Districtwide Safety Plan

Districtwide Safety Plan 2023-2024

View of PDF of the Districtwide Safety Plan of October 2023 

Section I: General Considerations and Planning Guidelines


Emergencies in schools are defined as undesirable events that occur and have the potential to cause injury or illness to members of our school community or disrupt the orderly educational process. They range from acts of bullying or harassment to catastrophic natural or man-made events. Emergency management is the discipline of dealing with and avoiding risks. It is a discipline that involves preparing for an emergency situation or disaster before it occurs as well as supporting and rebuilding from the emergency after natural or human-made disasters have occurred.

Emergency management in our schools is the continuous process by which our staff, students, administrators, parents, school groups, emergency responders and our community manages hazards in an effort to avoid or mitigate the impact of disasters resulting from hazards. Preventive measures and good planning will reduce the likelihood that emergencies will occur and allow us to address those that do in an expeditious and effective manner.

Districts are required to develop district-wide school safety and emergency management plans designed to prevent and effectively manage such events to minimize the effects of serious incidents and emergencies. These plans also facilitate the coordination of the District with local and county plans and resources when incidents and emergencies occur.

The district-wide plan is responsive to the needs of all schools in the District and is consistent with the more detailed building-level emergency plans. Districts are vulnerable to a wide variety of acts of violence; and natural and manmade disasters. To address these threats, the State of New York has enacted the Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (S.A.V.E.) law. Project S.A.V.E. is a comprehensive planning effort that addresses prevention, response, and recovery with respect to a variety of emergencies in schools.

The Carmel Central School District supports the S.A.V.E. legislation. As such, the Superintendent of Schools, Board of Education, and the entire District staff encourages and advocates on-going district-wide cooperation in support of Project S.A.V.E.

Superintendent's Directive

The Superintendent of Schools, or Designee (see State Requirements), will serve as the District’s Chief Emergency Officer (CEO)7 whose duties shall include, but not be limited to:

  1. Coordination of the communication between school staff, law enforcement, and other first responders;
  2. Leading the efforts of the district-wide school safety team in the completion and yearly update of the district-wide school safety plan and the coordination of the district-wide plan with the building-level emergency response plans;
  3. Ensuring staff understanding of the district–wide school safety plan;
  4. Ensuring the completion and yearly update of building-level emergency response plans for each school building. The CEO will require each building principal to maintain a Building-level Emergency Response Plan in compliance with Commissioner of Education Regulation 155.17(2). Each plan should be updated annually with the assistance of the Building Emergency Response Team (BERT). The plan shall provide for lockdown, lockout, sheltering, evacuation, early dismissal, fire and other emergency planning and notification (when necessary) to students and staff, annual drills and exercises, and coordination with local and county emergency preparedness administrators. These plans shall be submitted to the District's Safety Team for annual approval and incorporation into the overall District-wide Safety and Emergency Management Plan.
  5. Assisting in the selection of security related technology and development of procedures for the use of such technology;
  6. Coordination of appropriate safety, security, and emergency training for district and school staff, including required training in the emergency response plan;
  7. Ensuring the conduct of required evacuation and lockdown drills in all district buildings as required by Education Law section 807; and
  8. Ensuring the completion and yearly update of building-level emergency response plans by the dates designated by the commissioner.
  9. Ensures protocols for responding to a declared state disaster emergency involving a communicable disease are substantially consistent with the provisions of Section 27-C of the Labor Law.

Identification of School Teams

The District-wide Safety and Emergency Management Plan was developed pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation 155.17(b)(13) and At the direction of the Board of Education and under the direction of the Superintendent, a District-wide Safety Team will be utilized for emergency management within the District16. The Safety Team shall include, but is not limited to, representatives of the school board, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel including bus drivers and monitors.

At the discretion of the board of education, a student may be allowed to participate on the safety team. If the Board appoints or selects a student to participate on the safety team, in accordance with Regulation 155.17(b)(14), no portion of a confidential building-level emergency response plan shall be shared with such student nor shall such student be present where details of a confidential building-level emergency response plan or confidential portions of a district-wide emergency response strategy are discussed.

The duties of the team shall include the development, review, and update of the District-wide Safety and Emergency Management Plan in compliance with Commissioner of Education Regulation 155.17. The District Safety Team should meet regularly throughout the year to conduct the following business:

  1. Assess and review the District-wide Safety and Emergency Management Plan annually.
  2. Make any necessary recommendations regarding emergency operations, planning, procedures, and/or protocols.
  3. Conduct training sessions as necessary.
  4. Meet with, oversee, and help guide the Building-level Emergency Response Teams at each school as necessary.
  5. Meet as needed with the District’s Emergency Management Consultant to review protocols and procedures as well as receive training and instruction.
  6. Meet with local government and emergency service organization officials to develop procedures for obtaining guidance and for emergency situations that exceed the expertise and/or resources of the District. These procedures may then be incorporated into the District's Emergency Management Plan.
  7. Conduct all other business as deemed necessary.

District Safety Team

Members listed here may be removed from the “additional emergency numbers” table

Title Name Office Phone
Interim Superintendent of Schools Joe McGrath 845-878-2094 ext. 201
Asst. Superintendent for Instruction Lauren Santabarbara 845--878-2094 ext. 241
Asst. Superintendent for Business John Fink 845-878-2094 ext. 215
Asst. Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Dr. Elizabeth Kennedy 845-878-2094 ext. 242
Director of Instructional Technology and CIO
Dan Svarczkopf 845-878-2094 ext. 237
Director of Food Services Patrick Rodia 845-878-2094 ext. 255
Director of Facilities Alberto Venezia 845-878-2094 ext. 251
Supervisor of Transportation Mike Klenotiz 845-225-3200
Parent Representative Harold Cargain  
SRO - George Fischer Middle School Charlie Johnson  
SRO - Carmel High School Mike Varley 845-225-8441 ext. 600
Information Officer Debra West  
Nurse Carol Burns 845-228-2300 ext. 514
Altaris Consulting Group John LaPlaca 866-960-8739 ext. 703
Assistant Principal - CHS John Fratto 845-225-8441 ext.
Teacher - CHS Matt Murphy 845-225-8441 ext.
Assistant Principal - GFMS Allie Golan 845-228-2300 ext.
Teacher - KES Brad Schalkham 845-225-5029 ext.
Social Worker - Kent Elementary School Kirsten Carillo 845-225-5029 ext.
Principal - Kent Primary School Dan Brown 845-225-5025 ext. 340
Teacher - Kent Primary School Julie Ann Burton 845-225-5025 ext.
Teacher - Matthew Paterson Elementary School Lisa Palmieri 845-878-3211 ext.
Social Worker - Matthew Paterson Elementary School Dana Russo 845-878-3211 ext.
Board of Education John Curzio II  
Board of Education Jason Paraskeva  
Bus Driver TBA  
Bus Driver TBA  
Confidential Secretary - District Office Debbie McIntyre 845-878-2094 ext. 215

Concept of Operations

  1. The District-wide School Safety and Emergency Management Plan will be directly linked to individual Building-level Emergency Response Plans for each school. Protocols developed in the District-wide School Safety and Emergency Management Plan will guide the development and implementation of Building-level Emergency Response Plans.
  2. All District building plans have been standardized to the extent possible so that leadership decisions are consistent and leaders may be interchangeable as necessary. The training and expectations set at the district level are applicable to all building team members.
  3. In the event of an emergency or violent incident, the initial response at an individual school will be by the Building Emergency Response Team.
  4. Once the Superintendent and/or their designee are notified, the District Emergency Response Team may be mobilized to respond, and when appropriate, local emergency officials will be notified. All will follow the emergency management protocols and practices outlined in the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and will practice Incident Command System (ICS) techniques to better manage these events.

Plan Review and Public Comment

  1. The District-wide Safety and Emergency Management Plan shall be monitored and maintained by the District Safety Team. The District Safety Team shall review the plan annually before making it available for a 30-day comment period, a public hearing, and, finally, adoption by the Board of Education before September 1st of each year.
  2. On June 23, 2022, Governor Hochul signed Alyssa’s Law, Chapter 227 of the Laws of 2022 (Chapter 227) which became effective immediately. Chapter 227 amends Education Law Section 2801-a to require that district-wide school safety teams of public schools, boards of cooperative educational services, and county vocational education extension boards consider the usefulness of silent panic alarm systems when reviewing and amending district-wide safety plans. The District has plans to include panic buttons in all buildings and in all classrooms through the voter approved VoIP project which will begin in the summer of 2023.
  3. Building-level Emergency Response Plans shall be confidential and not 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.
  4. Full copies of the District-wide Safety and Emergency Management Plan and any amendments will be submitted to the New York State Education Department on or before September 1st of each year or within 30 days of adoption.
    18 155.17(a) Every board of education of a school district, every board of cooperative educational services and county vocational education and extension board and the chancellor of the City School District of the City of New York shall adopt by July 1, 2001, and shall update by July 1st for the 2002-2003 through the 2015-2016 school years and by September 1st for the 2016-2017 school year and each subsequent September 1st thereafter.
    District-wide Safety & Emergency Management Plan
  5. The Board of Education must formally adopt the District-wide Plan pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation, Section 155.17(c)(3).19 This plan will be made available for public comment at least 30 days prior to its adoption.
  6. The District-wide School Safety Team sends an email annually notifying parents, age-appropriate students, and staff that the District Safety Plan draft has been posted on the District website. Comments and concerns can be submitted via email to John Fink, Assistant Superintendent for Business, at jfink@carmelschools.org. Following the 30-day comment period, a required public hearing will be held.
  7. Building-level Emergency Response Plans will be supplied to the New York State Police, County Police and all local police departments covering the District, by October 15th of each year or within 30 days of adoption.