Unanticipated tragic events can quickly escalate into a school-wide catastrophe if a school district does not deal with events immediately and effectively. Knowing what to do when a crisis occurs can minimize chaos, rumors, and the psychological impact of an event on students, parents, and the community. When a disaster strikes, advance planning and practice may ensure a process, not a panic. Therefore, having current procedures and accurate information in crisis protocol, regarding an accident, incident, natural disaster, emergency, or controversial issue is clearly in the best interest of the Allegheny Valley School District. Emergencies can occur at any time and without warning. Careful planning with an emphasis on safety will assist our community in responding appropriately to crises and emergencies.
The goal of the Allegheny Valley School District is to provide and practice the most current and accurate crisis response information while exhibiting visible leadership in a timely fashion. Without prescribed protocols in place, potentially damaging issues can negatively affect the school district’s long-term image, credibility, and public relations.
The following goals were established for the 2023-2024 school year:
1. Conduct the annual large-scale drill
- Outline meeting/planning schedule
2. Complete the Updated District EM Plan
3. Continue Staff (Act 55) & Student Training
- ALICE Training
- NIMS Training
4. Reunification Update – Training, plan, etc.
5. PA System, Access System, Camera System
6. Complete Plans for EM Components (Reunification, Threat Assessment, Trauma Informed)
7. Complete training plan for bus drivers
The District will continue training and coordination of monthly drills in conjunction with local Emergency Management Agencies.
Emergency Management Commitments
The Emergency Management Committee has adopted the following goals as broad statements of trust and responsibility to the employees and students of the school district:
• To better protect the health, safety and welfare of the students, staff, and community in any crisis situation.
• To make every effort to establish and maintain appropriate and effective communication during critical situations.
• To establish common characteristics and general procedures for responding to a situation.
• To identify and address the immediate needs of a situation in order to resolve any incident.
• To establish a climate conducive to learning.
Information for Parents and the Community
In the event of an emergency situation within the District, information will be provided to parents and members of the community as soon as, and as often, as possible. The District’s will utilize its web site, letters home, phone chains/systems, and other communication vehicles whenever necessary.
This page of the web site will be utilized when the following situations affect the School District:
• Severe Weather Emergencies (not regular delays or cancellations)
• National or World Catastrophic Events
• Medical Situations (such as flu epidemics or pandemics)
• Community Disasters (fires, floods, etc.)
Parents and community members are encouraged to visit this page in the event of a disruption to regular educational services in the District.
Winter Weather Information
Should a delay or cancellation be necessary, the District will make its official announcement on KDKA radio and television. This information will be put on the station before 6 a.m. whenever possible. The details will also be placed on the District’s web site www.avsdweb.org. These two sources will be used as the primary method for informing parents. The District MAY also extend this information to the other television stations. We encourage parents to utilize the web site for the most up-to-date information. The Emergency Phone System (Blackboard Connect) will also be utilized for changes to the normal operating schedule of the District.
The District has put together some information on its safety program and the role that parents should play. The pamphlet is entitled Safety Alert and is available in all offices of the District.
2023-2024 Safety Alert
Parent Information & Resourcesxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Additional Information - Parent Brochure
Safe2Say Something Program
The Allegheny Valley School District began a partnership with the “Safe2Say Something” (S2SS) anonymous reporting system in January. This program, which is mandated under PA state law/Act 44 and is being facilitated by the Office of the Attorney General of Pennsylvania, teaches students, teachers, and administrators how to recognize warning signs and signals, especially within social media, of individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others and Say Something to a trusted adult OR use its anonymous reporting system.
Safe2Say Something Web Site
The Allegheny Valley School District’s Emergency Management Plan teaches responses to many varied crisis situations that could occur throughout the District. The goal is to put in place options that can be used for different circumstances. Evacuation, lockdown, and other procedures are explained and reviewed so that teachers and students can make the best possible decisions for their safety in the event of an emergency.
The purpose of ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evaluate) training is to prepare individuals to handle the threat of an armed intruder. ALICE teaches individuals to participate in their own security, while leading others to safety. Resources are utilized so that procedures can be taught in an age-appropriate environment.
ALICE Training letter from principal
ALICE Training Institute Web Site
Parents are encouraged to visit the following web sites for resources on school safety:
- National Alliance for Safe Schools www.nassleo.org
- Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency www.pema.pa.gov
- Pennsylvania Department of Education www.education.pa.gov
- National School Safety Center www.schoolsafety.us
- Keep Schools Safe www.keepschoolssafe.org
- National Education Association www.nea.org
- Common Sense Media commonsensemedia.org