Districtwide Safety Plan

Districtwide Safety Plan - 2020-2021



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 this purpose.

Identification of the Team

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.

  • Matt Morello, School Board Member  & Parent Rep.-- 914-224-5390
  • Mary-Margaret Zehr, Superintendent of Schools -- 845 878-2094, ext. 201
  • Lizzette Ruiz-Giovinazzi, Asst. Supt. for Instruction & Personnel -- 845 878-2094, ext. 241
  • Eric Stark, Asst. Supt. for Business --845 878-2094, ext. 215
  • John Weise, Director of Facilities -- 845 878-2094, est. 251
  • Joe Simoni, Asst. Supt for Pupil Services & Technology -- 845 878-2094, ext. 246
  • Mike Klenotiz, Supervisor of Transportation -- 845 225-3200, ext. 331
  • Charlie Johnson, GFMS SRO -- 845 228-2300 ,ext 549
  • Anthony Vigna, CHS SRO -- 845 225-8441, ext. 600

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

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 (e) (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 beginning in October 2016.


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.

Prevention/Intervention Strategies

  • Best Buddies -- Carmel High School
  • Camp Herrlich (before and after school care) -- Kent Primary, Kent Elementary, Matthew Paterson & George Fischer MS
  • CHS Mentors -- Carmel High School
  • Counselor Mediation/Clinician -- All Carmel Schools
  • DASA -- All Carmel Schools
  • Habits of Mind -- Matthew Paterson ES
  • PBIS -- All Carmel Schools
  • Peer Support Group -- Carmel High School
  • Responsive Classrooms -- Kent Elementary School
  • Say Something Beautiful -- Carmel High School
  • Safe School Ambassadors -- George Fischer MS, Carmel High School
  • Students Assisting Students -- Carmel High School
  • Student Clubs -- George Fischer MS, Carmel High School
  • Town Hall -- Kent Elementary School

Training, Drills, and Exercises

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 one 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:

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 is a certified law enforcement officer who is assigned full time to a school. The SROs 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.

Implementation of School Security

  • 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

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 (see CCSD Policies 5300-Code of Conduct, 5450-Student Safety, 5804-Dignity for All Students and 5805-Sexual Harassment Policy & Greivance Procedures for Students)

Hazard Identification

Each building has identified areas which could present hazards to the individual buildings. The 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).
  • If at any time a staff member feels that the emergency is urgent, they may contact 911 and report the emergency directly.
  • Notify the Superintendent.
  • Determine if the Building Emergency Response Team requires activation.

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.

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

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

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 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.  The SRO or law enforcement will be contacted as appropriate. Parents of the threatened student will be informed of any threat of violence against that student including threats of suicide.

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.

  • Superintendent: 845 878-2094, ext. 201
  • Asst. Superintendent for Business: 845 878-2094, ext. 215
  • Asst. Superintendent for Instruction:  845 878-2094, ext. 241
  • Asst. Superintendent for PPS & Technology: 845 878-2094, ext. 243
  • 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