety and security. The following policies informed the development of MMSD’s District Safety Plan. The text that follows each policy is a brief description. The full text may be found by clicking the hyperlink.
Field Trips (Board Policy 3350)
Field trips and other excursions, including extracurricular activities and extended trips, have the potential to further student learning, offer new experiences, and connect students to their communities. Because field trips, excursions, and extracurricular activities are fundamentally expected to provide educational experiences that are integral to the classroom programming and/or extracurricular activity, staff must accommodate participation by any qualifying student regardless of disability or economic circumstances.
School Visitors (Board Policy 4005)
MMSD believes that it is beneficial for families and community members to be involved in their children’s education. MMSD’s school visitors policy is designed to welcome families and community members into schools with that goal in mind. The district also seeks to provide a secure setting for children to feel comfortable and safe, so that schools provide an optimal environment for students to learn.
Locker Inspection (Board Policy 4132)
The provision of lockers to students is a privilege granted by the Board of Education (BOE). The BOE retains ownership and possessory control of all student lockers, and the principal of a school and/or his/her designee shall have the right to inspect student lockers.
Student/Staff Safety (Board Policy 4147)
The physical well-being of every student, visitor, and employee will be a primary consideration in every school activity, including the designing of facilities, the planning for school functions, the establishment of emergency preparedness plans, and the performance of a task. All employees of MMSD must accept responsibility for the safety of all students and of each other in the conduct of their duties.
Bus Behavior (Board Policy 4213)
All pupil bus misbehavior shall be reported in writing to the building principal by the carrier within 24 hours. No pupil shall be put off the school bus except at school or their regular departure point. If the carrier wishes to deny or refuse a student or students bus transportation because of bus misbehavior, the building principal shall be notified. School officials will inform the parent or guardian of the offense and may initiate disciplinary action.
Madison Metro Bus Code of Conduct: Code of Conduct/Transit Exclusion Policy
For any of the following inappropriate conduct on buses, persons will be given a first warning by the Bus Operator not to engage in the conduct. If further warning by the Bus Operator is necessary for failure of the passenger to comply, a Metro Supervisor may be contacted and may be called to the scene by the Bus Operator. The Supervisor is authorized to and may ask the passenger(s) to leave the bus. An individual who declines to leave a bus after being ordered to do so by the Metro Supervisor is subject to arrest and prosecution for trespassing and or disorderly conduct. Continuous repeat infractions may result in exclusion from buses for not less than 7 days or more than 6 months. See Section VI, Exclusion Procedure. (See info in link above)
Use of Seclusion and/or Restraint (Board Policy 4221)
School discipline requires the guidance of students in a way that permits the orderly and efficient operation of the school. The BOE does not condone the use of restraint or seclusion by employees when dealing with students, and corporal punishment and unreasonable use of physical force are expressly prohibited. The BOE recognizes, however, that it may be necessary for school personnel to use reasonable and appropriate restraint and/or seclusion when a student’s behavior presents a clear, present, and imminent risk to the physical safety of the student or others and it is the least restrictive intervention feasible.
Mandatory Reporting Child Abuse/Neglect (Board Policy 4222)
Any school employee who has reasonable cause to suspect that a child, seen by the person in the course of professional duties, has been abused or neglected or who has reason to believe that a child, seen by the person in the course of professional duties, has been threatened with abuse or neglect, and that abuse or neglect of the child will occur, shall report it to county child protective services or law enforcement personnel as quickly as possible. Any delay is not in the best interests of the child and is not consistent with district policy.
Reporting Child Enticement (Board Policy 4223)
The BOE requires that all employees report to the principal and/or the appropriate assistant superintendent or their designee information that leads such employees to believe that a student’s safety is endangered by a person enticing a child for immoral/illegal purposes.
Reporting Threats of School Violence (Board Policy 4224)
The legal responsibility of the district and school employees to report threats of imminent violence in or targeted at a school derives from Wisconsin State Statutes, Section 175.32.
Supervision of School Premises (Board Policy 4233)
During the school year, school grounds shall be supervised by school personnel fifteen minutes before classes convene in the morning and during the day when students are participating in scheduled school activities until school is officially dismissed. Use of school grounds for other-than-school activities shall be on a first-come basis. Grounds shall not be reserved for outside activities, and no priorities shall be established. No scheduled school activities shall take place on school grounds without scheduled supervision by school personnel.
Weapons (Board Policy 4234)
No person shall possess a knife, cutting instrument, or dangerous weapon while s/he is either on school property or while s/he is participating in a school-sponsored activity. This policy does not apply to either law enforcement officers who are acting within the scope of their employment or to persons to whom the principal or her/his designee has given prior approval to possess a knife, a cutting instrument, or weapon when such possession has been determined by the principal or her/ his designee to have a legitimate purpose.
Alcohol and Other Drug Use/Abuse (Board Policy 4235)
MMSD shares with the community the responsibility to provide an optimal school environment for the intellectual, emotional, and physical development of its students, and it recognizes that alcohol and other drug use/abuse seriously affects that school environment. The district will join family and community efforts in providing necessary information, skills, role models, incentives, and experiences that discourage alcohol and other drug abuse and dependency, as well as enabling behaviors in its schools, and will strive to make the school environment supportive to students who are experiencing problems related to alcohol and other drugs.
Investigation, Interrogation, Arrest, and Search (Board Policy 4400)
School officials must balance the protection of the rights of students with cooperating with appropriate law enforcement agencies regarding the investigation, interrogation, arrest, and search of students on school property or in the school building according to established procedure.
This Behavior Education Plan (BEP) represents a shift in district philosophy and practice with respect to behavior and discipline. It moves us away from zero-tolerance policies and exclusionary practices toward proactive approaches that focus on building student and staff skills and competencies that, in turn, lead to greater productivity and success. The BEP moves us from a singular focus on safety to a comprehensive focus on creating the conditions that make every classroom and every school a great place to learn and grow. It embodies MMSD’s belief as a school district that children learn by pushing and testing limits, getting feedback about their behavioral choices, and making the changes needed to become contributing members of a community of learners.
Anti-Bullying (Board Policy 4510)
The district does not allow bullying behavior toward or by students, school employees, or volunteers on school/district grounds, at school/district-sponsored activities, or in transportation to or from school or school/district-sponsored activities. MMSD provides guidance and support to schools when a report of bullying is made.
Wellness (Board Policy 4610)
It is the vision of the BOE that all students and staff are and feel healthy, safe, supported, engaged, and challenged. The BOE recognizes that physical, social, and emotional health are linked to academic achievement and college, career, and community readiness. Students learn better in healthy schools with healthy employees. MMSD believes that it is the district’s responsibility to create learning environments that foster health and well-being for all students and employees.
Nondiscrimination (Board Policy 4620)
MMSD strives to provide an environment where every student feels supported, respected, and welcomed, and where every student can learn in an atmosphere that is free from harassment and discrimination. Discrimination and harassment can have harmful social, physical, psychological, and/ or academic impacts on students who are the victims of these actions, students who engage in these behaviors, and bystanders that observe discriminatory and/or harassing acts.
Surveillance Cameras (Board Policy 6702)
Surveillance cameras may be used in all areas under the supervision of MMSD, as well as in buildings in the district, including school buildings. The primary purpose for using surveillance cameras in the district is to provide a safe and secure environment for all students, staff, and visitors.
Volunteers (Board Policy 7543)
The BOE recognizes and values the contributions volunteers make to MMSD. The BOE believes that, by encouraging volunteers, it can have a positive impact on parental, community, and civic engagement within the district’s schools. The BOE also recognizes its obligation to balance volunteer access with the need to maintain adequate levels of safety and security for all district students. The district, at all times, maintains full discretion regarding the engagement, placement, and continuation of all school volunteers.
Communicable Disease (Board Policy 7550)
MMSD shall follow federal regulations, state statutes, administrative rules, city ordinances, and the procedures required by the Health Services Guidelines for communicable diseases. The Health Services Guidelines are approved by the MMSD medical advisor.
Defibrillators (Board Policy 7600)
It is the policy of the BOE to allow MMSD students, employees, and visitors the opportunity to benefit from automated external defibrillators. To that end, if there are sufficient funds available as determined by the superintendent or his/her designee, the district will attempt to place and maintain one or more automated external defibrillators in each school and other buildings owned and operated by MMSD, and provide training for district employees relative to the use of automated external defibrillators.
Nondiscrimination – Staff and Visitors (Board Policy 8012)
MMSD strives to provide an environment where every employee, applicant, family member and visitor feels supported, respected and welcomed and where every staff member can serve students in an atmosphere that is free from harassment and discrimination. Discrimination and harassment can have a harmful social, physical, and/or psychological impact on individuals who are the victims of these actions, those who engage in these behaviors, and bystanders that observe discriminatory and/or harassing acts. The district does not allow discrimination and harassment towards or by students, school employees, or volunteers on school/district grounds, at school/district sponsored activities, or in transportation to and from school or school/district-sponsored activities.
Workplace Bullying (Board Policy 8013)
The district is committed to providing a safe and healthful environment for all employees to work. Realizing that workplace bullying can have a detrimental impact on individuals (e.g., mental anguish, physical illness, undue stress) and the organization as a whole (e.g., lost employee time, poor workplace morale, decreased productivity), the district is committed to acknowledging and addressing workplace bullying.
Drug-Free Workplace (Board Policy 8870)
It is the policy of the BOE to maintain a drug-free workplace and to comply with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. Therefore, the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in all MMSD-sponsored activities and in and on all property owned and operated by MMSD, including vehicles.
In addition to BOE policies, MMSD also subscribes to the expectations laid out in the employee handbook as they relate to school safety and wellness. The following MMSD Handbook Expectations (in numerical order) have connections and implications to school and community safety and security.
The district expects its employees to produce quality work, maintain confidentiality, work efficiently, and exhibit a professional and courteous attitude toward students, other employees, families, and the community. As representatives of the district, employees must be mindful of their actions. The district expects employees to comply with the standards of conduct set out in BOE policies, the Employee Handbook, administrative regulations, and with any other policies, regulations, and guidelines that impose duties, requirements, or standards attendant to their status as district employees. Violation of any policies, regulations, and guidelines may result in disciplinary action, including termination of employment. The following delineation of employment practices is for informational purposes and is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all employment expectations.
Child Abuse Reporting
The legal responsibility of the district for identifying and reporting suspected cases of child abuse or neglect derives from Wisconsin State Statutes, Section 48.981(2).
Pupil information that employees obtain as the result of their employment with the district is confidential and protected by law unless such information has been designated as pupil directory data as set forth in BOE Policy 4156. The law and respect for students require that student issues are only discussed with employees and parents who need to know the information. In addition to student information, confidentiality is expected in other areas, including employee or district business information
Criminal Background Checks for Applicants
Every applicant for a district position is required to supply a fingerprint sample and submit to criminal history records checks to be conducted by MMSD. Employment may be offered pending the return and disposition of such background checks. All offers of employment are contingent upon the results of such checks.
Criminal Background Checks/Charges/Convictions for Active Employees
All district employees shall notify their immediate supervisor/administrator as soon as possible, but no more than 24 hours after any arrest, indictment, conviction, no contest or guilty plea, or other adjudication of the employee for any felony, any offense involving moral turpitude, and any other offenses as indicated below:
- Crimes involving school property or funds;
- Crimes involving attempt by fraudulent or unauthorized means to obtain or alter any certificate or permit that would entitle any person to hold or obtain a position as an employee;
- Crimes that occur wholly or in part on school property or at a school-sponsored activity; or
- A misdemeanor that involves moral turpitude (e.g., an act or behavior that gravely violates moral sentiments or accepted moral standards of the community, including but not limited to, bribery, perjury, fraud, theft, counterfeiting, assault, rape, arson, prostitution, possession of child pornography, domestic violence, sale and/or possession of drugs).
The requirement to report a conviction or deferred adjudication does not apply to minor traffic offenses. However, operating under the influence, revocation or suspension of license, and driving after revocation or suspension an offense of must be reported if the employee drives or operates a district vehicle or piece of mobile equipment or transports students or staff in any vehicle. Failure to report under this section may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Such a report shall be made as soon as possible, but in no circumstance more than 24 hours after the event, giving rise to the duty to report. The district may conduct criminal history and background checks on its employees. An arrest, indictment or conviction of a crime is not an automatic basis for an adverse employment action. The district will consider the following factors in determining what action, if any, should be taken against an employee who is convicted of a crime during employment with the district:
- the nature of the offense;
- the date of the offense; and
- the relationship between the offense and the position to which the employee is assigned.
Nothing herein prohibits the district from placing an employee on administrative leave based upon an arrest, indictment, or conviction.
Crisis Management Plans / Emergency Situations
The district has a Crisis Management Plan for use when a situation requires emergency safety measures. The principal/supervisor will annually review with the staff at each work site the district’s Crisis Management Plan. Each professional educator should know exactly what the emergency procedures are and where the resources associated with the plan are located for their classroom or work location. Employees must follow the prescribed procedures during any emergency drill or situation. Staff shall report suspicious object(s) or person(s) to the principal/supervisor. All staff will be notified if the security coordinator and/or the superintendent and/or the chief of staff believes the suspicious object(s) or person(s) create a danger to the school environment and that notification to the staff is appropriate under the circumstances. Staff shall not be required to search for suspicious object(s) or person(s).
Drug-, Alcohol-, and Tobacco-Free Workplace
It is the policy of the BOE to maintain a drug-free workplace and to comply with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. Therefore, the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in all district-sponsored activities and in and on all property owned and operated by MMSD, including vehicles. A controlled substance means a controlled substance in schedules I through V of the Controlled Substance Act (21 U.S.C. 812) as further defined by regulations at 21 C.F.R. 1300.11 through 1300.15.
Tobacco & Nicotine Products
Tobacco and Nicotine Products: Employees shall not use tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes on premises owned or rented by or under the control of the district, in district vehicles, or in the presence of students at school or school-related activities.
- There shall be no smoking or other use of tobacco products while either on premises owned or rented by, or under the control of, the BOE, including athletic stadiums. Students and staff accompanying them shall not use tobacco products while engaged in any school-sponsored activity or event. Adult program participants may use tobacco products while engaged in outdoor Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR) activities that occur on property not owned, rented by, or under the control of the BOE.
- Students shall refrain from possessing or using nicotine inhalers (i.e. electronic cigarettes) while either on the premises owned or rented by, or under the control of, the BOE or while engaged in any school-sponsored activity or event.
- Student interventions and disciplinary response shall be limited to those set forth in the BEP (Policies 4502B and 4502C).
Signs indicating that smoking and the use of tobacco products are prohibited shall be posted:
- At the entrance of each school district facility and building;
- Several places within each school building; and
- At each school-sponsored activity or event, where practicable.
Employee Identification Badges
The district shall provide employees with an employee identification badge. Employee identification badges are an important part of both employee work attire and providing a secure environment for students. Employees in schools must wear their employee identification badges in plain sight during their contracted work time. Some employees will not be required to wear their employee identification badge if wearing the badge poses a safety concern.
Employees may be disciplined up to and including termination for filing false reports or statements including but not limited to the following: accident reports, attendance reports, insurance reports, physician’s statements, pre-employment statements, sick leave requests, student records, tax withholding forms, and work reports.
In 2017, a facilities condition assessment was conducted of all district facilities. Priorities were developed through long-term planning to ensure the school facilities are safe, healthful, and clean, and that they operate efficiently.
The Electricity and Technology Building Services Standards Manual for Maintenance is accessible here for information and ongoing projects related to the maintenance of all district facilities and buildings.
In 2018, with the creation of 2017 Act 143, the planned upgrades in the area of school safety and security were accelerated in priority as a function of additional revenue available through the State of Wisconsin, a Department of Justice grant, and increased priority given to these planned improvements by the BOE, with local monies allocated for building enhancements.
Improvements to MMSD infrastructure included communication systems (phones and PA), surveillance and monitoring equipment (video cameras), upgrades in keypad lock systems for both the interior and exterior entrances and exits (door locks) of school facilities. In June of 2018, MMSD pursued the opportunity to increase the safety and security of its facilities through increased training and target hardening measures. The following items were fully funded:
- Glass hardening film on front doors (~$37.2K)
- Keyless system for all classroom door hardware (~$947.5K)
- Active threat training supplies (~$8.3K)
- Phone system upgrades (~$1.48M)
- Threat assessment team course (~$2.8K)
- Adolescent Mental Health Training ($76.2K)
The district was awarded ~$1,558,903 from the Department of Justice – the full requested amount.
Finally, MMSD applied for two grants from the United States Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), of which it received one. The Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence and Mental Health Training Act of 2018 authorized monies to address school violence. The grant identified areas of focus and MMSD chose to focus on the development and implementation of:
- School threat assessment and intervention teams that may include coordination with law enforcement agencies and school personnel; and
- Specialized training for school officials in responding to mental health crises.
With this grant, MMSD and the Madison Police Department (MPD) will actively engage in partnership to deepen implementation of School-Based Critical Response Teams in each MMSD school. MMSD and MPD are working together to develop a system-wide approach to responding to threats across the district through proactive meeting, training, coordination, and implementation of critical response practices.
The benefits of this grant are as follows: (a) MMSD will have a dedicated position for two years to coordinate and implement critical response and after-action review for schools when a serious threat or safety hazard arises; (b) training will be available for school-based staff to further develop the capacity of building-based critical response teams; and (c) there will be increased collaboration between MMSD and MPD that recognizes and builds on the importance of connection between the two agencies to support students.
The grant request, for $250K, was fully funded to cover the cost of the following:
- Restorative Critical Response (RCR) grant coordinator (~$166.5K)
- School-based, student services RCR lead and point of contact (~49K)
- RCR school-based trainings (~$31K)
- Required US BJA conference (~$3K) - this funding was applied to the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals Conference in 2020.
In 2020, the United States BJA again awarded MMSD a STOP School Violence and Mental Health Training Grant. Through this, MMSD created a coordinator position to train school-based critical response teams trained in threat assessment, mental health crisis management, and early intervention to acts of violence/harm in schools. This additional grant extended the work of school-based critical response team training for all MMSD schools.
The coordinator position has been converted into Director of Cross Systems and Critical Response, forming MMSD’s own Office of School Safety. The Director of Cross Systems and Critical Response and the Director of Safety and Security became co-directors and partners in moving the district forward in support of looking at safety from a holistic perspective.
As the STOP School Violence and Mental Health Training Grant’s funding is coming to an end, the Office of School Safety has intentionally taken on the role of supporting school-based critical response teams in training, consultation, collaboration, and debriefing critical incidents. In addition to providing regular consultation and job-embedded professional development, the MMSD Office of School Safety is responsible for maintaining all emergency protocols and procedures, as well as district and school safety plans.
All MMSD schools (elementary, middle, high, and alternative) have received training in threat assessment, response, and crisis management. This will be annual training moving forward for all school teams.
In 2020, Madison voters approved an operating referendum and facilities referendum. These improvements will lift Madison up as a thriving, equitable, and inclusive community for generations to come. The renovations will have a major impact on the physical safety, as well as the social and emotional well-being, of students. These improvements include:
- Significant renovations to the size and structure of MMSD’s four comprehensive high schools (~$280M)
- Moving Capital High east side and west side students out of temporary spaces not meant for high school instruction into an MMSD-owned school building, Hoyt School, and updating the building’s size and structure to meet their needs. (~$6M)
- Building a new elementary school in the Rimrock area (connected to a community center and middle school site) to give underserved students and families a much-needed elementary school in their neighborhood. (~$25–$30M)
In accordance with Wis. Stat. 175.32, 118.07(4), school districts must conduct an on-site safety assessment of schools and facilities in collaboration with local law enforcement, which include playgrounds, athletic facilities or fields. School safety assessments must be conducted before a school board approves a school safety plan. To meet the state requirement, MMSD’s school safety assessment and process was designed in collaboration with the MPD, Wisconsin School Safety Coordinators Association and MMSD’S Building and Auxiliary Services, and the MMSD Office of School Safety. Schools are assessed under three categories:
- Human Action
School safety assessments are completed every three years by a multidisciplinary team, which includes the Office of School Safety, Building and Auxiliary Services, teachers, administrators, and representatives of Madison Teachers Inc. MPD participated in the review of assessment items and, at the high school level, participated in scenario-based exercises with each school’s critical response team.
Depending upon size and layout of school, a full assessment can take up to 10 hours to complete. All high School assessments were completed over the course of two days. All elementary and middle schools took three to six hours to complete.
The first round of school safety assessments were completed December 1st, 2018. A final report was shared with each school administrator to inform future work with their school-based safety teams and school safety plans.
MMSD embarked on the second round of school safety assessments and walkthroughs in the spring of 2022. All school facilities were completed by June of 2022.
June 2022 On-Site Safety Assessment Findings
The district team’s recommendations as a result of the safety assessments are as follows:
- Each school must have their main office (Welcome Centers) connected to the main entrance of the building with two-point vestibule entry. If not feasible due to the structure or layout of the building, each school must have adequate camera coverage from the main entrance to the main office, and front office staff must have visual access to this coverage.
- All PA systems must be in working order and operational in all areas of each building, including outdoor areas (playgrounds, pick up/drop off spaces).
- Exterior window labeling is recommended for schools that have classrooms with multiple windows. The window number should be affixed to the first window and last window in the space to ensure that first responders recognize the windows are all part of the same space. Window numbers should correspond with the internal room number and be affixed to the bottom right of the window if possible. They must be large enough to be visible from the ground level.
- Each school’s central security alarm system and building hours of operation must be known by each principal and assistant principal.
- Active supervision plans must be created and maintained by each school principal and assistant principal, to plan out areas of the building that will require staff monitoring during specific times of the day (start of school day, transition times, lunch, end of school day, free periods)
- Identification cards must be required for all staff. Every adult in each MMSD building must have an ID card with them and visible at all times. If they are a visitor or volunteer, they must obtain a visitor ID card in the main office of each school building.
- High-visibility reflective safety vests must be worn during times of high traffic transitions (start of school day, end of school day) and during outdoor supervision (recess).
- All doors must be closed and locked during the school day. All classroom and exterior doors must be equipped with a keyless lock for accessibility of staff while maintaining a secure, locked system at all times. These locks are from SALTO Systems, one of the leading manufacturers of electronic keyless locks worldwide.
- An automated external defibrillator (AED), used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, must be located near the nurse’s office and/or main gym, and signage must be updated in all schools to easily navigate the location of the AED.
- Ground floor windows must have locks and unbroken panes.
- Prevention Programs and Initiatives
- School Entry, Egress, and Access
- Traffic Safety
- Department of Student & Staff Supports
- Culture and Climate: Prevention Through Social and Emotional Safety
- Trauma-Informed Education
- Universal Screening
- Behavioral Health in Schools
- Preventing Sexual Violence
- Welcoming Schools
- Immigrant, Refugee and Undocumented Families and Students
- Behavior Education Plan
- Yellow Bus Behavior
- Community Schools
- Office of School Safety
- Proactive Community Collaboration
Prevention and mitigation are actions taken to reduce or eliminate risk to life and property from a hazard event. Both are important for the safety of students, staff, and visitors to the school. Each staff member is responsible for maintaining a safe learning and working environment. District officials and staff should be constantly evaluating their environment for potential threats, both natural and human-made. All steps to mitigate a potential threat should be evaluated and implemented where possible. Prevention/mitigation is paramount when working to eliminate vulnerabilities and risks to safety and security.
School safety begins by proactively eliminating or significantly reducing the likelihood that unsafe situations, hazards, or incidents will take place. All staff and students need to be safe and feel safe. MMSD uses both physical and social emotional factors in determining preventive measures to take to promote safety of each individual while in its school buildings and facilities.
Preventive Safety Measures
Ensuring school safety requires thoughtful planning and intentional coordination and collaboration; this requires all school staff to work in partnership with their administrative teams. As Section 3.01 of the employee handbook states: The district expects its employees to produce quality work, maintain confidentiality, work efficiently, and exhibit a professional and courteous attitude toward students, other employees, families, and the community. As representatives of the district, employees must be mindful of their actions.
The district expects employees to comply with the standards of conduct set out in BOE policies, the employee handbook, and administrative regulations, as well as with any other policies, regulations, and guidelines that impose duties, requirements, or standards attendant to their status as MMSD employees. Violation of any policies, regulations, and guidelines may result in disciplinary action, including termination of employment. The following delineation of employment practices is for informational purposes and is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all employment expectations.
Employee Identification Badge
Pursuant to Section 3.15 of the employee handbook, the district shall provide employees with an employee identification badge. Employee identification badges are an important part of both employee work attire and providing a secure environment for students and staff. Employees in schools must wear their employee identification badges in plain sight during their contracted work time. In addition to identification, employee identification badges serve as key cards. In specific cases only, employees might not wear their identification badge during the course of physically working with a student, if wearing the badge poses a physical safety concern. As soon as the employee is no longer physically working with the student, they must wear their badge. At no time shall an employee ever give their identification badge to another person, whether an employee or student, for any reason.
Employee Key Card
Pursuant to Section 3.30 of the employee handbook: employee identification badges also function as an employee key card for most staff members. The key card access system is designed to create a secure perimeter and secured classrooms during the school day, while students are present. Key card use is limited to the employee identified on the key card; if an employee is found to have given a student or another individual their key card, their electronic access will be suspended, pending review by the employee’s building principal/director. Lending or sharing an employee key card can result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
MMSD contracts with the SALTO Systems for its keyless locking system. SALTO locks operate through radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. To operate any SALTO lock, simply hold the fob/card up to the electronic lock reader for approximately two seconds. If access is granted to the door, a light will flash green, indicating that the lock has opened.
For increased levels of safety and security, MMSD has invested in additional SALTO locks on all of its medicine cabinets in health offices across the district.
Employees should immediately report lost or stolen key cards, and any other electronic access issues, to the Manager of Electrical Technology by submitting a work request ticket on IncidentIQ via ClassLink. For security reasons, employee key card support is not provided over the phone. Employees must include the name of their work site to ensure a prompt response, as well as the door number(s) impacted and/or the date/time of the occurrence, if known.
Employee/Student Sign-In and Sign-Out Procedures
School secretaries maintain attendance records of employees and students. Each school office has systems in place to monitor attendance and handle sign-in and sign-out procedures for students, staff, substitutes, student teachers, volunteers, and visitors.
During scheduled work hours, non-certified staff sign in and out using the district system (Kronos). Certified staff are required to work during scheduled contract time. All employees leaving the school building during contract time shall notify the school office, and when necessary, request permission and authorization from the school principal and or designee. Upon return, employees shall sign in and notify office staff.
Part-time employees and/or employees assigned in multiple buildings and student teachers/practicum students must sign in and out of the office during each scheduled day.
MMSD has applied for a federal grant to improve the sign-in process as of June 2023. Contracting with a local, nationally recognized company—Singlewire—MMSD plans to transform all of its main offices and Welcome Centers to incorporate fully electronic visitor, student, and staff sign-in.
Everytown Research & Policy completed the report, How To Stop Shootings and Gun Violence in Schools: A Plan to Keep Students Safe on August 19, 2022. This report references the Sandy Hook Commission Report (March 2015) and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission (January 2019) and makes several safety recommendations focused on both the physical structures of the school building and environment, as well as emotional and behavioral well-being of students and staff. MMSD has used these recommendations to implement several improvements to both the exterior and interior of its buildings. The report states:
“The most effective physical security measures—the ones on which most experts agree—are access control measures that keep shooters out of schools in the first place. As a secondary measure, internal door locks, which enable teachers to lock doors from the inside, can work to deter active shooters who are able to access the school, protecting students and allowing law enforcement time to neutralize any potential threat.”
MMSD requires that ALL MMSD building entrances are LOCKED and SECURED during school and supplementary care hours.
All access-controlled exterior doors in MMSD schools are equipped with hardware that is capable of performing a full perimeter lockdown. All other exterior doors are manually secured after the start of the school day and remain secured for the duration of the school day. AT NO TIME shall any exterior door be propped open without the physical presence of a staff member. Primary exterior entrances/exits have a large, white number above the door to allow emergency first responders (Police/Fire/EMS) to more readily communicate with the site and with one another. Main entrances are typically numbered “1” with additional primary entrance/exits ascending clockwise around the building. Exceptions occur where historical main entrances have been moved or additional entrances added to improve accessibility for occupants with mobility challenges, or in combination schools with more than one main entrance. Critical points of entry/egress are controlled by natural surveillance, video cameras, and/or electronic monitoring during school hours and special events. Potential areas of concealment and points of building entry are illuminated by exterior lighting.
Main Entrance, Main Office, and “Welcome Centers”
All schools have a designated main entrance, an accessible primary entrance which directs visitors to a single control point for entry. Buildings that share school physical space (e.g., elementary/middle combination buildings) MUST have a main entrance for each school located in that building. Main entrances are well lit and allow for natural and/or electronic surveillance at all times. Video surveillance cameras are installed to allow monitoring of arrival and departure through the main entrance. Intercom audio systems and remote lock release capability have also been incorporated at main entrances to control visitor traffic. Elementary and middle schools that provide before- and after-school care use a video surveillance application and laptop computer, to control child drop-off and pick-up.
MMSD continues to work to fully implement the “Welcome Center” main entrance concept, whereby a secured, two-point entry sequence is followed during the school day. Visitors provide identification and register at the Welcome Center reception desk before being permitted to enter the school building. Welcome Center staff has an unobstructed view of the entry vestibule, allowing for direct surveillance. The interior and exterior doors of the vestibule can be locked and controlled by staff.
As part of the DOJ School Safety Grant, 3M Safety and Security Film was installed at windows and glazed doors at Welcome Centers and main entrances. This film is fortified to support intrusion protection for all windows, and has been applied to main entrance windows and doors.
MMSD believes that it is beneficial for families and community members to be involved in the educational process. The district’s school visitors policy is designed to welcome families and community members into schools with that goal in mind.
All school visitors MUST sign into the main office or Welcome Center immediately upon entry into any school building.
All school visitors shall secure a visitor’s pass BEFORE they are able to access any areas of the school other than the main office.
Per policy 4005, the school principal may request or require that a visitor leave the premises if the visitor disrupts instruction or creates a disturbance in the school environment. If necessary, the principal or designee may request assistance from the police department to remove an unauthorized visitor.
Unless an exception provided by law exists, individuals required to register as sex offenders shall provide notification to the district prior to being on a school campus. After receiving such notification, the building principal, in consultation with MMSD Legal Services and the Office of School Safety shall determine whether the registered sex offender will be allowed to be present on a school campus for the proposed purpose or event and what, if any, conditions may be placed on the registered sex offender.
Visitor procedures are annually reviewed with secretaries, front office staff and other school staff, and principals. Being vigilant about secure building access is important to making schools welcoming, positive, and safe learning environments. At the beginning of each year and as needed, all schools communicate and review the following with all staff, students, and families:
- All schools have one designated main entrance for all visitors at all times.
- During school hours, all exterior doors to the building are locked and secured.
- To enter through the designated main entrance, all visitors (including families) will be required to provide their name and nature of the visit prior to gaining entrance to the building.
- Once permitted to enter, all school visitors (including families) shall report to the main office to check in and receive a visitor’s pass.
- Depending on the nature of the visit, visitors may need to remain in the main office until school staff are available to provide assistance or escort.
- If a visitor is unknown to main office staff, identification may be requested to verify relation to student and/or nature of visit.
- Office staff will notify identified school staff of visitor arrival prior to visitor gaining further access to the building.
- To provide a safe and comfortable environment for all students to learn, when possible, visits should be pre-arranged with school staff.
- If the visit is not scheduled prior to arrival, office staff will call requested staff. If identified staff are not available, main office staff will assist to schedule another time to meet and/or find another staff member to assist the school visitor with the purpose of the visit.
- If a visitor is dropping off an item for a student or staff member, the item must be left in the office and the student or staff will be notified to pick up the item in the office. Direct delivery of items to the classroom or another area of the school building requires authorization from the building principal or designee.
- FOR ELEMENTARY, if a student needs to leave before the end of the school day, a parent or an authorized adult shall sign out the child and remain in the office. School staff will send the child to the office. Classroom and playground pick-ups are not permitted.
- FOR SECONDARY, if a student needs to leave before the end of the school day, a parent or an authorized adult can call the student out by leaving a message or speaking to a front office staff member. The student will then be given a pass to leave at the designated time.
- When the visit is complete, visitors MUST sign out in the main office prior to leaving the school.
Main office staff must conduct an initial safety assessment of visitors who request to enter buildings while ensuring that the visitors feel welcomed and are greeted in a friendly and professional manner. The act of balancing these roles can be difficult, but it’s one that is critical to maintaining a friendly environment while ensuring the safety of MMSD’s schools. Specific training is provided annually to school office staff.
The following guidelines are intended to assist staff in making decisions:
1. When a visitor contacts the office via the outside intercom and requests entry to the building:
- Ask the visitor about the nature of the visit.
- Ask clarifying questions if the initial answer is unsatisfactory and/or unclear.
- School office staff have the authority to allow visitors into the building, to delay entry, or to deny entry if it is believed the person poses a threat to the safety of the school.
- If they are allowed to enter, the visitor is directed to the main office to sign the visitors’ log and to obtain a yellow visitor’s badge.
2. Decisions to delay or to deny entry should made if:
- The person ignores questions being asked.
- The person is threatening or abusive.
- The person is carrying an object believed to be a weapon.
- The person is concealing their identity.
- The person is an agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
3. When encountering a potentially threatening situation that causes a delay in or outright denial of entry:
- Notify the principal or the principal designee, or ask other staff persons for assistance.
- Activate a SECURE or LOCKDOWN
- Call 911, the Office of School Safety (220-2707), and/or Associate Superintendents of Schools Office (663-1632) for guidance and next steps.
4. Remember, greetings and questions should always be:
- Courteous and helpful
- Communicated in a respectful and non-threatening manner
- Conveyed in a calm and reassuring demeanor
- Avoidant of arguments or defensiveness
- Empathetic, to help correct any “misunderstandings”
- Positive, reassuring, and issued in a calm tone, such as “How can I help you?” or “I understand why you’re upset” or “We will assist you shortly and we appreciate your patience.”
The BOE recognizes and values the contributions volunteers make to MMSD. The BOE believes that encouraging volunteers can have a positive impact on parental, community and civic engagement within district schools. The BOE also recognizes its obligation to balance volunteer access with the need to maintain adequate levels of safety and security for all MMSD students. The district, at all times, maintains full discretion regarding the engagement, placement, and continuation of all school volunteers.
- Applicability: This policy shall apply to all school volunteers serving in district schools, programs, or activities.
- A “school volunteer” is any person who offers to perform a service or carry out an activity during the school day or during extended-day, school-related programs, including volunteer chaperones on student field trips or other travel trips, without pay or other material compensation.
- A “school volunteer” also includes athletic coaches and volunteers for all Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR) programs who do not receive compensation or remuneration for their services. This policy does not apply to BOE members or to incidental adult visitors.
- An “incidental adult visitor” is an adult who visits a school, upon invitation by a staff member of the school or district, for a specific, limited purpose including, but not limited to, speaking to a class or assembly, judging an academic or extracurricular competition, giving a musical or theatrical performance or participating in a “Principal Experience.”
- Application Process: All school volunteers must complete the appropriate volunteer application, which is available on the MMSD Volunteer website. All school volunteers who will serve in a capacity that permits them to have access to students outside the immediate supervision of the classroom teacher or other district staff members shall also sign the appropriate disclosure statement authorization and release to have a background check conducted. The making of any false or misleading statement or omission shall be grounds for immediate disqualification as a school volunteer. In cases of continuing volunteers, updated application contact and emergency contact information shall be submitted every year. Any break in volunteer service of one year or more shall cause an individual to have to reinitiate the application and background check process.
- Background Check: All school volunteers who will serve in a capacity that permits them to have access to students outside the immediate supervision of the classroom teacher or other district staff members will be required to complete and submit a disclosure statement as part of the application process. The district will complete a background check for each applicant. Decisions regarding whether the revelation of a specific offense will negatively impact an individual’s ability to serve as a school volunteer are made on a case-by-case basis and in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws and MMSD policies. All information gathered during the district’s background check will be kept confidential. A failure to disclose pending arrests or prior felony or misdemeanor convictions will be grounds for exclusion as a school volunteer, regardless of the nature of the arrest or conviction.
- Principal Authority/Responsibilities Regarding Selection of Volunteers Coordination: Selection and placement of school volunteers serving as academic tutors are performed by school-level volunteer coordinators. Building principals shall have an opportunity to provide input regarding all individuals volunteering within a building. An academic tutor is someone who provides direct individual or small group supplemental instruction in one or more academic areas that relates to instruction received in the classroom. Coordination, selection and placement of school volunteers serving in any capacity other than academic tutors are performed by the building principal or designee, or the department coordinator, as appropriate. Concerns regarding a school volunteer’s suitability to begin or continue service shall be addressed by the building volunteer coordinator or principal, as appropriate, in conjunction with MMSD Human Resources.
- All school volunteers must review and sign the document titled “Expectations of MMSD Pre-K-12 Volunteers” prior to beginning service as a volunteer.
- All school volunteers must acknowledge in writing that they will respect the confidential nature of any student information, including academic, behavioral and other personal information, they may gain access to as a result of serving as a school volunteer and will not share any such information with any third party in violation of district policies pertaining to student information.
Preparation for Schools as Polling Places
During both primary and general elections, 24 MMSD schools are used as sites for voting. State law gives the common council the power to establish polling places, and the common council has chosen many schools to serve as polling places. MMSD acknowledges the rights and responsibilities of all Americans to vote as part of the democratic process, and understands that, historically, schools have been maintained as polling places due to their proximity and accessibility to the public. MMSD is also mindful of the impact that voting day has on student and staff physical and mental health.
The Office of School Safety and Department of Building Services will meet annually with the Madison City Clerk’s Office to prepare for upcoming elections. At these meetings, polling site plans, current contact information, staffing plans, and voter entry and egress will be reviewed.
On voting day, each building principal must be in direct communication with the polling site inspector throughout the day, to ensure the plans are followed.
Principal Polling Place Checklist:
- Meet with the School Safety Team, including custodian, front office staff/secretaries, and security staff, about logistics and plan for the day.
- Principal or designee shall serve as the voting day point of contact for election officials. Ensure all election officials have contact information needed to communicate with building staff, if needed. Issue polling site inspector school radio, if appropriate.
- Create a staffing plan with extra supervision areas. Plans may include a temporary welcome table staffed by an MMSD employee or approved volunteer, if able.
- Create alternative student and staff schedules to adjust for designated voting area.
- Review before- and after-school transportation plans for anticipated Election Day traffic.
- Review school visitor sign-in procedures with office staff. School visitor procedures do not change on voting day. All visitors (non-voters) MUST sign in and out through the main office and wear a visitor badge while in the building.
- Prepare communication to reassure families that precautions are in place and to be extra careful during drop-off and pick up time due to increased vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
- Do NOT plan any Standard Response Protocol drills to be conducted on this day.
- Designate public entrance, voting location, public bathrooms, and specific parking area.
- When possible, voter entrance should NOT be the school's main entrance. If this is unavoidable, ensure staff are stationed at the main entrance to differentiate between voters and school visitors.
- If the voter entrance is not the main entrance, the exterior door may be unlocked as long as the polling site inspector is able to monitor entry and egress throughout the day. All other school doors must remain locked per policy.
- Voting locations should be large enough for voter turnout (gym, lunchroom, library, multi-purpose room).
- Ensure locations are not in hallways, open common areas, lobbies or corridors. No exits should be blocked.
- Select locations closest to the designated public entrance/exit to restrict/minimize public access to school staff and student activities. Avoid locations requiring voters to walk through the building.
- Prepare clear signage guiding community members to the public entrance, accessible bathrooms, voting entrance/exit, and voting location.
- Post parking signage that will direct voters to designated parking areas.
- Share Election Day plans and expectations with staff and students.
- Review safety procedures with students regarding use of bathrooms and contact with adults.
- Ensure staff know they are responsible to redirect any voter/school visitor who is in any space not authorized as a voting area. Staff must escort this person to the main office or voting area immediately. If they do not comply, the principal and/or security must be contacted immediately.
- Ensure staff and students are aware of locations that might be off limits or require an alternative plan for the day (bathrooms, gym areas, entrance/exits, parking).
- Ask staff to be extra present during transitions/passing times.
- Remind staff that their MMSD identification MUST be visible and on their person at all times.
- Remind staff that, other than an “I Voted” sticker, all employees will refrain from displaying campaign materials and/or wearing campaign paraphernalia.
- FOR NEW PRINCIPALS OR NEW PRINCIPALS TO BUILDINGS, please review MMSD Employee Handbook 3.35 Political Activity for guidance and expectations. Additional BOE Policies 8253 and 3170 can also be points of reference.
City of Madison Polling Place Responsibilities:
- Provide adequate and necessary signage.
- Complete background checks of all polling workers that will work within the schools on voting days.
- Designate a polling site inspector at each school site.
- Meet with the principal or designee to discuss plan for the day.
- Ensure poll workers wear visible identification at all times.
- Ensure that polling location and setup does not block any exits or limit access to any hallways.
- Ensure that property of the school is respected at all times.
- Communicate problems or needs to the school point of contact or City Clerk’s Office.
- Assist the school in maintaining a safe environment by directing voters to appropriate locations and away from student-only areas. Additional poll worker(s) may be assigned to monitor voting entrance and pathway to polls.
- Review emergency procedures available in every MMSD area prior to Election Day.
- Use a school radio or cell phone to enable immediate contact with the main office in the event of an emergency or need to communicate unusual or suspicious activity.
Active Supervision: Before School, Transitions, Lunch/Recess, Dismissal
Coaching staff to be vigilant when it comes to supervision will mitigate risk of harm. These strategies include making direct visual contact with students, conducting frequent student counts throughout the day, arranging the classroom environment to support visual supervision, and adjusting supervision based on the age of the students and the space occupied.
Annually, prior to the first day of school and throughout the year as needed, building administrators review, revise, and communicate supervision schedules with school staff. Training for staff includes providing an overview of the active supervision plan for key transition times (before school, school transitions, lunch/recess, and at dismissal times) and key building areas (stairwells, bathrooms, unused classrooms).
During transition times and outdoor recess, field trips, or large school-sponsored events, staff supervising shall wear their high-visibility safety vest. Designated staff are also provided a school radio and/or school district cell phone to ensure immediate communication is available with the school office. Staff are informed to immediately report any suspicious activity, concern, or student/staff injury to the principal or designee and/or by calling 911. Due to unavoidable staff absence, building principal or designee must assign replacement staff as needed to ensure students are properly supervised. In planned absences, the employee must secure backup for their supervisory duties.
The district recognizes the importance of student safety to and from school. To this end, the district participates in a joint effort with the MPD, City of Madison Traffic Engineering, City of Madison Parking Enforcement, and the Healthy Kids Collaborative, to address vehicle traffic and pedestrian issues.
The Traffic Safety and Safe Routes to Schools Committee evaluates traffic-related concerns in and around Madison schools on a biweekly basis. Through the committee, representatives from a variety of agencies ensure that traffic safety-related issues are dealt with in a holistic way. Each of the committee members are committed to the goal of addressing the issues and eliminating duplicated efforts in relation to traffic safety around the school. Recommendations for improvement may involve the designation of safe routes for students, changes to school parking lots, alteration of school bus or parent drop-off and pick-up points, use of additional police resources, or street redesigns.
Most critical, this year, is ensuring all schools develop and communicate well-developed traffic plans.
Adult school crossing guards play an important role in the lives of children who walk or cycle to school. They help children safely cross the street at key locations. They also remind drivers of the presence of pedestrians. The presence of adult crossing guards can lead to more parents feeling comfortable about their children walking or cycling to school. While the primary role of an adult school crossing guard is to guide children safely across the street, children also remain responsible for their own safety. In this manner, a guard plays another key function: that of a role model helping children develop the skills necessary to cross streets safely at all times.
Safe Routes to Schools
Safe Routes to School programs aim to make it safer for students to walk and bike to school, and encourage more walking and biking where safety is not a barrier. Transportation, public health and planning professionals, school communities, law enforcement officers, community groups, and families all have roles to play using education, equity, evaluation, encouragement, and engineering (changes to the physical environment) to meet a local community’s needs.
In 2023, MMSD will contract with a new transportation company. First Student Inc., to bus students. First Student cites security as a fundamental expression of its proactive business philosophy. This means more than simply dealing with security incidents when they happen.
First Student’s approach to security begins with identifying its business resources: people, property, assets, and information. After identifying these assets and the associated risks, the company then works to design and implement a security program that safeguards its investments.
Here is the First Student’s Security Overview.
Bus evacuation drills take place semi-annually, once in the fall and once in the spring. Drills are conducted upon arrival to school in the morning. MMSD’s contracted bus company coordinates with the district in the fall and spring with a possible date of evacuations at all school sites, with a following day in case of inclement weather. Once the dates are confirmed, MMSD’s Transportation Department communicates with the building principal to plan and provide guidance for the day of evacuation drill.
MMSD’s contracted bus company provides training to bus staff using a simulated evacuation drill, twice a year for new drivers, and a refresher for others. Specifically, the contractor shall ensure that drivers verbally orient pupils to basic safety and evacuation information at the outset of the school year and periodically throughout the year. Further, each yellow school bus carrying pupils in connection with a regular route or other regular service shall conduct at least two emergency evacuation drills during the school year, or more often if required by law. Such drills will follow guidelines developed by the contractor and approved by the district. Evacuation drills shall be conducted at the school of destination and shall be supervised and verified by the school principal or his/her designee. Special education students shall participate in the evacuation drills, making such accommodations as may be appropriate.
Metro Transit - City of Madison Busing
It is the mission of Metro Transit (Metro), a division of the City of Madison, through the efforts of dedicated, well-trained employees, to provide safe, reliable, convenient, and efficient public transportation to the citizens and visitors of the Metro service area. Metro has established a Behavior Policy to promote the safety and comfort of its riders, to facilitate the proper use of transit facilities and services, to protect transit facilities and employees, to collect the payment of fares, and to ensure that Metro vehicles and facilities are safe, welcoming, and provide equitable access for Metro passengers.
The evacuation procedures are the same for most scenarios and the method is based on a standard training program developed by the Federal Department of Transportation Transit Safety Institute. Madison Metro performs drills on tornado warnings system-wide every year during Tornado Awareness Week. The entire fleet is to pull over and stop as instructed by a dispatcher and look for safe places along the routes to seek shelter. All drivers are trained and aware of the procedures.
The Department of Student & Staff Support works collaboratively with the Office of School Safety and other departments across the district to support the development of healthy, safe, and thriving school communities. This includes the following areas: School Culture and Climate, School-Based Support Teams, School Based Mental Health and School Based Health Services.
The Department of Student & Staff Support provides professional development, consultation, training, and guidance to all school based members of each school’s student services support team. This team works collaboratively, in partnership with teachers, administrators, families, and community organizations, to design and deliver a comprehensive, coordinated and customized system of student support.
All members of the student support team are advocates for educational equity, promoting the healthy development of the whole-child, and are leaders of systemic change within their school community.
Student Services Support Team
Student Services Support Teams play a critical role in schools. Their main purpose is to support the social, emotional, behavioral, physical, and academic growth of all students. They promote positive school climate and staff wellness to increase capacity as well as deliver tiered interventions through an equity lens to promote academic success. The team’s shared responsibilities include:
- All MMSD 4K-12 students have access to Health Services in the school setting delivered by highly qualified nurses or advanced practice nurse providers. To the extent possible, all health offices will be covered by either a nurse or nurse assistant during the school day.
- The school nurse is responsible for coordinating and managing the health needs of individual students during the school day, as well as promoting health and safety for all students.
- Nurse assistants care for ill and injured students, complete clerical work, and carry out delegated nursing activities (such as giving medications) under the clinical supervision of the school nurse. Health services coaches are responsible for orienting, educating, and coaching nurses and nurse’s assistants. Each coach is involved in program planning and implementation.
- The Assistant Director of Health Services is responsible for planning, overseeing the health services budget, quality assurance, staffing, and supervising school nurses and nurse assistants.
- MMSD school counselors are innovative leaders who actively work to identify and remove barriers to student achievement and well-being by championing practices that create equitable, safe, inclusive, and positive learning environments for all students. School counselors engage students in exploring and identifying interests and aspirations, and play an essential role in providing students the academic & post-secondary advising and social-emotional supports needed to experience personal success.
- Data-based decision making for planning, delivery, and evaluation of MMSD programs and services. Includes evaluations for special education eligibility.
- Communication, consultation, and collaboration with students, families, staff and community partners.
- Advocacy and leadership to enable each student to be a healthy and successful learner.
- Adhering to professional standards that are respectful, confidential, individualized, developmentally appropriate, and culturally competent.
- Staying current with professional learning to maintain and develop competency reflecting evidence-based best practice.
- Coordinate culturally-responsive interventions and supports for students with intensive needs (e.g., justice-involved youth, youth with mental health needs, students with disabilities, etc.)
- Provide a connection to resources in the community to alleviate barriers (e.g., housing for homeless/highly mobile youth [TEP], clothing, employment, mental health, collaboration with county agencies, etc.)
- Develop and support a building-based attendance system and improvement efforts
- Support in the evaluations for special education and other social-emotional academic/adaptive assessments, such as functional behavioral assessments (FBA), behavioral intervention plans (BIP), risk assessments, and safety plans, etc.
- Lead and coordinate the development of the school’s tier 2 (selected) system of supports, among other MTSS functions
- Deliver social-emotional and mental health supports and interventions
Developing positive school climates will be the foundation that safe schools build upon. It is crucial that MMSD buildings be rooted in positive culture and climate, to support the social and emotional health and safety of the district’s students, staff, and families.
Annual Climate Surveys
Each year, MMSD administers climate surveys to provide the district with useful information about how its schools are serving the needs of students, staff, and families. The climate surveys are used in goal-setting and monitoring aligned to the strategic framework and school SIPs, as well as system-level analyses to guide district policy and practice decisions.
In 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years, the suite of climate surveys was adapted to respond to new and different inquiries and based on expanding research into school climate. The new MMSD climate survey is adapted from several national, validated climate surveys, specifically the 5Essentials and Virginia School Climate & Working Conditions Survey. The 5Essentials survey was developed, tested, and validated by the University of Chicago Consortium for School Research and is used in Chicago Public Schools and many districts across the country. The Virginia survey is administered to students and school staff in the State of Virginia as the result of a collaboration between the Virginia Department of Education and Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. In addition, a few survey items come from prior work on student belonging undertaken in MMSD by the Madison Education Partnership.
While the student, staff, and family surveys are slightly different, they are intended to complement each other so that a comprehensive, holistic understanding of school climate can be developed using triangulated data from multiple different perspectives and sources. Thus, each of the surveys features questions organized into similar themes (Belonging, Relationships, Safety, Engagement, & Fairness) and sub-themes, or constructs.
Results from 22-23 Annual Culture and Climate Survey
Recent research has provided us with greater understanding of trauma, how it affects individuals over their lifespan, and how it affects the brain. Large population studies by the Centers for Disease Control have identified adverse experiences of childhood (such as abuse, neglect, absent or impaired parents), as having significant lifelong impact on physical and mental health. Other types of trauma include natural disasters, war and immigrant experiences, homelessness, community violence, and traffic accidents.
Ongoing adverse or traumatic experiences during infancy and childhood affect brain development, resulting in emotional and physical dysregulation, over and under arousal, and reduced cognitive control. These things affect learning. Trauma also affects a child’s ability to trust, their sense of the world as a safe place, and their view of themselves as lovable and worthwhile.
When schools are “trauma-informed,” it means that staff both understand how trauma affects the individual and use this understanding to guide their practices and interactions with others. Teachers work to create a safe, supportive community within their classroom. They develop relationships that are collaborative rather than authoritarian. They empower students with choices and encouragement. They are careful not to humiliate, utilize fear as a motivator, or retraumatize students (through use of restraint and seclusion, for example). School staff understand how to support emotional regulation and how to help students from becoming over or under aroused.
Trauma-informed practices are helpful to all students and staff, while specifically supporting those who have experienced trauma and providing healing environments and relationships. When students affected by trauma feel safe, they can learn to their potential and develop the social-emotional skills for success in life.
The goal of screening is to generate new and useful information so that students can be better served in interventions that prevent or mitigate mental health challenges and promote resiliency. Appropriate resources must be allocated to ensure that school personnel and other key stakeholders have the capacity to perform the necessary screening, intervention, and follow-up.
Elementary Bounce Back is designed for 3rd grade students who have been exposed to traumatic events and are experiencing negative emotional impact as a result. It starts with a screening process that identifies exposure to trauma and symptoms of stress, then offers a group intervention format for students who are determined to need and benefit from proposed treatment.
Middle The REST Program (Resilient response to the Effects of Stress and Trauma) is grounded in a 20-year partnership with Journey Mental Health, United Way, and neighboring school districts. It involves universal screening in all MMSD middle and high schools. All 6th graders and one grade level in each high school answer a series of questions relating to emotional functioning, trauma exposure, and trauma reactions or “PTSD symptoms.” Collaborators at Journey Mental Health closely track student data and notify school staff when follow-up is required for a student. Groups of students are then identified for the REST intervention group, or other social/emotional interventions. Community service providers (therapists) deliver the REST intervention in MMSD schools, in collaboration with school-based student services staff. REST is a 10-week group intervention and includes parent communications, teacher updates, and small-group/individual sessions with students. The REST program is in all middle schools and is implemented with fidelity.
High The Columbia Protocol screens for students at risk for depression or suicide by asking a series of simple questions. The answers provided help gauge risk, severity, immediacy, and level of support the person needs. The Columbia Protocol is typically delivered in ninth or tenth grades in health class. The school psychologist takes the lead in scoring and the entire student services team works in collaboration to put evidence-based interventions in place. All high schools have access to the Columbia screening tool.
Orion Family Services partners with Catholic Charities of Madison to provide group counseling services to Dane County children focusing on social-emotional wellness. FACE-Kids provides accessible group counseling in school settings, neighborhood centers, and FACE-Kids agencies. The ultimate goal of FACE-Kids is to help strengthen and improve a child’s individual, family, and school life by being a part of a supportive group with others in a similar situation. Any MMSD school, 4K-12, may access FACE-Kids.
Building Bridges, an arm of the IST, is a school-based mental health program that serves students in grades 4K-9 with immediate mental health needs, and their families. Trained and experienced staff connect students and their families with resources to develop and promote educational wellness, and provide school staff with professional development consultation on mental health and trauma-related issues.
Behavioral Health in Schools (BHS) focuses on addressing the mental health needs of students in schools and their families, through collaboration between the school district, partner agencies, and health care organizations. The central purpose of BHS is for students with mental health needs to achieve psychosocial well-being, maximize their potential to engage in their education, and grow academically to attain educational success. BHS’s vision is to improve well-being among students with mental health concerns, enhance school environments for all students, and support an integrated and responsive health system.
The best approach to sexual assault prevention is to create a culture of consent and respect, and to teach students about healthy relationships. MMSD is implementing this approach in various ways. School curriculum across grades 4K through 12 addresses safe touches, healthy relationships, human growth and development, and other related subjects. MMSD is continuously evaluating existing curriculum across grades 4K to 12, identifying gaps, and improving support and accountability for delivery. Health teachers are now trained specifically on the issue of consent and how to incorporate that into their curriculum throughout the year. High schools are incorporating presentations on this issue into their freshman-only first day.
Community organizations that MMSD collaborates with to provide preventive resources.
Welcoming Schools is a national program being used in MMSD to create more respectful and supportive schools for all students, staff, and families. Professional development, lesson plans, books, and inclusive language are provided around family diversity, gender and LGTBTQ+ inclusion and preventing bias-based bullying.
MMSD’s BOE adopted a resolution to support the district’s immigrant, refugee, and undocumented students and families in 2017. This declares that MMSD schools are safe, supportive places for all students and families to seek help, assistance, and information, and that they will facilitate the physical safety and emotional well-being of all children regardless of status.
MMSD believes that scholars must be held to high expectations academically, as well as behaviorally. The district knows that, with support, all students can meet high expectations and be thriving members of the community. MMSD’s approach to behavior, as outlined in the district’s BEP, gives students the opportunity to learn behavior expectations and develop positive behavior skills to meet them. The BEP is annually reviewed and revised.
Bus transportation is a privilege, not a right—bus privileges may be taken away based on behavior. Students riding yellow school buses are subject to discipline in accordance with the BEP. The approach to bus behavior is the same as the BEP’s general approach to discipline—one that helps students learn positive behaviors and repair harm when negative behavior occurs.
MMSD currently has four community schools, providing coordinated services and support to students and families in the schools’ neighborhoods. Community schools help families access the programming and services they need by bringing many different health and human service providers and other community partners to one centralized location. Teachers and principals can help students and families by making sure they know how to get connected to the resources they need.
MMSD wants its schools to be safe and welcoming environments that nurture academic excellence as well as the social-emotional and physical well-being of all students, staff, and families. The Office of School Safety believes that the safest schools are those that foster a climate of support and respect and instill a sense of community. School security, incident response, and threat assessments are vital components as well.
The office believes that everyone owns school safety, and it is their job to help all staff and students think about safety from a holistic perspective. Office of School Safety members are dedicated to working with all school principals and school-based critical response teams to ensure that MMSD schools balance the physical safety of students, staff, and school buildings with the importance of social, emotional, and psychological safety.
The rationale for developing an office equipped with two directors was to promote the equal importance of physical safety and well-being with social, emotional, and psychological safety. School safety is a constant balance between ensuring practices are in place to create safe physical learning environments, and nurturing staff and student safe emotional health and prosocial behavior.
Both directors are responsible for providing direct support to school principals when safety and security issues arise. The objective is to provide the best and most effective solutions to complex legal or behavioral questions. When critical incidents occur in schools, the directors work closely with principals, other district departments, and first responders to ensure that the most appropriate, supportive actions are taken to maintain the safety of students and staff.
Director of Safety and Security
Specific responsibilities include:
- Management of School Security Assistant Program and Professional Development
- The district employs a staff of 30 School Security Assistants (SSAs) whose primary function is to promote a safe environment in each of the high schools and five designated middle schools.
- Supervised by the school principal, the SSA is responsible for monitoring building safety, securing egress, participating in active supervision, and responding and de-escalating situations that arise.
- The Director of Safety and Security is responsible for the hiring of SSAs and maintenance of their role within their specific building. Responsible for ensuring they are fully equipt with the adequate professional development to complete their job. The SSAs are CPR and Stop the Bleed certified. They receive training on restorative justice, student engagement, conflict resolution and nonviolent crisis management.
- Director of Safety and Security responsible for supporting and facilitating meetings with appointed SSA leads.
- Responsible for traffic and transportation safety plans
- Act as district representative for the City of Madison Transportation Committee.
- Provide consultation and guidance to schools on traffic safety plans.
- Work with the Department of Building Services on areas related to traffic safety including signage, traffic pattern, bus stops, bus consult/support.
- Responsible for camera support, placement, and troubleshooting
- Determines who has access, that all cameras are working properly, and adequately placed consistent with BOE policy.
- Work with Building Services to get cameras installed and functioning in a timely matter.
- Maintain system for assessment of camera placement and design.
Director of Cross Systems and Critical Response
Specific responsibilities include:
- Development, training, and maintenance of School-Based Critical Response Teams:
- School-Based Critical Response Teams are multidisciplinary teams that utilize early intervention and proactive response in place of reactionary discipline.
- These teams use assessment to understand the function of the behavior and evaluate underlying needs of youth impacted.
- This team works to balance specific student needs and rights with development of safety and support planning for all students and staff.
- Director of Cross Systems and Critical Response provides direct consultation and support to principals and their teams in the areas of Critical Response professional development, coaching, and job-embedded learning.
- Provides specific and on-going training and support in threat assessment, early intervention to acts of school violence, and acute mental health crisis intervention.
- Keep documentation of critical incidents for professional development, debriefing, and after action review.
- Maintain oversight of reporting systems
- Maintaining oversight of reporting systems related to student, staff, and school safety: SECURLY and Speak Up, Speak Out Wisconsin.
- Guide school principals and teams on cross systems collaboration with police and first responders through understanding how to assess and report threats of school violence, sexual assaults, and child abuse/neglect.
- Maintain release records for outside police agencies.
- Track data of youth justice involvement and court paperwork.
- Drills: Assist school principals in ensuring their school safety plans are in place, drills and procedures are being done with fidelity, and additional safety measures are taken when needed.
- Crisis: Support schools through critical incidents involving the direct and imminent safety of school buildings in collaboration with county, MPD, and emergency responders.
- Threat Assessment: Assess level of threat/safety risk and utilize cross systems partners through established relationships with county, MPD, and other emergency response agencies.
Madison Police Department (MPD)
The Office of School Safety and MMSD High School Safety and Security Principals meet with MPD District Captains monthly to discuss ways of working and sharing new information, policy, and procedure, as well as debrief incidents and ideate ways to improve working together.
Mental Health Unit, Journey Mental Health Emergency Services
The Office of School Safety meets biweekly with MPD’s Mental Health Unit, which is composed of 6 police officers trained in mental health response and 3 embedded crisis workers from Journey Mental Health. Together, this team works to support individuals in the community experiencing mental health concerns and aims to divert them away from the criminal justice system to get the appropriate resources and support they need.
Emergency Medical Services / Fire Department (EMS/MFD)
The Office of School Safety meets annually with MFD to discuss safety planning for each school year. MFD also attends one evacuation drill per school per year.
- District Safety Team
- School Safety Teams
- District Critical Response Team
- School-Based Critical Response Teams
- School Security Assistants
- Incident Command Structure
- Planning for Emergencies
- Closing School Due to Weather
- All-Staff Trainings and Professional Development
- Reporting Systems for Preparedness
- Communication Preparedness Protocols
- Preparedness of Facilities
- Emergency Drills
- Athletics, Field Trips & Extracurricular Activities
The MMSD District Safety Team is responsible for the district-wide implementation and compliance of Act 143, Standard Response Protocol, and MMSD School Safety Plans.
Specific responsibilities include: Identification of implications for Act 143, onsite building safety assessments, implementation and updated revisions of District Safety Plan, collaboration with emergency responders, and annual staff safety training. This team is cross-functional; represented roles include:
- Director of Safety and Security
- Director of Cross Systems and Critical Response
- Executive Director of Communications & Public Affairs and/or Communications Manager
- District Risk Manager
- Associate Superintendent of Building and Auxiliary Services or designee
- Associate Superintendent of Schools (ad hoc member)
- General Counsel (ad hoc member)
- Executive Director of Student & Staff Support (ad hoc member)
Each school building or facility that is regularly occupied by students shall identify a School Safety Team led by the building principal or administrator and membership of additional representative staff members appointed by the building administrator, including school nurse, lead secretary, custodian, student services members, and teachers. School Safety Teams shall biannually include outside representatives from their community, including parents, students, community members, and emergency responders.
Each School Safety Team is responsible for continual review, assessment, and updates to their specific School Safety Plan. School Specific Safety Plans are to be reviewed and annually brought before the BOE for approval.
Each School Safety Team is also responsible for ensuring their building has completed the required safety training via the district’s Talent Portal and during welcome-back-to-school days.
Lastly, this team is responsible for maintaining the Standard Response Protocol materials, lessons, and practice drills for their building. This must be documented monthly in their school’s specific folder.
School Safety Teams should meet on a quarterly basis and as needed to review, debrief, revise, and strengthen school safety procedures. Biannually, School Safety Teams should meet with families, community stakeholders, and external partners.
A critical incident is a sudden or unexpected event that can pose a substantial threat significant enough to result in an acute stress response overwhelming the regularly effective coping skills of an individual.
Often referred to as ‘crises’, incidents can be either acute or chronic in nature, and can be experienced or witnessed. Examples of critical incidents include, but are not limited to, death, accidents, illness, community violence, domestic violence, abuse, neglect, assault, and/or natural and man-made disasters.
While a distress response is inevitable, behavioral changes and psychiatric disorders may also follow a critical incident. An effective response can help ameliorate these effects.
The District Critical Response Team’s (DCRT) mission is to ensure School-Based Critical Response Teams have what they need to successfully address any critical event. The team is cross-functional; represented roles include:
- Director of Cross Systems and Critical Response
- Director of Safety and Security
- Executive Director of Student & Staff Support
- Director of Communications and Public Relations or designee
- Deputy Superintendent (ad hoc member)
- Associate Superintendent of Schools (ad hoc member)
- General Counsel (ad hoc member)
- Associate Superintendent of Building and Auxiliary Services (ad hoc member)
At the school level, it is incredibly important that restorative practices are incorporated into any type of critical response. When responding to a critical incident at any school building, the following question must be asked:
“How are we repairing harm that was caused, thinking critically about the impact of an event, ensuring practices are equitable and culturally responsive, and factoring in mental health and various trauma responses associated with crisis?”
An effective response involves:
- Maintaining student and staff safety
- Providing immediate aid to those impacted by the incident
- Providing emotional support to grieving and/or traumatized individuals
- Communicating effectively with everyone impacted by the incident in a timely manner
- Screening and/or referring to resources and follow-up of those who may need ongoing support
School-Based Critical Response Teams are led by the school principal or assistant principal that oversees safety and security. A team’s core members are:
- School principal or designee
- School psychologist(s)
- Social worker(s)
- School nurse
Secondary members include: school security assistants, behavior education assistants, dean of students, multicultural coordinators, restorative justice coaches, PBIS coaches, teacher leaders, school secretaries, custodial staff, and additional community partners based on situation or event.
The role of the School-Based Critical Response Team is as follows:
- Completing team training on critical response, threat assessment, violence risk assessment, acute mental health crisis intervention, and Incident Command Structure.
- Meeting regularly to discuss prevention and early intervention for students exhibiting behaviors that could escalate into violence.
- Meeting regularly to discuss roles and responsibility of individual team members in the event of a critical incident and need for response.
- Collaborating with the District Critical Response Team (DCRT) in organizing the response during a critical incident.
- Establishing a command post and working with unified command (district office and first responders) when needed.
- Communicating with parents, staff, and students to provide accurate information and updates.
- Organizing and maintaining counseling center(s) for support and triage.
- Providing support and guidance to teachers during an incident.
- Making any needed referrals for community-based assessment.
- Providing follow-up for students who are most affected.
- Communicating with other community-based professionals serving students and families.
- Providing leadership in evaluating the effectiveness of the building response and repairing any harm.
The purpose of the school security assistant (SSA) position is to promote school safety by establishing trusting and supportive relationships while reinforcing positive behaviors in MMSD schools.
SSAs are assigned to middle and high schools, and work in partnership with their school’s safety team under the direction of the Director of Safety and Security and the assigned school safety and security assistant principal. SSAs are considered both “first responders” and “behavior responders” responsible for promoting expected behavior, assisting with medical situations, responding to high-risk incidents, and implementing school and district safety plans.
SSAs represent MMSD and their school community and they are viewed by students, staff, and the community as key agents for school safety. As such, the SSA position demands professionalism, collaboration, and a commitment to implementing a school’s safety plan. Moreover, the SSA is student-centered and relationship-driven, with a commitment to Black Excellence while promoting and modeling racial and social justice.
SSAs balance engaging in safety protocols with building relationships. SSAs manage active supervision, safety sweeps of hallways, bathrooms, common areas, monitoring of parking lots, and entrances and exits; ensure that doors are closed and locked during the school day at all times; and connect with students in and outside of classrooms.
School principals or their designees are responsible to take charge in any emergency situation until police and emergency responders arrive. Principals receive training in emergency procedures, which follow the Incident Command Structure (ICS) language. All principals are encouraged to take the ICS 100 course, which is free to anyone wanting to learn more about this system. MMSD uses the common language so that in any emergency or crisis, staff members can communicate effectively with first responders.
MMSD has adapted the following universal practices to promote health and well-being and prevent infections in its school buildings:
- Reopening Schools Guidance document, which is intended to outline, in as much detail as possible, how the district plans to reopen after a closure, whether in a hybrid model or all in-person learning.
- Hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette, staying home when sick, use of personal protective equipment, proper cleaning/ventilation, and sharps safety and biohazard disposal system.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the critical importance of preparedness for all hazards. Given the tremendous learning since 2020, MMSD is redeveloping its pandemic plan for the future.
Students with disabilities and other special needs may require assistance in functional areas during an emergency, including: maintaining independence, communication, transportation, supervision, and medical care.
All students with mobility needs should have an emergency evacuation plan. All schools have received Stryker chairs and Med Sleds; these Stryker chairs and Med Sleds are located near a designated stairwell in each school building. Physical therapists, nurses, and building services staff received training in the use of the Med Sleds and Stryker chairs.
Additionally, care should be taken to support students with other disabilities that may not impact their mobility, but could impact their ability to safety and expeditiously evacuate. For example, a student with autism may require extra advanced notice and noise-reduction headphones.
Emergency Care Plans
The Emergency Care Plan or Emergency Action Plan is developed for the student who may have a life-threatening emergency or health crisis. It is succinctly written in lay terms for school staff, and has been developed in collaboration with the family and health care provider.
This plan is distributed to key school staff who have a need to know. Typically, any student with a flagged health condition will need an Emergency Plan.
Examples of conditions that need an Emergency Plan include:
- Severe asthma
- Certain seizure disorders
- Life-threatening food allergies
Individual Healthcare Plans (IHP)
The individualized Healthcare Plan is developed by the school nurse in response to the healthcare needs of a student. It is developed using the nursing process, and contains assessment, goals, interventions, and evaluation measures. It is more than just a translation of the medical orders. Typically, an IHP is needed for students who need frequent monitoring for their health condition and/or who need health-related accommodations during the school day. An IHP does not need to address every health issue of the student.
Examples of conditions that often need an IHP in addition to an Emergency Plan include:
- Sickle cell disease
- Severe asthma
- Technology-dependent students
Emergency Medication Protocols
All MMSD health offices are stocked with epinephrine, albuterol, and naloxone. These medications can be given by any MMSD staff trained in their administration for life-threatening emergencies of anaphylaxis, asthma exacerbations, and opioid overdose.
The safety of all MMSD students is the district’s first priority when making all weather-related decisions. When weather is severe, the district follows a set of guidelines to make decisions about whether school will be open or closed.
During the summer school session, the Superintendent’s Office and the Summer School Office monitor weather conditions. In addition, each school has a weather radio to monitor conditions. When concerns about heat safety arise, representatives from the Senior Leadership Team, Building Services, and Office of School Safety meet to make a recommendation on school closing. The National Weather Service guidelines are used to inform the decision. Generally, schools will remain open when a Heat Advisory or Excessive Heat Watch is issued. MMSD will cancel schools when an Excessive Heat Warning is issued.
National Weather Service Definitions
A Heat Advisory is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions. Generally, a Heat Advisory is issued when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be 100 degrees or higher for at least 2 days and nighttime temperatures will not drop below 75 degrees.
Excessive Heat Watch:
A Heat Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event in the next 24 to 72 hours. A watch is used when the risk of a heat wave has increased, but its occurrence and timing is uncertain.
Excessive Heat Warning:
An Excessive Heat Warning is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions. The general rule of thumb for this Warning is when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be 105 degrees or higher for at least 2 days and nighttime air temperatures will not drop below 75 degrees.
Medical Considerations due to Heat
Students or staff who show any signs of heat-related illness (heat exhaustion) should be referred to the health office and moved to an air-conditioned area immediately. Below are signs of heat exhaustion:
- Cold, pale, or clammy skin
- Heavy sweating
Heat stroke (sunstroke) is a medical emergency. People who experience the signs listed below should be transported to a hospital right away by emergency medical responders.
- Elevated body temperature
- Hot/dry skin
- Rapid/strong pulse
Summer School Site Cooling Tips from Building Services
- Prioritize lower-level classroom spaces
- If possible, morning classrooms should be north and/or northwest
- Lower shades if there is direct sunlight
Fan usage to control outside air
- Try to blow IN cool air in the morning
- Try to blow OUT warm air in the afternoon
- Make sure fans are in places where students will have limited access to touch them or trip on cords
Guidelines for use of air-conditioned spaces
- Utilize these spaces for multi-purpose cooling zones or rotating relief centers
- Keep doors closed. Opening doors to try to cool non-air conditioned spaces taxes the mechanical systems and can lead to failures and outages
- Custodians should set these zones to “occupied” two hours prior to using the area
If a classroom space is too warm, teachers should consider
- Taking their class outside in a shaded area
- Taking their class for a break in a designated cooling zone
- Moving to a cooler classroom
- Make times for students to get a drink
- If possible, make ice available for staff and students who might want it
Maintain safe and secure exits
- Don’t prop open exterior doors, as doing so will negate the secure entrances at the site
Make the most of mechanical systems (for custodians)
- Watch the weather and run the systems overnight to bring in cooler air in the evening
- Do preventive maintenance work prior to summer school starting. Change filters, lubricate dampers and check operation, and clean coils
The district monitors weather conditions and consults with local meteorologists, the City of Madison, and transportation providers. MMSD uses this information to consider closing schools in cases of extreme cold, snow, or other hazardous conditions. (Schools are generally closed if temperatures reach negative 25 degrees.)
When MMSD schools are closed for the day, it also means that all activities scheduled in school buildings for that day are canceled, including all Madison School and Community Recreation (MSCR) programs, after-school programs, and athletics.
Generally, once the school day has started, MMSD schools will not dismiss early to avoid complications with transportation and child care arrangements. However, parents may pick up their child before the end of the day.
118.(4) (2) The school board [or governing body of the private school] shall determine which persons are required to receive school safety plan training and the frequency of the training. The training shall be based upon the school district’s or private school’s prioritized needs, risks, and vulnerabilities.
To ensure consistent language and expectations around school safety practices are aligned district-wide, a comprehensive list of required training and accompanying resources is provided to all building staff via a virtual learning portal, as well as for principals to review and complete with all staff.
The following is a list of required safety training for all MMSD school-based staff:
- Active Supervision (Before School, Transitions, Lunch/Recess/Outdoor Activities, Dismissal, Field Trips). Annually, prior to the first day of school and throughout the year as needed, building administrators review, revise, and communicate supervision schedules with school staff. Training for staff includes providing an overview of the active supervision plan for key transition times (before school, school transitions, lunch/recess and at dismissal times) and key building areas (stairwells, bathrooms, unused classrooms).
- School Visitor Procedures: MMSD believes that it is beneficial that families and community members are involved in their children’s education. The school visitors policy is designed to welcome families and community members into district schools with that goal in mind.
- School Emergency Procedures: Annually, before the first day of school, principals are expected to comprehensively review the Standard Response Protocol and Emergency Operating Procedures (aka "The Emergency Flipchart”) with all staff.
- Specific Training for Students with Disabilities and/or Mobility Issues: During the first week of school and at the start of a new quarter/semester, school teams (led by nurse, OT/PT, and/or CC teacher) working with students with disabilities and/or mobility issues will train staff in evacuation procedures and equipment use in the event of an emergency.
- Teaming for Safety: All staff receive training in various teams utilized by schools and the district, to ensure that safety interventions, practices, and response are completed with fidelity.
- Mandatory Reporting for Child Abuse/Neglect and Threats to School Safety: All staff receive training upon hire by MMSD via DPI’s mandatory reporting requirements training. This is then also completed every 3 years for all employees to be in good standing. In addition to this, all staff are required to view the MMSD specific mandatory reporter training at the beginning of the school year as part of safety training each year.. All MSCR staff are also required to take this training.
- Child Protection Unit (Elementary Only): Wisconsin state statute requires that MMSD teach protective behaviors in elementary school. Protective behaviors are skills that students can use to stay safe, learn about consent, and understand when to refuse or say “no”.
- Reporting Systems:
- Speak Up, Speak Out (SUSO)
- Staff must complete the SUSO training modules prior to the start of school each year. This can be done asynchronously, but the school principal should offer the opportunity for staff to ask questions and discuss this process further at a staff meeting.
- Students should be trained in using this reporting system using the virtual module provided to staff.
- Families should be given information on SUSO at the beginning of the school year via newsletter. There is also information on the district website at MMSD.org/SAFETY.
- Staff must complete a brief module overview of how Securly works and what their responsibilities are regarding responding to alerts.
- Reporting to School Staff
- At the beginning of each school year, school support staff talk to students and staff about reporting anything unsafe towards themselves or others to a trusted adult including, but not limited to, teacher, school psych, social worker, counselor, nurse, or principal, either verbally or in writing.
- Speak Up, Speak Out (SUSO)
Speak Up, Speak Out Wisconsin (SUSO)
Created by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Office of School Safety, the SUSO Resource Center (https://speakup.widoj.gov/) is a place where anyone can submit an anonymous tip to report threats of school violence, bullying, and/or self-harm.
What is the district’s responsibility in addressing SUSO tips?
The Office of School Safety triages tips as they come in. Moderate and low-level tips are reviewed and sent to the building principal for follow-up. Immediate concerns are addressed by collaborating with the SUSO analyst reporting the tip, the Office of School Safety, the school principal, and MPD. Immediate concerns during off hours are addressed by SUSO analysts and MPD. All tips, regardless of level of concern, are investigated and a plan for support and follow-up is completed.
How does SUSO align with other MMSD reporting practices?
Developing positive student/adult relationships is vital to school safety, as they help ensure students feel safe reporting concerns to people they trust. MMSD schools have social workers, school psychologists, counselors, nurses, support coaches, educational assistants, and security assistants all trained in keeping students safe and at the center of the educational environment. While the district hopes that students will reach out to someone they trust at the school, iIt is not always easy or possible to make a report to another person when needed, so this reporting system offers an additional layer of support.
What is the principal’s role?
Principals must understand how the confidential reporting system works and be ready to respond to a tip that might come in regarding an event at their school. Principals work directly with the Office of School Safety to assess the tip, develop a plan, connect with students and families involved, and follow up as needed. The principal will likely solicit the support of their student services team members: social worker, psychologist, counselor, and/or PBIS coach in this group. Together, this team will develop a training plan for staff and students after completing the required training.
MMSD is committed to ensuring that student safety remains a priority, especially while using their district-issued devices. As the reliance on technology in education continues to increase, so does the need for online safety for students. Securly employs trained analysts to monitor and immediately contact the school or District Critical Response Team with information regarding unsafe or concerning searches, messages, or documents while utilizing their district device. This platform provides support during the school day, after school, and on weekends.
MMSD uses different tools within the Securly platform to ensure student and staff online safety:
- Web filtering (Securly Filter): Use of a web filter protects students from harmful content and can be used to block online distractions. Web filtering also ensures that the district is compliant with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA).
- Flagged alert systems (Securly Aware): Flagged alerts are sent to designated school and district staff notifying them of online activities that are potentially harmful, including self-harm, depression, violence, bullying, and more. Once alerted, schools can act quickly to provide the student the necessary resources to address the issue at hand.
Securly runs 24/7. To fully support its implementation, Securly analysts directly contact school principals Monday through Friday, between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., via email or phone. They also contact the District Critical Response Team, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 7:30 a.m., and all day Saturday and Sunday via text message, email, or phone, depending on severity. .
For any after-hours contacts to the District Critical Response Team, district protocol includes monitoring and discussing information with Securly analysts, connecting with students and families, and possibly contacting MPD to complete a welfare check. The District Critical Response Team will also connect with the school principal to share detailed information and to coordinate follow-up support.
Reporting to School Staff
By building relationships between staff and students, staff become identified as trusted adults that students can talk to. Trusted adults in the building can be (but are not limited to):
- Classroom teachers, principals, assistant principals, deans
- Student Services staff: Psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses
- School Support staff: SSAs, educational assistants, custodians, secretaries
All staff must know that, if they are trusted adults to a student, they must balance that trust with their requirement as mandatory reporters. All staff must provide guidance and support to students while also explaining to them that they must disclose unsafe information to another trusted adult.
The best language for staff to use is:
“Thank you for trusting me to hear what you have to say. Before you start, I might need to tell another trusted adult if the information you share involves someone hurting you, you hurting someone, or if you are or want to hurt yourself.”
Threats of School Violence
Wisconsin Act 143 (Wis. Stat. 175.32, 118.07(5)) established another mandatory reporting requirement that states that any staff should make a report, “ if the person believes in good faith, based on a threat made by an individual seen in the course of professional duties regarding violence in or targeted at a school, that there is a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a student or school employee or the public.”
Child Abuse and Neglect
Pursuant of Chapter 48, any district staff member who has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been abused or neglected is required to make a report. While a staff member can seek consultation from an administrator or support staff (social worker, nurse, psychologist), it cannot delay a report. Staff can fulfill the mandatory reporting requirement by making a report to Dane County Child Protection Services at 251-KIDS or contacting MPD at 911 or 255-2345.
All staff at each school building must review the Reporting Phone Numbers and Procedures document prior to the beginning of each school year, as well as before making a report. School staff are not responsible for investigating child abuse or neglect, but must determine if there is potential abuse using the facts they have, definitions of maltreatment (in document linked above), critical thinking about possible individual biases.
All staff are responsible for filling out the anonymous MMSD Google Form to document that a report has been made. While the identity of the reporter remains confidential, the data from the report aids in further collaboration with Dane County Child Protection Services to identify trends, areas of bias, and need for additional training.
If a report is made, staff should inform the school-based social worker and the building principal, so they can communicate with Dane County Child Protection Social Workers. Under the health and safety exception in Chapter 48, Dane County Initial Assessment Social Workers and Police are permitted to talk with the student pursuant to abuse and neglect without needing parent permission.
The identity of the individual making the report is to be kept confidential. It is requested that all staff making a report inform their administrator, but details of the report do not need to be shared unless not doing so would create a health or safety concern in the school building.
MMSD strives to provide an environment where every student feels safe, respected, and welcomed. It is also important that every staff member can serve students in an atmosphere that is free from significant disruptions and obstacles that impede learning and performance. For more information or to submit a report of bullying please visit the district’s anti-bullying website.
Annually, all staff receive training on reporting and investigation of student bullying behavior in accordance with MMSD BOE policy.
Workplace bullying is the repeated, unreasonable actions of an individual (or group) directed toward a peer, co-worker or employee that is intended to intimidate and creates a risk to the health or safety of the target.
All new employees must complete anti-harassment training within their first year of employment. It is only necessary to complete the training once. For additional information see: https://hr.madison.k12.wi.us/files/hr/harass.pdf.
Role-Specific Required Training
Administrators and Principal Designees
The following preparedness trainings are required for administrators and their designees:
Annual Legal Conference to Review BOE Policies and Procedures
Each year, during Administrator Leadership Institute and prior to the first day of school, a team composed of district legal counsel, human resources, Office of School Safety, and Student & Staff Support employees provide all administrators with legal procedures and BOE policies that accompany them:
- 4147 - Student Employee Safety (Plans, Drills, Reporting, Safety Teams)
- 4222 - Reporting Child Abuse/Neglect
- 4224 - Reporting Threats of School Violence
- 4400 - Investigations, Interrogations, Arrests, Searches
- BOE Policy 4400 provides guidance and legal direction for School Administrators to cooperate with local police agencies regarding the investigation, interrogation, arrest and search of students on school property or in the building according to established procedures.
- The Legal Conference will include specific training on 4400 that provides an in-depth explanation of the specific policy requirements, how to use best practices with notification of parents and how to ensure students and parents have information about their rights, the basis for the investigation, search and/or arrest of a student, and the importance of complying with the policy and the possible consequences for failing to comply.
Principal Designee Training
Annually, all principals, assistant principals, and their appointed designees review:
Each appointed designee is required to complete online modules in the Talent Portal related to their duties when they are in the designee role. When the building principal is to be out of the building, the principal shall designate, in writing, a person to be in charge of the building and the operation of the school. Annual training is required and is held before school begins annually.
Non-violent crisis intervention (NVCI) training is provided through the Crisis Prevention Institute and MMSD-embedded trainers. This training addresses proactive techniques to prevent escalating behaviors, diffuse or de-escalate behaviors, and how to quickly and safely respond to unsafe behaviors. This training is a requirement for all principals, assistant principals, special education staff, and student services staff per Wisconsin Act 118. Classroom teachers are not required to be trained, but can elect to receive the training based on the specific needs of the students in their classroom or on their caseload. MMSD’s goal is to have all staff mandated through Act 118 be retrained every two years. Any MMSD staff can access the crisis prevention materials to review common language.
Student & Staff Support
Psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses, nurse assistants, positive behavior support coaches, restorative coaches, special educators, special education assistants (SEAs), behavior education assistants (BEAs), and SSAs make up this category of staff.
The following are required trainings for these staff in MMSD::
Stop the Bleed is a national awareness campaign and call-to-action. Stop the Bleed is intended to cultivate grassroots efforts that encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives.
Medication Administration (nurses are exempt)
Administration of medication is governed by state law. The law requires that schools provide a Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI)-approved knowledge and skills training to any employee (secretary, teacher, specialized education assistant, principal, nurse assistant, etc.) who administers medications as a function of their job duties via certain routes. Skills competency testing is provided by the school nurse and is required at least every year and more often if needed.
All new employees are strongly encouraged to watch this webcast as soon as possible after employment starts. This training is required upon hire and annually for employees in the following designated job categories: custodians, elementary secretaries, elementary, middle and high school building administrators, nurse’s assistants, nurses, security assistants, physical education teachers, special education teachers, SEAs, and substitute SEAs.
Basic Life Support CPR/AED (nurses, nurse assistants, SEAs, BEAs, SSAs)
The Basic Life Support Course trains participants to promptly recognize several life-threatening emergencies, give high-quality chest compressions, deliver appropriate ventilations and provide early use of an AED. Nurses and nursing assistants must be trained annually. MMSD also requires a staff member to be trained in CPR/first aid for all overnight field trips.
Med Sled and Stryker Chair (nurses, nurse assistants, and special education staff)
Med Sleds are used in schools to support students and staff with mobility issues, to evacuate in the event of an emergency. Nurses must be trained.
Risk Assessments (psychologists, social workers, counselors, and nurses)
MMSD student services staff use a variety of risk assessments to comprehensively understand student needs. Training for these assessments is offered each semester and small group training may also be requested by individual school teams. All psychologists, social workers, counselors, and nurses should be proficient in using the assessments listed below:
The following are the trainings required for custodians in MMSD:
- Asbestos awareness training (all)
- 16-hour asbestos operations and maintenance course (head custodians only)
- Annual bloodborne pathogen training,
- School maintenance certification course (custodians with pools only), all head custodians are trained annually on
- Annual preventive maintenance related to facilities (head custodians only)
- All Staff Welcome Back Safety Training Virtual Modules
Athletic Coaches and Athletic Event Staff
The following are the trainings required for athletic staff in MMSD:
- First Aid and CPR/AED Certification
- ASEP or NFHS Coaching Principles Certification (if they do not have a license to teach)
- Concussion and Cardiac Education
- WIAA Rules and Video Completion (through WIAA website by login and verified by school report)
- Annual Review of Emergency Procedures (Maps of Athletic Event Locations)
- Student Athletic Code
Each school has a specific database of resources for athletics related to training and application related to safety and security, health procedures, and emergency action plans (EAPs).
EAPs are annually reviewed with University of Wisconsin athletic trainers who staff athletic events and training rooms. After school, athletic trainers are the point people for any student-athlete injury response or critical response for coaches, spectators, bystanders.
Seasonal athletic event staff and coaches receive and review supervision documents for competitions. Coaches and administrators receive the EAPs for practice and competition spaces.
Training and Communication For Students and Parents
It is imperative that students, families, and community members know what is happening in MMSD, especially when it comes to safety. Parents must be informed about safety practices and procedures, and have opportunities to learn how to engage in them the way their students do. On MMSD’s website, MMSD.org/office-of-school-safety, all safety lessons are embedded for parents to review. These will be continuously updated to ensure that the most current information is available.
Communication is a critical component of incident management. MMSD aims to provide clear, accurate, and timely internal and external communication among staff, students, parents, emergency responders, the community, and the media.
The following are preparatory components of the district’s ability to successfully communicate when an emergency happens:
Preparing Families and Students
- During the enrollment process and at intervals throughout the school year, parents are asked to keep their emergency contact information up to date in Infinite Campus, MMSD’s student information system.
- Families are encouraged to select “text message” as a communication option, so that they can be notified in the event of an emergency via SMS.
- Parents/guardians of high school students may also enter their students’ cell phone numbers in Infinite Campus, so that they, too, can be notified of emergencies at their school via text message.
- MMSD uses email, school newsletters, district newsletters, and the district website to provide general emergency procedure information.
- School administrators receive annual training in the protocol for communicating with families in the event of a school emergency. All administrators will consult with the Office of School Safety either before or after contacting emergency responders. The Office of School Safety will work directly with the administrator, first responders, and the MMSD Communications Department to quickly prepare clear communications while respecting the confidentiality of students and/or staff involved.
- The district’s Communications Department staff are reachable and ready to assist school administrators during and after school hours. These staff members are able to craft and edit communications and have administrative access to SchoolMessenger, allowing them to send texts, emails, or robocalls to any school community.
- Similarly, district translators are reachable during and after school hours, and work closely with the MMSD Communications Department to ensure accurate and timely communications are sent to families whose home languages are other than English.
- In order to communicate with staff quickly and appropriately, principals will often send out brief email communication during or right after an event has occurred or a Standard Response Protocol was used. This allows staff to get initial information and know there will be more forthcoming.
Text Message Protocol
Text message communications are intended primarily to acknowledge that the district is aware of a situation, and to inform student families of the situation as well.
Following a text message, schools or the district send an email to families with more detailed information and additional assurances that school is safe.
The following are two examples of a series of communications that MMSD would use to communicate effectively with families during two different safety incidents that require police presence.
[SCHOOL NAME] on SECURE. Police activity in neighborhood; school is safe. Email to follow soon.
Subject: School is safe. In SECURE. We are taking safety precautions in response to police activity in area.
Dear [SCHOOL NAME] Families,
We are writing to let you know we received reports of [COMMUNITY INCIDENT] near our school. The Madison Police Department has informed us that there is no threat to our school at this time, but as a precaution, we are using the Standard Response Protocol SECURE to safely keep students inside and ensure our building doors are locked. Our school day is continuing as usual. Again, please know that our school building is safe and we are taking these actions as precautions.
Student safety is our top priority, and we are quick to respond and take safety precautions. We will update you with more information throughout the day as it becomes available.
Subject: SECURE lifted
Dear [SCHOOL NAME] Families,
I wanted to update you that we’ve received an all clear from the Madison Police Department at [TIME] and lifted our SECURE status. Police again confirmed that there was not a direct threat to our school.
Our school day went on as usual as we took these precautions, and our students did not experience disruption to the day….[INSERT ANY DETAILS]
Please let me know if you have any questions.
In the event that a school is contacted by the media, school administrators are trained to contact the district’s Communications Department, which oversees all media inquiries. The district has clear guidelines in place for working with the media in the event of an emergency, including protecting sensitive information on internal security measures and student information.
Building maps are available to MMSD staff via the “Staff Only” portion of the Building Services website. MMSD building maps and floorplans are intentionally kept private for official staff use only. It is best practice to ensure staff have access to their specific building maps and floorplan, but not to make maps available to the public for additional safety considerations.
Surveillance cameras are used at all MMSD sites under the supervision of the Office of School Safety, Building Services, Technology Services, and school building principals. Cameras are placed in common areas where they enhance the district’s efforts to provide a safe and secure environment for all students, staff, and visitors. Per BOE policy, cameras cannot be placed in a classroom, restroom, or locker room. Cameras also cannot be facing a restroom or locker room doorway. MMSD cameras DO NOT record audio. Locations for added camera requests must be approved by the Office of School Safety in accordance with BOE policy.
Policy 6702 specifically forbids the placement of hidden cameras. Security cameras may only be placed in areas where there is no expectation of privacy, including common areas in school buildings. For example, cameras and monitoring equipment may be placed in entryways; hallways; the front office where students, employees and visitors are permitted to freely come and go; gymnasiums; cafeterias; libraries; the school parking lots and other outside areas; and in school buses.
Access and Use of Digital Video Recorder (DVR)
MMSD Tech Services specialists have access to the security cameras management system. Access level for staff is based on position within the district or school and is reviewed in collaboration with the Office of School Safety.
Welcome center and main office staff are given viewing rights that allow them to see visitors entering and exiting the building, to ensure safety.
No employee has administrative access to change or delete any footage on any DVR. Designated staff can only transfer past footage to another DVR storage unit.
All downloaded files intended for criminal, legal, or disciplinary actions for students or staff shall be saved on the U-Drive in the respective school folder, for storage and sharing of files. Consent to release this footage must be signed by the police or district attorney.
Video footage shall be copied from the server and saved to the corresponding school folder in the U-Drive. The Office of School Safety will determine whether requested video footage will ultimately be disclosed, with MMSD Legal Services determining how and with whom the video is shared. Law enforcement may view live video (i.e., as the events are occurring) in emergencies or life-threatening situations.
If requested by a parent/guardian or adult student, video footage shall be copied from the server and saved to the corresponding school folder in the U-Drive. Once notified of the request, Legal Services will determine whether requested video footage will ultimately be shown to the parent/guardian or adult student. Parent/guardian or adult students will not be able to record video footage and no camera video footage shall ever be placed on the internet. Video footage approved by Legal Services for disclosure may require student faces and other means of identification to be blurred out for confidentiality purposes, which is performed by MMSD staff.
An elevator service contractor conducts preventive maintenance and inspections every other month on each elevator in the district. Elevator phones should be tested weekly by custodial staff. MFD inspects for violations; MMSD also inspects for functionality. If testing reveals any problems, custodial staff submits a work order through Munis.
Exterior Campus Lighting
Site lighting should be checked weekly. Custodial staff maintains exterior lights and performs repairs as needed. Custodial staff submits a work order through Munis for repairs beyond what can be handled on site.
Clean and Safe Classrooms
MMSD requires all staff to comply with both the National Fire Prevention Association’s Fire Code and BOE Policy Auxiliary Services Energy Management Program 5200. The code and energy program lay out the following:
- 10.19.3.1 Storage shall be maintained 2 ft. or more from the ceiling in non-sprinklered areas of buildings.
- 10.19.3.2 The clearance between the sprinkler deflector and the top of storage shall be 18 inches or greater.
- 18.104.22.168 Multiplug adapters shall not be used as a substitute for permanent wiring or receptacles.
- 22.214.171.124 Relocatable power tap cords shall not be extended through walls, ceilings, or floors, under doors or floor coverings: or be subject to environmental or physical damage.
- 126.96.36.199 Extension cords shall be maintained in good condition without splices, deterioration, or damage.
- 188.8.131.52 Extension cords and flexible cords shall not be affixed to structures; extended through walls, ceiling, or floors, or under doors or floor coverings, or be subject to environmental or physical damage.
- 184.108.40.206 Extension cords shall not be used as a substitute for permanent wiring.
- 11.1.10 Covers All panelboard and switchboard, pull boxes, junction boxes, switches, receptacles, and conduit bodies shall be provided with covers comparable with the box or conduit body construction and suitable for the conditions of use.
- 220.127.116.11.3 Blocking or wedging of doors in the open position shall be prohibited.
- 18.104.22.168.1 Bulletin boards, posters, and paper attached directly to the wall shall not exceed 20 percent of the aggregate wall area to which they are applied.
- 12.6.1 Draperies, curtains, and other similar loosely hanging furnishings and decorations shall be flame resistant as demonstrated by testing in accordance with NFPA 701.
- 12.6.4 Furnishings and decorations of an explosive or highly combustible character shall not be used.
- 12.6.5 Fire-retardant coatings shall be maintained to retain their effectiveness of the treatment under service conditions encountered in actual use.
- 14.3.3 An exit enclosure shall not be used for any purpose that has the potential to interfere with its use as an exit and, if so designated as an area of refuge.
- 14.4.1 Means of egress shall be continuously maintained free of all obstructions or impediments to full instant use in the case of fire or other emergency.
- 22.214.171.124.1 It shall be the duty of principals, teachers, or staff to inspect all exit facilities daily to ensure that all stairways, doors, and other exits are in proper condition.
Fire Extinguisher Maintenance
MMSD maintenance workers complete annual inspections of fire extinguishers as required by the International Fire Code, and sign off on individual fire extinguisher tags with their license number. Building custodial staff complete monthly inspections and sign off on individual fire extinguisher tags with their initials and the date of inspection.
Emergency Cell Phones & Analog Phones
If there is a failure of phone or internet systems, all main offices have two analog phones that can be used (typically, one is located in the principal’s office). If analog phone lines are down, the front office should be equipped with a district cell phone.
Weather radios are supplied to each school and should be tested by school users annually. They are typically located in main offices or welcome centers.
Portable Handheld Radios (Walkie-Talkies)
Each school purchases handheld radios in a quantity they deem appropriate to support their facilities and operations. Schools should work with Building Services and the Office of School Safety if repairs or additional radios are needed.
Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)
Each school site has at least one AED located near the Health Office and/or the gym. Batteries are tested annually.
Starting in 2023, nurses, nurse assistants, and school security assistants will be trained in administering Narcan. The DPI-approved training will include:
- Identifying a possible overdose and how to respond to it.
- Identifying the antidote for an opioid overdose.
- Understanding what naloxone is, how it works, and how to give it to someone who overdosed on opioids.
- Understanding how to care for the person after administering naloxone.
A school safety plan should be comprehensive in its assessment of potential threats/hazards and the protective measures needed to respond to these incidents. MMSD uses the Standard Response Protocol to fulfill this; however, a plan is only as good as the training that goes into it. Therefore, ongoing safety drills are conducted per Wisconsin Statute 118.07(2)(a)(b).
- (b) In each community having a recognized fire department, the person having direct charge of any public or private school shall annually file a report pertaining to such drills, on a form furnished by the department of safety and professional services, with the chief of the fire department. When no fire drill is held during any month, or when only one or no tornado or other hazard drill is held in a year, the person having direct charge of the school shall state the reasons in the report.
- The school board or governing body of the private school shall maintain for at least 7 years a record of each fire drill, tornado, or other hazard drill, and school safety drill conducted.
Per Wisconsin Statute 118.07(2)(a)(b) - (a) Once a month, without previous warning, the person having direct charge of any public or private school shall drill all pupils in the proper method of departure from the building in case of a fire, except when the person having direct charge deems that the health of the pupils may be endangered by inclement weather conditions. At least twice annually, without previous warning, the person having direct charge of any public or private school shall drill all pupils in the proper method of evacuation to a safe location in case of a tornado or other hazard. At least twice annually, without previous warning, the person having direct charge of any public or private school shall drill all pupils in the proper method of evacuation or other appropriate action in case of a school safety incident. The public and private school safety drill shall be based on the school safety plan adopted under sub. (4). A safety drill may be substituted for any other drill required under this paragraph.
Shelter (Tornado and Other Weather)
Per Wisconsin Statute 118.07(2)(a)(b) - At least twice annually, without previous warning, the person having direct charge of any public or private school shall drill all pupils in the proper method of evacuation to a safe location in case of a tornado or other hazard.
Hold, Secure, Shelter (Other Hazards and Safety Incidents)
Per Wisconsin Statute 118.07(4) - At least twice annually, without previous warning, the person having direct charge of any public or private school shall drill all pupils in the proper method of evacuation or other appropriate action in case of a school safety incident. The public and private school safety drill shall be based on the school safety plan adopted under sub.
Lockdown (Active Threat)
Per Wisconsin Statute 118.07(4) (cp) - Each school board and the governing body of each private school shall ensure that, at each school building regularly occupied by pupils, pupils are drilled, at least annually, in the proper response to an active threat event in accordance with the school safety plan in effect for that school building. The person having direct charge of the school building at which a drill is held under this paragraph shall submit a brief written evaluation of the drill to the school board or governing body of the private school within 30 days of holding the drill. The school board or governing body of a private school shall review all written evaluations submitted under this paragraph. A drill under this paragraph may be substituted for a school safety drill required under 118.07(a). Lockdown drills are coordinated in partnership with the Office of School Safety, the District Safety Team, and the Madison Police Department.
All schools are required to send a Standard Response Protocol overview letter to families at the beginning of each school year, before any lessons are taught or drills are practiced. Letters pertaining to specific lessons should be sent home before teaching the individual lesson.
MMSD is committed to providing necessary and timely communication to principals, staff, students, and families. At the beginning of each school year, all staff receive training in completing school safety lessons and drills. Principals receive updated lesson plans and family communication each year during the training.
Principals should notify families ahead of time that an active threat/lockdown drill is planned for a specific day and time. Template letters are provided to principals to assist with family communication.
Drill Sample Schedule
|Time of Drill||Number of Students||Number of Adults||Time Required to Evacuate||Remarks|
|9/9/22||7:45 a.m.||301||37||1||28||Great first fire drill|
|10/10/22||12:40 p.m.||287||30||1||54||Sunny, beautiful day|
|11/10/22||1:00 p.m.||307||35||3||04||Warm November day|
|1/18/23||1:00 p.m.||269||37||2||12||Gray, cloudy day|
|2/8/23||2:10 p.m.||298||35||1||49||Nice day|
|3/24/23||12:30 p.m.||280||34||1||45||Beautiful day - sunny|
|4/12/23||2:10 p.m.||304||35||1||42||Glorious, warm, sunny day|
|5/4/23||12:40 p.m.||302||32||1||27||Nice day|
|6/1/23||11:00 a.m.||290||32||2||03||Great last drill!|
*The state-wide tornado drill may not be substituted for a fire drill
School Administrator's Signature:
|The Fire Department Official should be present for one or more Fire Drills and signs this Fire Drill Report Form in the spaces provided below.|
Fire Department Official's Signature:
Fire Department Official's Signature:
October 27, 2022
April 21, 2023
Hold/Secure (School Safety Incident)
(choice: medical emergency, incident requiring students to stay in classrooms, incident outside of building.
January 24, 2023 at 10:00 am
May 11, 2023 at 12:45 pm
(with advance notice - date to be coordinated by/with Office of School Safety)
Date family letter went out: Friday, May 12, 2023
Date conducted: May 18, 2023
|By dating below, it certifies that your entire staff have completed all training outlined and students received safety lessons|
School Safety Training Staff
Safety and Security Welcome Back Training
August 26, 2022
(Student Safety Lessons)
K-5 Includes Child Protective Unit
MMSD high school athletic events are staffed, planned, and supervised under the guidance of the MMSD Athletics Policy and Procedures Guide (revised July 2020). This manual is a collection of BOE policies and operating procedures that give direction to MMSD high school athletic programs. As such, this publication will be reviewed and edited regularly for accuracy and current information by high school athletic directors and principals.
The Interscholastic Athletics programs are governed by the BOE policies and administrative procedures and are an extension of the school day. Additionally, the programs are operated with oversight through the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA). Each of MMSD’s comprehensive high schools is a member school of the WIAA and is affiliated with the South Central Wisconsin Big 8 Conference.
Student-athletes are required to follow school rules and additionally adhere to a code of conduct outlined in the Athletic Handbook for students and parents/guardians. Athletic coaches have established professional standards set forth in the Employee Handbook, Athletic Policy and Procedures Guide and conform to the WIAA and Big 8 Conference guidelines for professional standards and ethics.
Protocols for conditioning and training of athletes, nutritional care, psychological and emotional development, the care and prevention of injuries, and practice and competitive performance guidelines are all part of the educational offerings. Educational activities are supervised, many times by a faculty member. Additionally, athletic programs can have leadership with non-faculty personnel. Non-faculty coaches and advisors are required to complete training to provide additional expertise in the developmental characteristics of youth participating in sports.
Staff supervision of competitive events is organized by the athletic administrator, in consultation with the school principal and administrator in charge of athletics and student activities. Supervision of after-school events that are practices and not competitions is a vital part of the schools’ daily staff supervision plan. School sites utilized for athletics (indoor & outdoor, on-campus & off-campus) are attended to with a known and published plan for staff supervision. Supervision of these after-school activities is a function of the adults accountable to the student-athletes participating in the sport, the school administrations, and the safety and security personnel assigned to an after-school duty. Competitions with a large spectator crowd are staffed with local police officers to assist the school staff supervisors with crowd control and game management of the event.
The high schools have a collaborative partnership with local health professionals and hospitals to provide athletic training services for student-athletes. Student-athletes many times will receive care and prevention measures at the school site in association with their respective sport from the athletic trainer assigned to the school. An annual physical is required by a medical doctor prior to participation and all health guidelines are followed with MMSD procedures.
Student transportation to and from events is planned and organized following protocols established by MMSD, and staffed with the coach or advisor of the group.
Emergency procedures (e.g., weather events) are outlined in the Athletics Policy and Procedures Guide, and the emergency response and preparedness plans developed for MMSD are applicable to the athletic programs conducted in district facilities.
School-Sponsored Co-Curricular Activities
School-sponsored co-curricular activities (e.g., debate, forensics, and science clubs, etc.) are conducted very similar to the interscholastic athletics programs policies and procedures and are subject to district guidelines. Activities are viewed to be an extension of the school day, are voluntary for student participants, and are staffed by a qualified supervisor. Students are accountable to a set of educational performance and conduct standards.
Under Wisconsin state law, a school board shall permit a pupil who resides in the school district and is enrolled in a home-based private educational program to participate in interscholastic athletics; the same applies to extracurricular activities.
MMSD operates four high, 12 middle, and 31 elementary school buildings. Typical rooms available for rent include art rooms, auditoria, cafeterias, classrooms, gymnasia, and meeting rooms. Child-sized furniture is available in elementary schools, and adult-size furniture is available in middle and high schools. Facilities may be available for public use after 6:00 p.m. on school days and on weekends. Due to the expansion of MMSD summer school programs, use of facilities in the summer is extremely limited. Hourly rental fees apply, along with custodial overtime, when applicable. For additional fees, a limited amount of equipment is available, such as TV/DVD, volleyball poles/nets, tables, and chairs. Additional paperwork is required to rent swimming pools and auditoria.
Regular Field Trips
Field Trips - BOE Policy 3350 states that field trips should be educational experiences that are extensions of the classroom. School district personnel are required to supervise school-sponsored events. In light of this liability, the following guidelines should be followed when working with staff to schedule field trips:
The staff-only web pages for both elementary and secondary schools contain links to various field trip forms. The driver/vehicle forms are linked there and are also available through Risk Management. Please note that the process to receive final authorization for an extended trip or tour requires substantial lead time of at least two (2) weeks. Failure to follow the required timelines may result in the Assistant Superintendent withholding authorization for the trip.
Below are forms for teachers to complete before a field trip::
- Field trip checklist
- Notification of field trip form to families (available in Hmong and Spanish and should be modified to address the specific information of the trip)
- MMSD-sponsored extended trip form (must be two weeks in advance) for trips more than 150 miles or overnight
- Notification of use of personal vehicle to transport students (if applicable)
Extended and Overnight Field Trips
Below are instructions and a list of the forms and procedures that the sponsoring certified staff member(s) must complete, compile, and submit to the administrator of the school site/central office department in order for the requested field trip and activities to occur. Note: Student participation in any MMSD-sponsored trip may not be denied based on inability to pay or due to disability.
- Discuss trip and transportation plan with principal and obtain approval BEFORE discussing with students. If planning a domestic or foreign tour, complete the request for CONDITIONAL approval form 12-16 weeks in advance, and attach the following forms:
- Complete / Compile Forms B – G and submit to the building secretary for review at least 3 weeks before trip (athletic or club contest trips requiring qualifying events before advancement excluded). After verifying all information is complete and correct, the secretary will then submit to the principal for their review and approval.
- Sponsoring Staff Member Sign-off (Form C) re: procedures and district responsibility.
- Detailed Itinerary (Form D and information below, as applicable.) Make sure that the travel agent (if applicable) is registered and that their registration number is recorded.
- Lodging name(s) and contact information.
- Transportation details -- If private or rented autos and staff or volunteer drivers are utilized, both the “Notification of Use of Personal Vehicle to Transport Students (includes Medical Verification form, Vehicle Inspection form, Driver’s License, Insurance Coverage) and “Alternate Vehicle Driver Information Request (background check developed by DPI)” forms (separate form required for each driver) should be checked and signed by the principal or designee and one copy kept on file at the school site.
- Name and all contact information of any organizing company (agent for the group AND the main headquarters office contact numbers/addresses), as applicable.
- Student and Chaperone Roster (Form E or another format) with names and emergency contact information.
- Permission/Waiver/Medical and Medication Forms should be reviewed with the school nurse at least two weeks before the trip.
- Parent/Guardian Extended Field Trip Program Permission, Waiver, and Medical Authorization (Form F). Each participant and parent/guardian must complete this form and all signatures must be present.
- Medication Required for Overnight Field Trips / Or In Case of Public Disasters (form required, if applicable).
- Student Behavior Expectations (Form G): All students and parents are required to sign this form re: standards of conduct and behavior. A completed and signed form must be on file at the school for each participant.
- Make sure that all contracts or agreements related to this trip that bind the school or district for payment or liability are signed by the Assistant Superintendent of Financial Services or their designee, not a school-based staff member.
- After the principal signs off, submit one complete copied set of Forms B, C, D, and E to the MMSD Legal Office.
- Leave one complete copied set of Forms A – G with the school office. The original set of Forms A - G should be carried with the sponsoring staff member during travel and afterwards retained at the school for 6 years following the trip.
- Additional information for domestic or foreign tours
- Include a copy of the signed Conditional approval form which was completed 12-16 weeks before the tour.
**All trips are subject to cancellation due to events beyond the control of the school district. For more, information and resources: MMSD-Sponsored Extended and Overnight Trips and Tours for Students
- All Hazards Approach
- Standard Response Protocol
- Emergency Operations Plan
- Responding to Additional Incidents
- Student Risk Assessments
- Safety and Support Planning
- Responding to Sexual Violence in Schools
- Student/Parent Reunification Following an Incident
- Checklists for Critical Response
Response is the process of implementing appropriate actions while an emergency situation is unfolding. In this phase, resources are mobilized and emergency procedures are implemented as necessary to handle the emergency. Universal procedures are actions taken in response to any emergency, threat or hazard in a school.
An all-hazards approach serves as the basis for effective response to any hazard that threatens a school or school district. An all-hazards approach requires planning for a broad spectrum of emergencies that are relevant to each location and any possible unique risks associated. Using a risk-based approach to planning, coupled with functional and prioritized contingency planning, makes the best possible use of limited resources.
The Standard Response Protocol (SRP) is an action-based, all-hazards approach to responding to any emergency situation or threat. The SRP teaches a specific, standardized vocabulary that allows for seamless collaboration, but also allows for great flexibility. There are five specific actions that can be performed during any incident. When activating the SRP, the action is followed by a “directive.” Execution of the action is performed by active participation of all students, staff, teachers, visitors, and first responders.
It is imperative that everyone connected to school safety across Madison understands the strategic use of an all-hazards approach to safety and emergency response. MMSD uses the SRP from the I Love U Guys Foundation as its response to any emergency situation or threat of safety. This means that the district does not use a “one-size-fits-all” model when responding to emergencies, but instead thinks critically about how to respond using the facts available, the level of threat, and the safest solutions at hand. MMSD can utilize any of the five Response Protocols (SECURE, LOCKDOWN, EVACUATE, SHELTER, HOLD) for any emergency and, often, it uses multiple protocols, as most emergency incidents are fluid and evolving.
An emergency operations plan (EOP) considers a range of threats and hazards, and is used to identify and respond to incidents by outlining the responsibilities and duties of school employees. MMSD’s EOP, often referred to as the Emergency Flip Chart, is the primary tool schools should be using in the event of an emergency. All aspects of the EOP are also contained within this District Safety Plan.
Evacuations are generally a result of a “critical incident” that has occurred in and/or around the school. Critical incidents involve situations that can bring harm to students, staff, or facilities. Potential situations may be life-threatening. Critical incidents include, but are not limited to, fires, natural disasters (floods, tornadoes, and other severe weather), threats involving weapons, explosions, kidnappings, and multiple casualty events. Such incidents require an immediate, planned, and direct response from the school.
School-Based Critical Response Teams are crucial in the coordinated and supportive response during an evacuation, and school nurses are integral members of this team. On this team, the school nurse’s role is to develop the school’s emergency medical response plan and share it with the team. School nurses and their health office staff must be aware of those specific procedures, but they also must be prepared to assist with injuries and with students who have specific medical conditions, such as asthma and diabetes.
Preliminary Plan (these steps should all be taken to prepare for emergencies):
- Locate the MMSD Emergency Procedures Flip Chart with specific information about the evacuation location and school’s specific evacuation plan.
- Identify the school’s evacuation location(s)
- Identify school staff specific assignments
- Identify location of health office staff during the evacuation
- Identify a method of communication with other school staff (walkie-talkie, cell phone, etc).
- Assess students with identified health conditions and/or individualized health plans to determine the need for a detailed evacuation plan. Some students with IEPs or 504 plans may have evacuation plans already developed. Follow-up as needed.
- Prepare classroom “Go Bags” with updated rosters, pens, and paper.
- Prepare supplies for evacuation in the Health Office “Go Bag”:
- First aid kit (see list below)
- Red binder with health alert list, health conditions list, individualized health plans and CPR certified staff
- Medication book and/or lists (daily and prn)
- Medications (see below)
- Walkie-Talkies when available
- First Aid Kit
- Disposable gloves
- Pillow covers (for trauma)
- Gauze pads
- Resealable plastic bags
- Hand sanitizer
- Paper and pens
- Paper bag
- Emergency medications (Epinephrine, Albuterol, Glucagon and/or Glucose Gel/tablets, Emergency Seizure Medications)
- Medical equipment (Glucometers)
- Container (i.e. large zip-loc bag) with one dose of each child’s scheduled medication in a field trip envelope if evacuation is not immediate.
Initial & Ongoing Management (these steps should be taken when the evacuation occurs):
- Take the Go Bag, first aid kit, red binder, medication book and/ or lists, medications/equipment and communication devices.
- If assigned to support a specific student during an evacuation, support that student as directed, and then help with other students when possible.
- Identify the locations of students with emergency health conditions during an evacuation.
- Provide emergency care and treatment as needed.
- Support staff and students as needed.
- Communicate location to staff once settled at the evacuation site.
- Once at the evacuation site, care for students with medical needs including those students with chronic conditions and first aid needs. Keep notes on care provided in order to document at a later date.
- Document medications in medication book if available, otherwise on paper.
- If students need to be dismissed or parent contacted, consult with the principal and call parents.
- Establish a sense of safety and normalcy for the students.
- When able, notify the Director of Health Services, Office of School Safety, and Director of Student & Staff Support.
If there is an accident or incident on a bus with students on board, the bus driver will immediately report the incident to their management. Bus management will notify MMSD’s Department of Transportation and Auxiliary Services.
Director, Assistant Director or their designee of Transportation and Auxiliary Services will:
- Gather initial information about the incident or accident
- Notify the Office of School Safety and school principal, if able
- Request incident report
- Request video footage
- Connect with police if dispatched and/or connect police with Office of School Safety
Office of School Safety will:
- Notify the District Critical Response Team
- Connect with police if dispatched or on scene
- Contact principal
Please note: If there are students on the bus, the police are required to be notified. Once this process has been initiated, the District Critical Response Team coordinates MMSD efforts and response to connect with school principals or designee to communicate with families.
- Connect with all families of students who were aboard the bus or vehicle
- Determine if their School-Based Critical Response Team needs to be notified
- Pull a meeting together if impact will be significant to the school community
- Connect with the Communications Department if school-wide messaging needs to be sent out
If there is indication that there is standing water or flooding in a building or school site:
- Immediately notify the school’s lead custodian followed by the principal
- The principal shall notify MMSD’s Building Services of the specifics of the situation
- If after hours, all custodial building emergencies should be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting the after hours line at 608-438-0807.
- Building services will lead the immediate response and consult with risk management, MMSD’s insurance company, and Office of School Safety as needed.
- Several MMSD schools are in areas prone to flooding. These schools are Lapham, Chávez, Franklin, Spring Harbor, O’Keeffe/Marquette, and Wright.
Power Outage (Procedure)
If a building or facility loses power during the school day, the principal and lead custodian will contact Building Services, which will then assess the situation and likely contact Madison Gas & Electric (MG&E). If the power outage is expected to last more than two hours, Building Services will notify the Office of School Safety to bring together the District Critical Response Team. This will activate the district team to connect with the school-based team to discuss: projected timeline, communication needs, student and staff support needs, tech services needs, and food/nutrition needs.
If instructed, the building’s lead custodian will shut off the main breaker(s). This should be done even if part of the building still has some power (e.g., half the lights in corridors and classrooms, etc.). The lead secretary or front office staff will ensure that emergency analog phones and cell phones are working.
Specific site-based staff (preassigned) will check that flashlights are available for use of bathrooms and to move students and staff to areas that are well lit or have windows.
A Building Services electrician will turn the power back on once given the all-clear from MG&E.
- After-School Power Outage: If a facility loses power outside of the regular school day, contact the Manager of Electrical Technology at 608-438-0807. They will follow the procedures outlined above for outages during the school day, with power being turned back on by either a Building Services electrician or an emergency electrical contractor.
- After-Hours Power Outage: An after-hours power outage triggers an alarm to Mid-Wisconsin Security, Inc, MMSD’s contracted alarm company, which will notify the Manager of Electrical Technology. They will determine the best course of action and will notify the appropriate parties.
Suspected Gas Leak (Procedure)
IF A NATURAL GAS LEAK IS SUSPECTED, STAFF SHOULD PULL THE FIRE ALARM AND INITIATE AN EVACUATION.
Natural gas can be explosive, as well as flammable. In the event of a natural gas leak, staff are instructed as follows:
- Do not search for the source of a gas leak or natural gas smell.
- Engage the EVACUATE protocol and evacuate the building immediately.
- Staff should close doors if possible as they leave their rooms; this will help contain the spread of natural gas and, if the gas should ignite, will help contain the spread of fire and smoke.
- Everyone must remain outside of the building until the Madison Fire Department arrives and gives the all-clear.
- Do not silence the fire alarm at the fire alarm control panel, or reset the fire alarm control panel without the recommendation of the fire department.
Once everyone has evacuated, the principal or their designee with the support of the custodian will:
- Call 911 to report the suspected gas leak and provide the name and address of the school. If known, give the location of the gas leak to the 911 operator.
- Building Services (608) 204-7900 (from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday)
- Call MG&E (608) 252-1111 (done by principal, custodian, or building services)
- Call Office of School Safety at 608-220-2707
Water Outage (Procedure)
If a facility loses water service, Building Services is contacted at (608) 204-7900. Building Services notifies the Office of School Safety, Tech Services, and Food & Nutrition. If needed, the District Critical Response Team is activated.
Building Services will respond to the school and, based on the specific incident, might supply the school with portable toilets (including ADA units), five-gallon water dispensers with cups, two-gallon water dispensers for handwashing in the kitchen and heath office, cases of bottled water, and hand sanitizer/wipes.
Building Services will be on site in the event of a water outage, to guide placement and cleaning plans for portable toilets, shut off water at the meter, check boilers, flush plumbing systems once water is restored, and coordinate contractors as needed.
Mercury Spill (Procedure)
All forms of mercury are toxic, and mercury is listed on the MMSD Hazardous Chemical List as a Class I Chemical. Class I Chemicals shall not be purchased, shall be removed, and shall be eliminated from all instructional use. All mercury thermometers, weather instruments, and bulk mercury should have been removed in previous building safety walkthrough assessments, and replaced with appropriate non-mercury equipment.
In case of a mercury spill:
- Do not attempt to clean-up
- Get students out of the classroom and if possible, open windows on the way out
- Contact the custodian
- If possible, turn off HVAC to that space
- Contact Building Services immediately
The Madison Fire Department is the primary response agency for spills of mercury and other hazardous materials. After a mercury spill is contained, The Madison Public Health Department (MPHD) will work with the district to ensure the mercury hazards are mitigated.
MMSD Mercury Spill Kits
Building Services and all high schools maintain a mercury spill kit. The kits are stored in the Building Custodian’s office.
MMSD is committed to ensuring the safety of students while at school and when participating in any school-sponsored events. MMSD recognizes that education of key individuals—including students, student-athletes, parents, coaches, school administrators, athletic directors, teachers, athletic trainers, physicians, and other health care providers—about prevention and early recognition of concussions remains the most important component of improving the care of students with concussions.
MMSD is aware that head injuries, including concussions, can happen to any student. The district has developed procedures to address head injuries that occur during the school day, as well as during school-sponsored activities and athletic events. Additionally, the district is committed to providing students who have sustained a concussion with assistance in transitioning back to school and school-associated activities by utilizing the Return to Learn and Return to Play protocols.
Death of Staff or Student
In the event of a staff or student death (whether inevitable or sudden), the School-Based Critical Response Team, led by the school principal and in collaboration with their support team (psychologist, social workers, counselors, nurses, support staff), will immediately convene to discuss next steps. The principal will also notify the Office of School Safety and the Department of Student & Staff Support. Depending on the impact, they will activate the District Critical Response Team.
Helpful documents for School-Based Critical Response Teams to use include:
- Talking Points for Discussing Sudden Death
- National Association of School Psychologists: Talking to Students About Violence
The Critical Response Guidelines will be used, and the following are important recommendations/measures for staff to make/take:
- Support students who are grieving.
- Identify students or staff who may need more support and referral.
- Prevent contagion in the case of a suicide death.
- Set up process for any teacher to request classroom support
- Provide immediate support in classes of the deceased.
- Provide fact-based information only. Likely, there will be lots of information and not all accurate. Do not confirm or deny the information that students are sharing and continue to support their need for processing feelings
- Expect a range of emotions and responses. Students may want to dwell on details of the death or speculate about what may have gone wrong.
- Students who didn’t know the deceased may still be very affected due to losses in their own lives, many of which may not be known to school staff.
- Help students identify adults in their lives they can seek out for support, now and in the future.
- Provide time and paper for students to write condolence notes to the family if that is their choice.
- Help students return to normalcy and planned school activities. Students who are unable to do this may need additional support/counseling.
- Identify students for follow-up by Student Services staff and get immediate help for a student, if needed. Students about whom staff are seriously concerned should never be left alone. Call or send another student runner for help.
- Supervision is important. Keep a list of any students leaving the room during the immediate aftermath and their intended destination. Notify the office of students leaving the building.
- Get the support of family, friends, colleagues, and/or professional resources for staff members’ own feelings.
MMSD’s goal is to provide a safe and welcoming school environment that balances individual student privacy and access to educational programming with the safety needs of the school and community. A variety of situations require an assessment of potential risk and the associated Safety and/or Support Plan.
Suicide/NSSI Risk Assessment should be one component of a larger school-wide safety plan and tiered mental health supports. Student Services staff should work in collaboration with administrators to provide all staff with information about signs of suicide/NSSI and appropriate building-specific responses.
Through the Bureau of Justice Assistance STOP School Violence and Mental Health Training Grant and the Wisconsin Department of Justice Office of School Safety Grants, all schools identify School-Based Critical Response Teams and undergo training in threat assessment, mental health crisis management, and early intervention to acts of violence/harm in schools.
The goals of threat assessment and critical response are to provide early intervention to prevent violence and divert youth away from the criminal justice system; assess the function of behavior and evaluate underlying needs of students; develop comprehensive and equitable next steps; plan for support; and plan to repair any harm caused. Teams are led by the principal or assistant principal that oversees safety and security. A team’s core members are school psychologist(s), social worker(s), counselor(s), nurse, dean/PBIS coach, multicultural coordinator/restorative justice coordinator, SSAs, BEAs, mental health officer (per grant), GRIT worker, and/or others as appropriate.
All teams will meet regularly and protect meeting time. All members will be trained in Violence Risk, Threat Assessment, and Mental Health Crisis Response (all part of VRA+ protocol) as well as the Suicide Risk Assessment and Nonsucial Self Injury Protocol. School-Based Critical Response Team Leads will consult with local law enforcement (MPD Mental Health Unit Officer trained in threat assessment), cross systems agencies, family, student’s support system as needed to avoid or divert students away from the criminal justice system.
All team members will document assessment used, summarize findings, and safety plan. Teams will initiate plans for restorative practices, re-engagement, and progress monitoring. School-Based Critical Response Teams will connect with members of District Critical Response and Safety Teams as needed for support and guidance.
Alcohol and Other Drug Procedures and Tools:
MMSD aims to provide a safe and welcoming school environment that balances individual student privacy and access to educational programming with the safety needs of the school and community. Safety and/or Support Plans are generally short-term.
A variety of situations require the need for a Safety and/or Support Plan. Some common situations include:
- Student conflict and/or bullying (all students involved)
- Response to traumatic event (e.g. assault, witness of violence)
- Students with risk of harm to self or others (suicide or non-suicidal self harm, violence risk)
- Students involved with the Youth Justice System
MMSD is engaging students from across its secondary schools to collaborate in clarifying and communicating to all students the ways in which sexual violence can be reported to school staff. The district provides information to schools about the resources and supports available, both immediate and long term, as detailed by Title IX and other policies. It also gathers input from student groups, families, and Student Services staff, to ensure that all groups are reached.
Additionally, MMSD collaborates with community-based organizations, including the Rape Crisis Center and Safe Harbor, to ensure that school teams and families understand and can access the services they provide. It conducts joint trainings, to ensure staff are clear on the resources available to students and families in the community. It also consults with Child Protective Services managers and MPD, to ensure it has the most current information about their responses.
All School-Based Critical Response Teams are provided with a detailed response guidance tailored to the district’s response and references the BEP, for a wide variety of incidents. The goal of this guidance from a preparation standpoint is to prepare schools to respond appropriately in the moment, should an incident occur.
Schools are also given specific training on investigating and responding to incidents that fall under Title IX. Each school has designated a Title IX liaison who attends annual training with MMSD’s Title IX coordinator. The Title IX coordinator, Office of School Safety, and Department of Student & Staff Support collaborate to develop and deliver the content for these trainings, including training in how to respond to student disclosures in a trauma-informed manner.
All school teams are provided with detailed response guidance for a wide variety of incidents, to foster consistency with investigating and supporting, including the implementation of Title IX protections. This guidance provides schools with critical first steps should an incident occur or be reported, and serves as a common reference for schools if an incident does occur.
Student conduct is governed by the BEP, which determines appropriate responses and consequences. The implementation of the BEP is overseen by the coordinator of Progressive Discipline. In the context of sexual violence, the coordinator works in conjunction with the District Critical Response Team and staff charged with evaluating Title IX complaints.
The District Critical Response Team activates in cases of sexual assault at school. Schools are also trained to pause and call for support from the Office of School Safety, Department of Student & Staff Support, and the Title IX coordinator if they need help working through a specific incident.
Student services teams are best positioned to support students and families in the recovery process when incidents occur. If counseling or connection to community resources is needed, they will make these connections. They may also provide services directly to the student at school, in consultation with families.
The principal, in collaboration with the school’s Title IX liaison and school’s student services team, will lay out a plan of support for a victim/survivor as well as next steps for the alleged aggressor. This will include all protective measures required under Title IX and often entails safety and support planning, which can remain in place as long as needed.
In some instances, school-wide work to facilitate dialog, healing, and culture shift may also be needed following an incident. This could take a variety of forms, given the school context. This support may come from a variety of sources, based on the unique needs of the school, as well as the victim/survivor. MMSD’s Restorative Justice Team, along with the school principal and student services team, will often be engaged in this process. Supports could include a circle for further processing, healing, or support, or in some cases referral for additional therapy or treatment. Staff reflection on lessons learned from any incidents that do occur will further inform any improvements needed to prevention and mitigation efforts.
Circumstances may occur at school that require parents to pick up their students in a formalized, controlled release. This process is called a reunification and may be necessary due to weather, a power outage, or a crisis. The Standard Reunification Method is a protocol that makes this process more predictable and less chaotic for all involved. Because a reunification is not a typical end-of-school-day event, it may occur at a different location than the school a student attends.
If a school will need to reunify parents with their students at an alternative site or time of day, it will notify them via text message, robo call, and email. In certain circumstances, notification of reunification might also be shared on the MMSD website. All families who are registered in the MMSD system will receive notification as soon as possible in the event of a needed reunification.
Evacuation to Reunification Site
In most reunification cases, students and parents will be reunified at a predetermined site that is not their home school. All schools have evacuation sites, both indoor and outdoor, for use in the event of an emergency where they must evacuate their building and are unable to return. All sites are within a mile of the home school, so they can be accessed by walking. In the event of a city-wide incident, MMSD has larger predetermined community sites that students and staff can be bused to, if needed.
Once staff and students have successfully arrived at their evacuation site, staff will take attendance and note any students that are on their roster, but unaccounted for. Staff will share this information with the school-based incident commander, and will await additional instructions from first responders and the District Critical Response Team.
Students will likely want to contact their parents/guardians and/or use social media. It is permissible for students to use their cellphones, but information should be fact-based, as the situation is likely fluid. It is also important to keep the cellular network as open as possible during an emergency situation.
The District Critical Response Team will meet the school team at their reunification site as soon as possible following the incident and provide supplemental materials for reunification. The principal will act as incident commander, the School-Based Critical Response Team will take on roles of support, and the District Critical Response Team will join in unified command with first responders.
Process For Reunification
- Establish a parent check-in location.
- Deliver the students to the student staging area, beyond the field of vision of parents/guardians.
- Once students are on site, notify parents of location.
- “Greeters” direct parents/guardians to the parent check-in location, and help them understand the process.
- Parents/guardians complete Reunification Cards.
- Procedure allows parents/guardians to self-sort during check in, streamlining the process.The “Reunifier” recovers students from the student staging area and delivers them to the parent.
- Controlled lines of sight allow for an orderly flow, and issues can be handled with diminished drama or anxiety.
- Medical, notification, or investigative contingencies are anticipated.
- Pedestrian “flows” are created so lines don’t cross.
When it’s all said and done, successful reunification is about managing the student and parent experience.
Parents/guardians will be asked to go to the reunification “Check-In” area and form lines based on the first letter of their student’s last name. While in line, parents will be asked to fill out a reunification card. This card is perforated and will be separated during the process. Some of the same information is repeated on both the top and separated bottom of the card. Parents are asked to complete all parts of the card. In the case of multiple students being reunified, a separate card for each student needs to be completed.
If a parent or guardian is notified that a reunification is needed, there are some expectations that parents or guardians should be aware of. First, to streamline things, they should bring identification. Second, they need to be patient. Reunification is a process that protects both the safety of the student and provides for an accountable change of custody from the school to a recognized custodial parent or guardian.
If a parent is driving to the school or reunification site, greater awareness of traffic and emergency vehicles is advised. Parents should park where indicated and not abandon vehicles.
What If a Parent Can’t Pick Up Their Student?
When a parent can’t immediately go to the reunification site, students will only be released to individuals previously identified as a student’s emergency contact. Otherwise, the school will hold students until parents can pick up their student.
What If the Student Drove to School?
There may be instances where a student may not be allowed to remove a vehicle from the parking lot. In this case, parents are advised to reunify with their student and leave the vehicle until it is able to be recovered. If the location of the vehicle has not been compromised, in most circumstances, high school students may be released on their own.
Bring ID to Check-In
During check-in, identification and custody rights are confirmed. The card is separated and the bottom half given back to the parent. From the “Check-In” area parents are directed to the “Reunification” area. There, a “runner” will take the bottom half of the card and take it to the area where students are waiting. Parents should be aware that, in some cases, they may be invited into the building for further information.
Interviews and Counseling
In some cases, parents may be advised that a police investigation is underway and that interviews are requested. In extreme cases, parents may be pulled aside for emergency or medical information.
There will be support staff on site for counseling and processing needs for students, staff, and families.
Checklist for School-Based Critical Response Teams
(This checklist is approximately chronologically sequential, but activities often occur simultaneously, with the principal delegating responsibilities.)
|Event Occurs or Information Is Shared That Activates a Critical Response||Engage School-Based Critical Response Team (SBCRT) of at least 1 administrator and 1 student services staff and conduct threat assessment, if needed.||
See Critical Response First Steps Guidance Below:
|Principal, designee, members of SBCRT|
|Depending on the nature of the incident, one might be utilizing First Steps Guidance for an extended period of time before moving on to the next part of this checklist.|
|Verify the Information||Start the verification process.
||□ Check when completed||Principal, designee, members of SBCRT|
|Notify Office of School Safety (OSS)||
As soon as able, contact the Office of School Safety at 663-1632 (landline) or 220-2707 (crisis line). Provide information and steps completed.
|□ Check when completed||Principal, OSS|
|Convene All Admin and School-Based Critical Response Team||
Principal or designee pulls their full admin team and School-Based Critical Response Team together.
|□ Check when completed||Principal, designee, members of SBCRT|
|OSS + Communications + School Team Meeting||
Meet with the Office of School Safety, Central Office Communications, and the school team to discuss plans for communication. This will include:
|□ Check when completed||Principal or designee, Comms team, OSS|
|Early Notification to Staff||
As soon as possible, provide staff with brief updates, especially when utilizing a standard response protocol. Keep staff informed by sharing next steps with brief, fact based information via email.
Determine who will make direct contact with staff who might be most impacted by critical incident (ie, teacher of a deceased student, teacher who received information, etc.)
|□ Check when completed||Principal or designee, comms|
|Connect with Family Involved in Critical Incident||
Have established family point of contact reach out to family* directly involved in critical incident.
*Consider reaching out to the family of close relatives/close friends to share sensitive information, if consent is received.
|□ Check when completed||Point of contact for family, principal or designee|
|School Team Planning||
Bring the SBCRT together to discuss planning for school based support. Determine lead for student and space support needs. Think through how to connect with the following people and places within the building:
|□ Check when completed||Lead for student support planning, SBCRT|
|Call Schools of Siblings, Other Affected Individuals||Contact schools of siblings and others who may be affected are aware of the critical incident for response planning. Include any affected students in off-site programming.||□ Check when completed||Lead for support planning, assigned|
|Reconvene All Admin and School-Based Critical Response Team + OSS and SSS As Needed||
Pull SCBRT, including all admin, back together to discuss the following:
|□ Check when completed||Principal, SBCRT|
|Hold All Staff Meeting||Principal holds a meeting for staff as soon as feasible and as often as needed. Likely to occur at the end of the day or first thing in the morning. Always make this space optional.||□ Check when completed||Principal|
|General Directions to Teachers||
Identify leads for teacher support and logistics. SBCRT to provide teachers with script and/or talking points for students and/or families:
|□ Check when completed||Name:|
|Restorative Work and Follow-Up||
Identify Lead for Restorative Plan and discuss the following:
|□ Check when completed||SSS/RJ team, school based RJ lead, SBCRT|
Checklist for District Critical Response Team
(This checklist is approximately chronologically sequential, but activities often occur simultaneously or interchangeably).
|Event Occurs or Information Is Shared That Activates a Critical Response||Engage School-Based Critical Response Team (SBCRT) of at least 1 administrator and 1 student services staff and conduct threat assessment, if needed.||□ Check when completed||Principal, designee, members of SBCRT|
|Office of School Safety (OSS) Is Notified||
As soon as possible, the school principal or designee should contact the Office of School Safety at 663-1632 (landline) or 220-2707 (crisis line). Provide information and steps completed.
|□ Check when completed||Principal, OSS|
|If Other Departments Are Notified before OSS:||
If a different department is notified of the incident first, they will contact the Office of School Safety as soon as possible if the following has occurred:
|□ Check when completed||Central Office departments, other members of DCRT|
|District Critical Response Team (DCRT) Activation||
Once information is shared relating to a school-based critical response incident, Office of School Safety will complete the following:
PLEASE NOTE: We will always use discretion in sharing pertinent information with others. We will only share information on a need to know basis and ensure that confidentiality of information sharing is maintained.
|□ Check when completed|
|OSS + Communications + School Team Meeting||
The Office of School Safety and Central Office Communications will meet with the school team to discuss plans for communication. This will include:
|□ Check when completed||Principal or designee, Comms team, OSS|
|District Critical Response Team Meeting||
Based on the incident, DCRT might convene after OSS and Comms meet with the principal and SBCRT to discuss next steps:
*DCRT will utilize communication tracking form if there are many people involved, multiple schools involved, or the incident spans over several days.
|□ Check when completed||DCRT|
|Comms Works on Communication Drafts||
Communications Team/Lead will begin drafting communication and share document with principal to provide edits/feedback
|□ Check when completed||Comms|
|OSS Liaison with Emergency Responders||
Office of School Safety identifies a lead for communication with Lead Responders. This could be by contacting:
|□ Check when completed||OSS|
|Student & Staff Support Planning||
Department of Student & Staff Support (SSS) will convene to determine lead(s) for providing social, emotional, mental health, and restorative supports for the SBCRT. This could include:
|□ Check when completed||SSS|
|Reconvene All Admin and School-Based Critical Response Team + OSS and SSS As Needed||
Pull SCBRT, including all admin, back together to discuss the following:
|□ Check when completed||Principal or designee, SBCRT, OSS and SSS as needed|
|DCRT Schedules Debrief and Plan||
DCRT Lead schedules time to discuss next steps after incident has been stabilized:
|□ Check when completed||DCRT|
Critical Response First Steps Guidance
STEP 1: Quick consult, threat assessment, and determine level of threat
- School-Based Critical Response Team Members (administrator + at least 1 team member)
|Threat within violent or concerning incident|
|Items bolded in this section should be considered strongly indicative of the need to pause and contact the Office of School Safety and/or Police. Then, when able, complete full inquiry and proceed with behavioral health/mental health VRA steps.|
|Specificity||Vague plan||Some specifics, but not full plan||Well-thought-out plan, knows when, how, who||Needs more info|
|Viability||Not defined||Plan unrealistic, unlikely to be implemented||Some details of plan are plausible, plan is realistic||Needs more info|
|Means||Unavailable, difficult to obtain||Available, but will have to obtain||Have on hand, easily accessed||Needs more info|
|Lethality||Non-lethal means||Potential, but unlikely||Lethal means||Needs more info|
|Focus||Generalized threat||Names general peers/classmates, staff, school property||Specifically named individual(s)||Needs more info|
|Items below in this section indicate level of concern about a possible plan or act being shared out. Instead of level, 2 out of 3 items should be considered strongly indicative of the need to pause and contact the Office of School Safety and/or Police.|
|Communication about violence or threats to harm||Recent communication about violence/violence threat, risk to harm||Escalating frequency of concerning communication about violence/violence threat||Broadening of communications about violence/violence threat (more locations, contexts)||Needs more info|
STEP 2: Determine if there is a need to use the Standard Response Protocol.
STEP 3: Determine if there is a need to notify police, per state statute? Does the district have discretion in reporting?
STEP 3(a): The district has discretion - Utilize School Supports.
STEP 3(b): The district does not have discretion - Review BOE policy 4400.
STEP 4: Stop and think, pause, and call MMSD Office of School Safety.
STEP 5: Discuss next steps, decide plan of action.
STEP 5(a): Need for Response: Call Dispatch - 911 or Non-Emergency.
STEP 5(b): Need for Consult: Call Office of School Safety or established MPD partner to connect with police for consultation, including Mental Health Unit.
- Operational Key Recovery Components
- Academic Recovery
- Indicators or Symptoms of Distress in Children
- Social-Emotional Recovery
- Communicating After an Emergency
- Incident Debriefings
- Staff, Parent, Student, Class, and/or Community Meetings
- Restorative Practices
Recovery starts when the crisis begins.
Recovery continues beyond the emergency period and involves the restoration of critical school functions and management of stabilization efforts. The recovery phase begins immediately after the threat has been mitigated. While recovery comes last in the cycle, planning for the recovery phase should start when the incident begins. The goal of the recovery phase is to bring the impacted group back to some degree of normalcy.
In a school, recovery aims to restore the learning environment as quickly as possible. It consists of addressing different components; emotional, academic, physical/structural and business/fiscal. The recovery process may be short or long-term, depending on the circumstances of the event. Time and resources need to be allocated accordingly. Training may be provided to staff to assist with the emotional impact of an event. Returning to structure and routine facilitates the healing process for students and staff.
Building Services staff works with site-based staff, local contractors, and central office staff to rectify structural issues on a case-by-case basis.
When school facilities are damaged and in need of repair, the building custodian enters a work order and connects with the Department of Building Services. Any staff who become aware of damage at their school building or facility should share this information with their building custodian immediately..
Temporary Relocation of Classes and Activities
Building Services staff will work with site-based staff, the City of Madison, community partners, local contractors, and the Office of School Safety to address issues on a case-by-case basis.
Resume/Reroute Transportation and Resume/Relocate Food Service
MMSD’s Food & Nutrition Office and the Department of Auxiliary & Transportations will support schools when issues arise that require additional or changed services. Schools should work with the staff of these departments to coordinate any needs they might have.
Furniture and Equipment Replacement Needs
Schools should contact their associate superintendent and MMSD’s Purchasing Department if they have equipment or furniture needs.
Building Services will lead the immediate response, in collaboration with the building custodian and school principal. These efforts will be coordinated with Risk Management. As needed, this response includes:
- Resuming/rerouting transportation and food service: Auxiliary & Transportation Department and the Food & Nutrition Office will support schools when additional or changed services are needed.
- Assessing furniture and equipment replacement needs: Risk Management will assess and document losses.
- Remediation, clean-up, and physical/structural recovery: Building Services staff will work with site-based staff, local contractors, and central office to identify facility impact.
After-Hours Facility Emergencies
After-hours facility emergencies should be reported to email@example.com. This contact information is on the emergency contact cards provided to all employees each school year.
Planning for academic recovery involves multidisciplinary teaming regarding curriculum, communications, technology, transportation, food service, health and safety, building services, administration and teaching. These plans for academic recovery involve both short and long-term considerations.
- Resume classes as soon as possible. Note: DPI establishes instructional requirements for the number of school days, instructional minutes/hours for the year and these requirements are specified for the elementary and secondary school levels.
- Depending upon the anticipated length of time for an alternative plan, decisions about holding classes within the school, seeking an alternative site, or moving to temporary on-line learning are made with the principal and superintendent’s office.
- Modify academic routine as needed to accommodate building damage, safety concerns, and the social/emotional needs of students as they cope with the incident.
- Replace academic materials, supplies, and equipment as needed to resume classes.
- Communicate teaching modifications and counseling services available often with the staff through supplemented emails and printed materials regularly with staff.
- Communicate with families on an ongoing basis.
- Develop competition and practice plans for co-curricular activities (e.g., athletics, student activities) in consultation with advisors, coaches, school leadership and conference member school’s leadership.
- Arrange for instruction for students unable to attend school.
- Reschedule tests/assignments, if needed.
- Set up space allocated for counseling and grief support.
- Communicate regularly with families.
Everyone experiences grief and loss in different ways. Some young people become quiet, may seem numb, and may never select to speak with others, while others may appear angry, boisterous, even nonchalant or flippant. Parents, families, and friends know their own children best, followed closely by the school staff that see students every day. The best thing MMSD can offer young people when faced with devastating loss is presence and a listening ear.
Common Trauma Reactions
- Tremendous fear and anxiety
- Inability to concentrate
- Cognitive dysfunction involving memory and learning
- Changes in behavior, including increased irritability and aggression
Other Common Reactions
- Survivor guilt, shame
- Physical health complaints and/or eating disturbances
- Traumatic dreams and/or sleep disturbances
- Age regression (acting younger)
- Startling easily
- Detachment, “spaciness”
During and after any critical incident, it is important for the School-Based Critical Response Team to ask itself how it is repairing harm that was caused, how it is thinking critically about the impact of an event, how it is ensuring practices are equitable and culturally responsive, and how it is factoring in mental health and various trauma responses associated with crisis.
It is important to think about the lasting effects that an event can have on a school community. When the initial shock of the incident fades, emotions can intensify among students who have experienced significant trauma. Maintaining a culture and climate of positive relationships and acceptance for all will be foundational to building up social-emotional resilience.
Building-Based Crisis Counseling for Support and Triage:
- To provide support to grieving students as they deal with the crisis. Students with recent or multiple previous crises/losses in their lives are particularly at risk.
- To identify students most affected who may need additional services.
- To decrease the likelihood of contagion from the crisis.
Ongoing Counseling and Grief Support:
- School-Based Critical Response Teams to connect with the Department of Student & Staff Support around specific student and group needs.
- Create meaningful opportunities for adult staff to connect, heal, and cultivate their own healing
- Ensure there are emotionally and physically safe, supportive, and engaging learning environments that promote students’ social and emotional development.
- Refer out to community agencies and partners, as needed.
Small Group Support:
- Use small groups or classrooms to talk about the incident or experience. Allow students an opportunity to talk about their feelings and reactions to the trauma. Emphasize that feelings of fear, trauma, guilt, or powerlessness are normal, given the circumstances.
- Offer structure and routine of regular meeting times, prioritize space.
- Connect regularly with parents/guardians of students involved to check in and support.
- Be vigilant for students who may be experiencing trauma reactions that are severe and will need community mental health referrals. These students can present in a variety of ways. Some will become more avoidant and “invisible”; others will be more vocal and even acting out.
Long-Term Response (over several months):
- Continue to monitor student’s for symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Attention problems, greater vigilance, withdrawal, and sometimes increase in anger.
- Treatment must come from a licensed therapist. PTSD treatment involves in-depth interviewing regarding the trauma incident, extensive reviewing of the feelings and reactions associated with the trauma, and a gradual desensitization of the individual to the more debilitating effects of the trauma. This is a time-consuming process that may take months or even years in more severe cases.
- School-based social workers and psychologists can supplement treatment for PTSD through utilizing school based mental health resources.
Resources for Accessing School Based Mental Health Support:
- Re-teaching/Pre-teaching of Universal SEL lessons in the classroom
- Tier 2 Strategies such as CICO/visual schedules/Pre-teach/re-teach in a small setting
- FACEkids groups/SEL groups
- Building Bridges Crisis Stabilization
- Bounce Back/CBITS
- Mental Health Bilingual Resource Specialist (Spanish)
- Request for Support (For Student Services team Referrals)
- Building Bridges
- Intensive Support Team
- Bilingual Mental Health Navigator (Spanish)
- Rainbow CORE
- UW CAP Consultations/Rotations
- Four Places to Go for Support (community access)
Follow-up communication to staff, students, and families is paramount to building a safe culture before, during, and after a critical incident or emergency situation. Often, to address the crisis at hand, the School-Based Critical Response Team and the District Critical Response Team will be working together to get swift and accurate communication out. It is a commitment from MMSD that as soon as information can be shared, it will be. This communication will come in the form of emails from school principals and/or district administrators, staff meetings, and continued follow-up. The following are communication email examples sent out to school staff:
Staff Communication Example – Brief Overview of Incident
I wanted to share with you a precautionary measure that was put into place at lunch today. We received a report and it was substantiated on social media that there may be a possible altercation in the back of our parking lot. I asked for police presence to ensure that nothing would materialize. Our support team was out in the parking lot and checking in with cars as they pulled into the lot. The lunch and afternoon proceeded without any issues.
Staff Communication Example – Support and Resources Available
Thank you again for all of the support you have provided each other and our students the past couple days. We are prepared to welcome all of you and our students back tomorrow. Our Mobile Response team will be at their normal active supervision positions in the morning, throughout every passing period, lunch, and at the end of the day. Feel free to welcome students into your classroom like many of you do every day during our transition times.
We appreciate your understanding and flexibility during these stressful times. We understand that there are many questions and unknowns. As soon as we have information and we are able to share, we will. Our students are also experiencing this level of uncertainty, so please share this message with them as well.
Counseling Hours (located in Study Room in LMC):
Wednesday- 7:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m.
Thursday- 7:45 a.m. and 12:00-12:30 p.m.
Friday- 7:45 a.m. and 12:00-12:50 p.m.
Restorative Justice Coach Hours (located in Peace Room):
Wednesday- 12:10 p.m.-12:40 p.m. and 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Friday- 12:10-12:40 p.m. and 2:00-3:30
Please let us know what you or your students need as we move forward. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our admin team at any point. We are here for you.
The district strives to continuously improve the safety of its schools by conducting multidisciplinary debriefings after all major incidents. Debriefings are intended to analyze the event; to identify lessons learned; and to determine how and why it happened, how it could have been prevented, how the effects could have been mitigated, and how efforts to respond and to recover from the incident could be improved.
Factors reviewed include: triggering incidents, decision-making process, staff response time, ability to isolate and contain, immediate actions taken to ensure school safety, use of equipment, and execution of emergency procedures.
It is critical that debriefs are done in tandem with community partners who were part of the critical response. The Office of School Safety regularly meets with MPD district captains to review and debrief incidents, discuss better ways of working, and address any harm that needs to be repaired.
As part of longer-term recovery support, a school team might determine that a meeting with families and community members is warranted to support the ongoing needs of the school community, post-incident. Community meetings, usually after school hours, could be set up to support/facilitate additional processing, debriefing, or after-action review. These meetings may be in partnership with other city agencies, as appropriate. The school might invite participants to use the circle process for the meeting to promote restorative practices as a foundation for building and rebuilding positive school culture and climate.
Restorative justice—a philosophical framework and social movement rooted in values such as interconnectedness, equality, and respect—holds that wrong-doing is more fundamentally a violation of people and relationships than of rules or laws. Violations, or harms, create needs and obligations, and the primary obligation in a restorative process is to repair the harm to the extent possible.
Restorative practices grow out of this philosophy, and are particular approaches to both building and maintaining healthy relationships and community, and addressing a range of challenging situations, including when harm has been done. Connection and belonging are a fundamental human need, and necessary in order to use a restorative approach when harm has been done. The objectives of restorative approaches where there has been wrong-doing include reparation of harm and addressing the needs of victims, as well as the needs of the community, and those who have done wrong.
Restorative practices, including circles and restorative conversations, are inclusive and collaborative, rather than authoritarian and punitive, and utilize a structured process to create opportunities to develop understanding, empathy, and solutions through open, honest, and respectful dialogue. This approach builds and strengthens relationships, and encourages students to become aware of the impact of their behavior, understand the obligation to take responsibility for their actions, and take steps toward making things right. Circles can also be used to build community, and as a framework for addressing a wide variety of situations in addition to challenging behaviors.
Restorative practices are also used in tandem with a critical response. MMSD believes that recovery starts when the crisis begins. Often referred to as Restorative Critical Response, members of the Department of Student & Staff Support connect and reach out to the impacted school community and assess short- and long-term needs, as well as what is needed to repair any harm that was caused.
MMSD’s vision for restorative justice comprises radically transformed school communities where students, staff, parents, and caregivers are safe, feel they belong, and are actively engaged. All variations within the identities of race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, language, ability, nationality, immigration status, age, and class are honored; each member of the school community is deeply valued and provided with what they need to be in a healthy relationship, learn, and grow. The educational experience affirms each person’s authentic self and inspires them to be bold in exploring who they are and might become as members of their communities.
Each of MMSD’s high schools has a restorative justice coach tasked with designing and delivering professional development, developing school staff capacity, and systemically implementing professional learning of restorative practices. Main areas of focus are to facilitate circles, lead professional development, and progress toward school-wide implementation of restorative justice.
For Safety Purposes, the following is Confidential Information:
- District Personal Emergency Contact Information
- All School Safety Assessments
- Standard Response Protocol Lesson and Drill Logs
- Athletic Field and Building Maps
- Individual School Plans
- Staff (Allocation and Names)
- Evacuation/Rally Points/Reunification
- School Specific Hazards
- Safety Team Members & Numbers
- Emergency Contact Numbers
- Athletic Fields/Buildings (High School)
- 4K Offsite: Model 2 & 3 Programs
- Contracted Alternative Programs
- Intensive Intervention Programs