Districtwide Safety Plan

Districtwide Safety Plan 2022-23

View a PDF of the 2022-2023 District Wide Safety Plan



The Carmel Central School District School supports the SAVE Legislation and to this end has developed this District Wide School Safety Plan. This plan was developed pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation 155.17 by a team appointed by the Board for that purpose.

Identification of the Team (CR 155.17 (b)(14))

The School District has created a District Wide School Safety Team consisting of, but not limited to, representatives of the school board, teachers, administrators, parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel. This team meets at least once per year to review the emergency response plans and quarterly to review health and safety concerns of the district.

Title Name
Superintendent of Schools Mary-Margaret Zehr
Interim Asst. Superintendent for Instruction Lauren Santabarbara
Asst. Superintendent for Business John Fink
Asst. Superintendent for Pupil Personnel & Technology Joe Simoni
Director of Instructional Technology and CIO
Joe McGrath
Director of Food Services Pat Rodia
Director of Facilities Alberto Venezia
Supervisor of Transportation Mike Klenotiz
Parent Representative David Santiago
SRO, GFMS Charlie Johnson
SRO, CHS Mike Varley
Info Officer Suzanne Kaminkow
Nurse Carol Burns
BOCES Regional Safety Coordinator Frank Guglieri
Assistant Principal, CHS John Fratto
Teacher, CHS Matt Murphy
Assistant Principal, GFMS Allie Golan
Teacher, GFMS Cathy Mahon
Teacher, KES Jen Vishinski
Social Worker, KES Kirsten Carillo
Principal, KPS Dan Brown
Teacher, KPS Julie Ann Burton
Teacher, MPES Lisa Palmieri
Social Worker, MPES Dana Russo
Board of Education John Curzio
Board of Education Jason Paraskeva
Confidential Secretary, DO Debbie McIntyre

Chief Emergency Officer (CEO) (CR 155.17 (c)(xix))

The district’s chief emergency officer is Mary-Margaret Zehr. The CEO’s role may include the following activities:

  • Coordination of the communication between school staff, law enforcement, and other first responders
  • Lead the efforts of the District Wide Safety in the completion and yearly update of the District Wide Safety Plan and the coordination of the District Wide Safety Plan with the Building Level Emergency Response Plans
  • Ensure staff understanding of the District Wide Safety Plan
  • Ensure the completion and yearly update of Building Level Emergency Response Plans for each school building
  • Assist in the selection of security related technology and development of procedures for the use of such technology
  • Coordinate appropriate safety, security, and emergency training for district and school staff, including required training in the emergency response plan
  • Ensure the conduct of required evacuation and lockdown drills in all district buildings as required by Education Law section 807
  • Ensure the completion and yearly update of Building Level Emergency Response Plans by the dates designated by the commissioner

Concept of Operations

The District-Wide School Safety Plan is linked directly to the individual Building-Level Emergency Response Plans for each school building. Specific response protocols are contained in the individual Building-Level Emergency Response Plans.

In the event of an emergency or violent incident, the initial response to all emergencies at an individual school will be managed by the Building Emergency Response Team. The Building Emergency Response Team will notify the Superintendent’s Office and, where appropriate, local emergency officials. If the emergency or the violent incident has an impact beyond the individual building, the District Emergency Response Team will be activated and will coordinate the response.

Plan Review and Public Comment (CR 155.17 (c) (3))

In addition to the completion of its required annual review, this plan will be reviewed periodically during the year and will be maintained by the District-wide School Safety Team with technical assistance from appropriate agencies.

This plan must be formally adopted by the Board of Education. Pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation 155.17 (c) (3), this plan will be made available for public comment 30 days prior to its adoption.

While linked to the District-Wide School Safety Plan, Building-Level Emergency Response Plans are confidential and are be subject to disclosure under Article 6 of the Public Officers Law or any other provision of law, in accordance with Education Law Section 2801-a.

The district will post the District wide school safety plan on the district web site. The district will submit the web address/URL of the plan as part of the Basic Educational Data System (BEDS) collection within 30 days of adoption or by October 1, whichever comes first.


The Carmel Central School District Board of Education has adopted board policies that support the safety and security of our students and staff. They can be accessed through our district web page.

The Carmel Central School District has a variety of initiatives in place to reduce the risk of violence within its schools. (CR155.17(c)(1))

Prevention/Intervention Strategies (CR 155.17 (c)(1))

Program Name Kent Primary School Kent Elementary School Matthew Paterson Elementary School George Fischer Middle School Carmel High School
Best Buddies       X X
Camp Herrlich (before/after program) X X X X  
CHS Mentors         X
Counselor Mediation/ Clinician X X X X X
Habits of Minds     X    
Peer Support Group         X
Responsive Classrooms   X      
Say Something Beautiful         X
Safe School Ambassadors       X X
Students Assisting Students         X
Student Clubs       X X
Town Hall   X      

Training, Drills, and Exercises (CR 155.17(c)(1)(xiv))

All administrators and members of the Building Emergency Response Teams will be encouraged to take the on-line course sponsored by FEMA on the Incident Command System for Schools (http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/IS100SCA.asp) at least once.

All District personnel (faculty, custodial staff, office staff and administrators) will receive an orientation to the District’s multi hazard response on an annual basis. The orientation will focus on the District policies, and procedures for evacuation, emergency communication and the incident command system. (Substitute teachers and teacher’s aides will receive a fact sheet on the District’s policies and procedures upon initial assignment).

  • Building evacuation procedures will be practiced a minimum of 8 times per school year.
  • The District will conduct 1 go home early drill to test its alerting and warning procedures, communications procedures, resources, staff procedures, transportation procedures, public information procedures, and evacuation procedures.
  • All personnel who regularly answer telephones will receive updated training on protocols for data gathering in the event of a bomb threat made over the telephone.
  • 4 lockdown drills will be conducted in conjunction with the local police departments. Putnam County Sheriffs, Kent, Carmel and State Police. We will use the police as observers whenever they are available for these drills.

Description of Duties of Hall Monitors and School Resource Officers (CR 155.17 (c)(1)(xi)(a))

School Monitor: This routine work involves custodial care of groups of children in the maintenance of order and discipline within school buildings and on school playgrounds. The work requires some independent judgement and is performed under the supervision of a teacher or school administrator.

School Resource Officer (SRO): A school resource officer and a special patrol officer are a certified law enforcement officers who are assigned full time to a school.  The SROs and SPOs promote a better understanding of our laws, why they were enacted and their benefits.  They provide a visible and positive image for law enforcement.  They educate students by visiting classrooms and making presentation on school safety.  They work with school administrators to investigate criminal violations which involve students as suspects or victims and they assist students with law-related concerns.

School security personnel will not be responsible for direct student discipline.  Student Discipline is the responsibility of the appropriate building administration.

SROs and SPOs are assigned by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department.  Hall Monitors are hired following civil service regulations.

Implementation of School Security (CR 155.17 (c)(1)(xi))

  • Each building, as a part of developing the Building-Level Emergency Response Plan, examines specific security needs for their building
  • Detail of the security measures for each building are housed in the Building-Level Emergency Response Plan
  • Student behaviors and expectations are found within the student handbook/Code of Conduct.
  • District Staff is given access to the District Code of Conduct.
  • All Facilities staff as well as key office staff in each building have a communication system allowing for communication among key staff in an emergency.
  • All employees are required to wear photo ID badges.
  • All visitors are required to sign in/out and to wear identification badges to indicate their “visiting” status.
  • Entrance to our buildings is regulated using a “buzzer/intercom” system.  This system is monitored by dedicated school personnel.
  • School Emergency Teams meet routinely to review and discuss issues related to school safety and security.
  • The hiring and screening of all staff is in accordance with District policies and in conformance with SAVE legislation.
  • Most buildings have a single point of entry, except for the high school which has two.  All other doors are locked, and they are checked periodically throughout the day
  • Some areas within the District are monitored by security cameras.
  • School personnel are encouraged to greet strangers and direct them to sign in if they have not and report any visitors who have not signed in.

Vital Educational Agency Information

Each individual educational program within the Carmel Central School District collects and maintains information such as student enrollment, student personal data, and staff numbers for their program and staff assignments. This information is maintained by the District Office and each building plan contains building specific information.

Early Detection of Potentially Violent Behaviors (CR 155.17 (c)(1))

Each year, the district staff attends workshops and training that address issues related to threat assessment strategies, characteristics in children that predict violent behavior, and the appropriate actions to be taken. Parents will be supplied with information regarding early detection of potentially violent behavior

Hazard Identification

Each building has identified areas which could present hazards to the individual buildings. This may include such areas as: major highways or railroads – I-84, I- 684, Taconic State Parkway, Route 52, Metro North Railroad, Route 22 and several gas stations and other businesses. Faculty and staff will conduct a daily inspection of their classrooms, specialty rooms, playground, athletic fields, and/or office areas to identify, evaluate, and if needed control any potential hazards associated with their work area. All concerns should be forwarded to a member of the faculty’s safety committee for further reviews. If necessary, the building principal shall be contacted directly.

The District will continue to work with outside agencies such as NYSIR to evaluate potential hazards associated in transporting an educating our students. The building level response plans have lists of specific hazards for each building.


Notification and Activation

In the event of an emergency or pending emergency, staff members should immediately inform the building principal or their designee who will:

  • Immediately notify the local law enforcement officials if the situation warrants (using 9-911).
  • Notify the Superintendent.
  • Determine if the Building Emergency Response Team requires activation.

If at any time a staff member feels that the emergency is urgent, they may contact 911 and report the emergency directly.

The Superintendent will determine what other educational facilities within the District must be notified and whether any emergency action needs to be taken at those facilities.  The internal phone system as well as the emergency cell phone system will be utilized.  The Superintendent will also determine if the District Emergency Response Team requires activation.  These emergency response procedures follow the NIMS ICS (National Incident Management System Incident Command System) guidelines.


In the event of an emergency situation, school closing, or delay Connect-ED and the following radio and television stations will be used: WHUD; WSPK/WBNR; WXPK; WBPM; WPDH/WPDA; WRRV/WRRB; WCZX; WZAB; WKXP; La Buena; TV Fox5; WWOR; WABC; WRNN; CTWEATHER.COM.

Information will also be posted on the district website.

Situational Responses

Emergency Report Protocol

Specific procedures have been developed for handling telephone reports of an emergency or crisis event. 

Multi-Hazard Response (CR155.17(c)(1)(iv))

The Carmel Central School District has developed multi-hazard response plans for the various types of emergency situations. These are maintained within the building level emergency response plans. These protocols cover events such as: violent behaviors, threats of violence, bomb threat response, intrusion, kidnapping, medical emergencies, and natural disasters.

Responses to Acts of Violence: Implied or Direct Threats (CR 155.17 (c)(1)(i))

In the event of an implied or direct threat of violence by a student, staff member or visitor to the campus, the principal should be informed immediately by the threatened individual (or a staff member who becomes aware of the threat). The administrator will determine the steps to be taken based on the nature of the threat. Parents of a student will be informed of any threat of violence against that student including threats of suicide.

Acts of Violence

Acts of violence by students, staff members or visitors to the campus will not be tolerated. In the event of such an incident, the principal should be informed immediately by the victim or the staff member who becomes aware of the incident. The principal will determine the steps to be taken based on the nature of the incident.

Arrangements for Obtaining Assistance from Local Government and Other Agencies

The Carmel Central School District maintains ongoing communication with local municipal officials, governmental agencies and emergency service organizations. When appropriate, the District will contact the following governmental agencies, emergency service organizations, and other agencies to seek assistance in an emergency:

DIAL 911

Procedures to Coordinate the Use of District Resources in an Emergency

In an emergency that requires the activation of the District Safety/Emergency Response Team, the coordination of District resources will be through the District Safety Team with the Superintendent as Incident Commander. If the Team is not activated, the coordination of resources will be managed through the office of the Superintendent. The Director of Facilities will oversee the allocation of custodial and maintenance staff as well as vehicular needs. Other District staff may be called as needed.

Protective Action Options

Details of these and other emergency procedures are housed in each school building emergency plan.

During certain emergency situations one of the following may be used:

School Cancellation: School cancellation will be used when information regarding a potential crisis is received with enough lead-time to alert all parents, students and staff.

Early Dismissal: Early dismissal will be used when school is in session and there is time to return students and staff to their homes before the expected emergency occurs.

Evacuation/Relocation: Evacuation/relocation will be used when school is in session and it has been determined that an occupied building or location does not provide a safe environment for students and staff.

Sheltering: Sheltering will be used when school is in session and it is determined that Early Dismissal and Evacuation are not safe options. This response is to be implemented whenever a situation exists that makes staying inside safer than being outdoors.

Hold in Place may be used to control the flow of students and staff within the buildings.

Lockout: In response to incidents of actual or potential threat from outside the building, a lockout may be initiated.

Lockdown: In response to incidents of actual or potential threats of violence, a lockdown may be initiated.

Indian Point Radiological Emergency: In case of an emergency at Indian Point, two of our schools have been identified as reception centers for other schools within the 10 mile radius of the power plant. If students from these schools are relocated to our schools, we will plan an early dismissal for our own students to prepare to accept the relocated students.

In this case, we will follow each buildings’ early dismissal procedure.


The Superintendent or his/her designee will act as Incident Commander. When the Incident Commander has been notified that an emergency exists, he/she will activate the Plan and direct the operation from the Command Post.

All members of the District Emergency Response Team will assemble at the Command Post and implement the emergency response as directed by the Incident Commander.

Purpose of the District Emergency Response Team

The following are the functions of our District Emergency Response Team:

  • To identify the crisis level.
  • To support the efforts of a Building Safety/Emergency Response Team to minimize the traumatic impact on students and staff and return the site to educational normalcy.
    • Resource allocation
    • Staff reallocation:  substitutes, extra human services, transportation, etc.
    • Security of the campus
    • Media
  • To coordinate efforts of Building Emergency Response Teams when numerous or all sites are impacted by a single crisis event.
    • Interface with law enforcement, fire, medical
  • To manage aspects of an emergency response that is external to the site-based crisis event, i.e., communication with media, legal considerations, specialized equipment, communication with component school Districts, and communication with outside agencies.
  • To plan; to educate staff, students, and parents about plan; and to conduct drills.
  • To plan and prepare for incidents which may interrupt the normal functioning of the district such as loss of a building for an extended period of time.

Alternate Incident Commander

Whenever possible, the Superintendent will assume the role of Incident Commander. When the Superintendent cannot assume this role, the chart below will be used to select the person who will act in his/her behalf.

Chain of Command

Below is the chain of command for the District Wide Response – each building level plan will address chain of command within their plans.

Title Telephone Number
Superintendent 845-878-2094, ext. 201
Asst. Superintendent for Business 845-878-2094, ext. 213
Asst. Superintendent for Instruction 845-878-2094, ext. 241
Asst. Superintendent for Pupil Personnel & Technology 845-878-2094, ext. 242
Director of Facilities 845-878-2094, ext. 251


District Support for Buildings

The district will temporarily re-assign mental health professionals to the affected building in order to provide support to faculty, staff and students. Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES Crisis Response Team may be contacted if additional support is needed.

Principals are expected to consult with the District Public Information Officer in composing letters to parents following an emergency. The District Public Information Officer will assist in sending out robo calls to appropriate people. The District Liaison Officer will communicate with outside agencies to provide support services following an emergency.

Protocols for Responding to a State Disaster Emergency Involving Public Health for the Carmel Central School District


These protocols have been developed to respond to a State Disaster Emergency Involving Public Health. Directives shall come from New York State Education Department, New York State Department of Health, Putnam County Department of Health, or other appropriate agency for this protocol to be activated.


This document has been developed in accordance with the amended New York State Labor Law section 27-c and New York State Education Law 2801-a paragraph 2(m) (as amended by section 1 of part b of chapter 56 of the laws of 2016). These laws were amended by the passing of N.Y. State Senate, S8617B, 2019 Leg., and N.Y. State Assembly., A10832, 2019 Leg. on 9-7-2020 and amended by S1295, 2021 Leg. and A0980, 2021 Leg. on 2-12-21 that requires all public employers to prepare for state disaster emergencies involving public health. The plan includes the identification of essential positions, facilitation of remote work for non-essential positions, provision of personal protective equipment, and protocols for supporting contact tracing.



Essential shall refer to a designation made that a public employee is required to be physically present at a work site to perform his or her job. Such designation may be changed at any time in the sole discretion of the employer.

NYS Labor Law Section 27-C (1)(c)

Non-essential shall refer to a designation made that a public employee is not required to be physically present at a work site to perform his or her job. Such designation may be changed at any time in the sole discretion of the employer.

NYS Labor Law Section 27-C (1)(d)

Communicable Disease shall mean an illness caused by an infectious agent or its toxins that occurs through the direct or indirect transmission of the infectious agent or its products from an infected individual

NYS Labor Law Section 27-C (1)(e)

Personal Protective Equipment shall mean all equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards, including gloves, masks, face shields, foot and eye protection, protective hearing devices, respirators, hard hats, and disposable gowns and aprons.

NYS Labor Law Section 27-C (1)(a)

Identification of Essential Positions

In the event of a state ordered reduction of in-person workforce, below is a sample list of essential positions and descriptions.

NYS Labor Law Section 27-C (3)(a)

Position Description
Information Technology Director
Data Support Specialist
Custodial and Maintenance Director
Maintenance Foreman
Senior Custodians
Building Custodians
Grounds Crew
Maintenance Crew
Administration Superintendent and
Asst. Superintendents
Building Administration
Faculty and Staff Teacher/Related Service Provider
Monitors/Special Education Student Aide Monitor, SESA, Monitor/SESA
Safety School Resource/Protection Officers
Transportation Bus Drivers
Food Service Workers Food Service Worker
Mechanics Mechanics
Bus Monitors Bus Monitors
Nurse School Nurses
Courier Courier

Telecommuting Protocols

Telecommuting Protocols NYS Labor Law Section 27-c (3)(b)

Listing of Non-essential position titles who will need to tele-commute along with equipment deemed essential to their role.

Non-essential shall refer to that employee who is not required to be physically present at a work site to perform his or her job and may perform his or her job remotely. There may be some staff who will not be able to telecommute nor will they be able to work on campus. The need for these staff will be determined on a case-by-case basis and by job title.

Carmel Central School District’s Information Technology Department has protocols in place to allow most employees to work remotely as determined by the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendents and departmental supervisors. Equipment will be issued on as needed basis after the appropriate administrator makes a formal request to the Director of Educational Technology. Below is the listing of non-essential personnel who have been identified as needing equipment.

Non-Essential Position Titles Equipment Assignment: Phone Equipment Assignment: Laptop Equipment Assignment: RSA
Building Administrators (APs, CSE Chairs) X X  
Business Office off-site   X X
District Administrator X X  
IT off-site X X  
Support Staff - administrative   X  
Teacher   X  
Teacher Assistants/Aides   X  
Related Service Providers   X  


In the Carmel Central School District, any equipment that is assigned to a staff member is preloaded with the appropriate software for that position. In addition, staff is encouraged to share documents using Microsoft Outlook One Drive. Some staff will be issued RSAs and a VPN as needed, to allow for access to the departmental files and programs. The appropriate administrator identifies the need for an RSA and VPN. The Director of Educational Technology or their designee, and an Assistant Superintendent, will review this request, prior to the issuance of the RSA and VPN.


In the event of a pandemic, the district staff will use a code to access phone messages and a list of work cell phone numbers are provided on the web page.


Description of how the employer will stagger work shifts of essential employees to avoid overcrowding on public transportation and at work sites.

NYS Labor Law Section 27-c (3)(c)

The Carmel Central School District will have several options to comply with this requirement.

Staff already has staggered work schedules, 6 am through to 9 am are the normal arrival times with corresponding departure times.

If necessary, we use the pre-determined cohorts to stagger and alternate workdays. Depending upon the situation, selected staff may be 25% or 50% capacity following guidance from the NYSDOH and the Governor’s Office.

If necessary, we will limit the number of staff reporting to a skeleton crew to maintain the integrity of operations and facilities.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

A description of the protocol the employer will implement in order to procure the appropriate personal protective equipment for essential employees based upon the various tasks and needs of such employees in a quantity sufficient to provide at least two pieces of each type of personal protective equipment to each essential employee during any given work shift. Such description shall also include a plan for storage of such equipment to prevent degradation and permit immediate access in the event of an emergency declaration.

NYS Labor Law Section 27-c (3)(d)).


PPE will be purchased using the BOCES bid process, if possible. Otherwise, any reliable source of PPE will be contacted for availability and orders that fulfill the table below will be placed. Business Office and Facilities Office Staff in conjunction with the appropriate departments will work together to find reliable sources. Duplicate orders will be placed if there is a potential issue with supply chains.


Individual circumstances surrounding a pandemic may affect actual distribution of PPE. PPE may include, but is not limited to, masks, gloves, face shields, N-95 masks and surgical masks.

The following areas will be allocated PPE on an as-needed basis:

Superintendent’s Office
Director of Operations and Maintenance
Maintenance Department
Technology Department
Faculty and Staff
Transportation Department
Food Services Department


Plan for storage of PPE- please be aware that PPE stored in cardboard cases may absorb moisture over time, it is important that PPE cases be stored in secure, dry locations.

PPE Type Storage Location
Masks (reusable) Administration Building
Gloves Administration Building
Face shields Administration Building
Gowns Administration Building
N-95 Administration Building

Protocol Following Exposure

A description of the protocol in the event an employee is exposed to a known case of the communicable disease that is the subject of the state disaster emergency, exhibits symptoms of such disease, or tests positive for such disease in order to prevent the spread or contraction of such disease in the workplace.

Such protocol shall also detail actions to be taken to immediately and thoroughly disinfect the work area of any employee known or suspected to be infected with the communicable disease as well as any common area surface and shared equipment such employee may have touched, and the employer policy on available leave in the event of the need of an employee to receive testing, treatment, isolation, or quarantine.

Such protocol shall not involve any action that would violate any existing federal, state, or local law, including regarding sick leave or health information privacy. NYS Labor Law Section 27-c (3)(e)).

Communicable disease definition - (NYS Labor Law Section 27-c (1)(e).

The Carmel Central School District will follow current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as state and local Department of Health guidelines.

For example:

  • All employees are instructed to fill in a screening tool at least one hour before arriving at work.
    • If they pass, they receive a notice that they are cleared to come to work.
    • If they do not pass, they receive a notice to stay at home until contacted.
  • The Building Administrator contacts each employee who does not pass the screening tool questionnaire. They get further information regarding the reason for the failing response.
  • No one is permitted into the building if they do not pass the screener. If there is a health concern, the employee is asked to follow posted NYSDOH protocols and procedures.
  • If an employee begins to experience symptoms related to the current pandemic, after arriving at work, they have been instructed to go out to their car or a designated isolation room within their building and to contact their supervisor for further instructions.
  • Supervisors will use the urgent response protocol to this change in status to determine their immediate course of action.
  • After the employee leaves the area, their workspace is closed off until it can be cleaned. An effort is made to identify any spaces that they may have entered and these are also closed off until cleaned. Surfaces will be disinfected with products that meet EPA criteria for use against the virus in question and which are appropriate for that surface.
  • ANY building occupants who have been exposed to that person may be identified as a contact and current DOH guidelines will be followed.


A protocol for documenting hours and work locations, including off-site visits, for essential employees. Such protocol shall be designed only to aid in tracking of the disease and to identify the population of exposed employees in order to facilitate the provision of any benefits which may be available to certain employees on that basis.

NYS Labor Law Section 27-c (3)(f))

The Personnel Department, in conjunction with departmental supervisors will keep an online schedule for purposes of capturing employee hours and locations. Each supervisor will be responsible for maintaining the schedule for his or her department and ensure its accuracy. Visitors to campus are prohibited unless they are consulting essential business and are scheduled and approved in advance by the Superintendent or designee.

Emergency Housing

A protocol for how the public employer will work with such employer’s locality to identify sites for emergency housing for essential employees in order to further contain the spread of the communicable disease that is the subject of the declared emergency, to the extent applicable to the needs of the workplace.

NYS Labor Law Section 27-c (3)(h).

Emergency housing for essential workers is not normally needed for school employees. If needed, the district will arrange for emergency housing for essential employees at the following on site areas:

Carmel High School - is equipped with showers and many rooms.