District Safety Plan

2020-21 District Safety Plan

The District Wide Safety Plan was developed as a requirement of New York State Project SAVE legislation.  The plan serves as a framework and focuses on crisis intervention, emergency response and management.  New York State Education Department regulations call for the plan to be adopted annually by the Board of Education.  Thirty days prior to adoption, the District is required to make the plan available and hold at least one public hearing.  A public hearing was held at the July 2, 2020 meeting of the Board of Education.  The plan can be viewed below and at the District Business Office.

District Safety Plan

District-Wide Project SAVE Plan

The PELHAM Public School District supports Project SAVE legislation and has completed the planning process. The Superintendent of Schools encourages and advocates on-going district wide cooperation and support of Project SAVE through periodic additions, updates, training and drills.













Section I: General Considerations and Planning Guidelines

A. Purpose

The Pelham Public School District-Wide School Safety Plan has been developed pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation 155.17. At the direction of the Pelham District Board of Education, the Superintendent of Schools of the Pelham District appointed a District-Wide School Safety Team and charged it with the development and maintenance of the District-Wide School Safety Plan.

 B. Identification of School Teams

The Pelham Public School District has created at each school a Building-level Emergency Response Team, an Emergency Response Team (team responsible for incident response) and a Post-Incident Response Team (appropriate school personnel, medical personnel and mental health counselors who can assist a school community in coping with the aftermath of a violent incident or emergency)

The District-wide Safety Team and their affiliations are as follows:

Superintendent / Chief Emergency Officer - Dr. Cheryl H. Champ

High School Administrator - Mark Berkowitz/Bethany Antonelli

Middle School Administrator - Lynn Sabia/Sean Llewellyn

Elementary Administrators - Farid Johnson, Susan Gilbert, Trisha Fitzgerald, Jeannine Carr

Teacher Representative - Mark Finegan

Support Staff Representative - Eugene Farrell

Police Representative - Chief Jason Pallett/Pelham PD

Police Representative - Chief Carpenter/Pelham Manor PD

Fire Representative - Chief James DiNapoli/Pelham FD

Fire Representative - Chief Joseph Ruggiero/Pelham Manor FD

District Safety Representative - Ralph DeMasi

Parent Representative - Judy Shampanier

Board Representative - Sue Childs

District Safety Representative - Ralph DeMasi

Technology & Data Security - John Sebalos

Student Representative - TBD

 C. Concepts of Operations

  1. The District-Wide School Safety Plan shall be directly linked to the individual Building Level Emergency Response Plans for each school building. Protocols reflected in the District-Wide School Safety Plan will guide the development and implementation of individual Building-Level Emergency Response Plans to insure continuity of response throughout the district. Representatives from the building teams serve on the district team to further enhance communications between all teams.

  2. In developing the district plan, we chose a cross-section of the school community to be part of the team. A needs assessment was done that included, data on discipline, local hazards, proximity to potential threats from outside and weather related emergencies. In addition we reviewed district plans as well as surveying plans from other districts.

  3. In the event of an emergency or violent incident, the initial response to all emergencies at the individual school will be by the School Emergency Response Team. In the event of an emergency, communications protocols are established as follows:
    a. The Building Emergency Response Team is activated to assess the emergency plan and implement appropriate response strategies.
    b. The Principal/Incident Commander will notify the Superintendent and apprise them of the situation.
    c. The Superintendent will notify the members of the District Safety Team and other designated officials as deemed necessary.
    d. Upon the activation of the School Emergency Response Team, the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee will be notified and, where appropriate, local emergency officials will also be notified.
    e. The Principal/Incident Commander may request the assistance of the Superintendent and The District Emergency Response Team in notifying outside agencies for additional assistance.
    f. These agencies include, but are not limited to the local police, County Police Department, New York State Police, 911, and County Office of Emergency Management.
    g. Response efforts may be supplemented by available county and state resources through existing protocols described in the contact processes included in the District’s Emergency Response Plan.

 D. Plan review and public comment

  1. This plan shall be reviewed and maintained by the District-Wide School Safety Team and reviewed on an annual basis on or before September 1 of each year. A copy of this plan will be available at the District Office and in each school building.
  2. Pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation 155.17 (e) (3), this plan will be made available for public comment 30 days prior to its adoption. The district-wide and building level plans were adopted by the School Board following a public hearing that provided for the participation of school personnel,       parents, students and any other interested parties. The plan must be formally adopted by the Board of Education.
  3. While linked to the District-Wide School Safety Plan, Building-Level Emergency Response Plans shall be confidential and shall not be subject to disclosure under Article 6 of the Public Officers Law, the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) or any other provision of law, in accordance with Education Law 2801-a.

Section II: General Emergency Response Planning

(The District-Wide School Safety Plan provides the framework for the Building-Level Emergency Response Plan.)

 A. Identification of sites of potential emergency, including:

  1. Each School Safety Team will identify and locate areas of potential emergencies in and around their building.
  2. These locations are listed in each School Safety Plan and placed on building maps supplied to police, fire, EMS, and district personnel.
  3. Potentially dangerous sites will be checked regularly and inspected by safety personnel annually. They include but are not limited to:

System Sites

  • Electrical panels/shut off- Gas lines/shut off
  • Gas appliances- Heating plant
  • Sewage system- Structural failure
  • Ventilation/Air conditioning- Water Supply/shut off
  • Phone lines and panels- Fuel Storage

Environmental Problem Sites

  • Chemical storage- Cleaning supplies
  • Paper supply storage- Industrial arts room
  • Science rooms and labs

Site Considerations

  • Site Considerations
  • Nearby streams, ponds etc. Isolated areas
  • Unprotected gas/electric- Steep areas near school

The list of sites will be added to or modified based on current conditions.

Building Emergency Response plans will be modified by Building Safety Team members, based on updated conditions.

B. Plans for the following types of emergency response are to be included in all Building Level Emergency Response Plans where appropriate and include but are not limited to:

  1. School cancellation
  2. Early dismissal
  3. Evacuations
  4. Sheltering Alternative
  5. Parent Emergency Notification Plan
  6. Parent Reunification Plans: The off-site administrator will be responsible for maintaining student data based records at the off-site location for the purpose of determining guardianship and emergency arrangements.

C. Plans for the following specific emergencies are to be included in Building-level Emergency Response Plans:

  • Threats of Violence Intruder/Hostage – Lock Down/Lock Out Hostage/Kidnapping, Explosive/Bomb Threat 
  • Natural/Weather Related Incident, Hazardous Material 
  • Civil Disturbance, Biological/Radiological Exposure 
  • School Bus Accident  
  • Gas Leak, Health Related Epidemics 
  • Others as determined by the Building-level School Safety team

D.  Each Building Safety Plan will have the following components:

  1. Building Safety Team

  2. Building Emergency Response Team

  3. Post Incident Response Team

  4. Evacuation procedures

  5. Drills: Fire, Lockout/Staff all Call, Lockdown, Shelter-in-Place, Rapid Dismissal, Hold in Place

  6. Building Security Team

  7. Building Medical Response Team

  8. Building Post-Incident Response Team

  9. Listing of emergency equipment available

  10. Listing of Medical Supplies

  11. Listing of Communication Devices

  12. Identification of the officials authorized to make decisions (Chain of Command)

E. The district will provide annual multi-hazard school training for staff and students annually

Training and information will be provided to staff through trainers at the beginning of each school year. Instruction may include, but is not limited to blood borne pathogens, hazardous materials, HIV and other associated health risks.

F. The following procedure for the review and conduct of drills and other exercises to test components of the emergency response plan will be developed by the District School Safety Team annually. It will be done in coordination with local and county emergency responders and preparedness officials.

Type Frequency Agency Involved Effective Measure
Fire Drills 8    
Lock Down Drills 4 Police Involved  
Lock Out/Staff All Call 1 First Responders where appropriate  
Shelter in Place 1 First Responders where appropriate  
Rapid Dismissal/
Staging Drill



Emergency Response Team
Emergency Response Team

To comply with Education Law 807, each school must conduct 4 lock down and 8 evacuation drills (12 drills total) each year. 8 of these emergency drills must be completed between September 1st and December 31st. The 4 remaining emergency drills must be completed between January 1st and the end of the school year. 

Section III: Responding to Threats and Acts of Violence

A. Policies and procedures for responding to implied or direct threats of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel and visitors to the school.

  1. Reporting of threats of violence to school authorities

    a.    Students are required to inform school staff about any indirect or direct threat of violence to themselves, others or property.
    b.    Staff are required to inform administration of any direct or indirect threat of violence to students, themselves, others or property.
    c.    Parents and visitors are encouraged to tell school staff about any indirect or direct threats of violence towards students, themselves, others or property.
    d.    Students, staff, parents and others will be educated about the importance of reporting threats and the procedures of reporting.

  2. Investigating threats or acts of violence.

    a.    The building administrator will investigate reported threats of violence and will make the determination of disciplinary measures consistent with the Code of Conduct.
    b.    Serious acts will require the involvement of police personnel. (violent offenses in accordance with SAVE requirements)
    c.    Chronic offenders may require a behavior intervention plan, close monitoring, and police involvement.
    d.    Threats or acts of violence placing students, staff, and others in imminent danger require an immediate call to the police.

  3. Proactive Security Measures

    a.    All school buildings use single point of entry system except the high school.
    b.    All doors are locked.
    c.    Entrance monitored and visitors must sign in and out.
    d.    Visitors are required to wear identification.
    e.    Visitor access is limited to specific location.
    f.    Escorting visitors is encouraged.
    g.    Staff members must wear visible identification badges.
    h.    The District Safety Team will educate students, staff and parents about the importance of school safety.
    i.    The District Safety Team will educate students, staff and parents about the importance of school safety. Appropriate training will be available.
    j.    The District Safety Team will hold drills that help promote school safety.
    k.    Superintendent will develop and operate reporting, referral and counseling procedures designed to identify and work with potentially aggressive and violent students.
    l.    The district will continue to investigate security devices and strategies to make schools as safe as possible.
    m.    Pelham School District has developed procedures for anonymous reporting of threats of violence.

  4. Reporting Incidents

    a.    School administrators must keep record of serious threats and acts of violence and report them annually to the state.
    b.    Incidents of violence, serious threats, intimidation etc. may require involvement of the police.
    c.    District and building administrators are authorized to call the police to respond to the threat or acts of violence.
    d.    The district will continue to investigate security devices and strategies to make schools as safe as possible.
    e.    District Safety Team has developed procedures outlining expectations for police involvement at school sponsored extra-curricular activities.

  5. Removing Violent Individuals

    a.    Aggressively dangerous and violent students should be restrained only by qualified staff (TCI or CPI certified). Police should be called to remove the student.
    b.    Violent adults are to be reported immediately, the authorities called and only removed by police.
    c.    Students and staff should be in lockdown mode when violent people are in the school.

B. Policies and procedures for contacting law enforcement officials in the event of a violent incident:

  1. Our policy is to analyze each incident individually. If we are unable to de-escalate a violent incident or if laws are violated, we contact local agencies for support. The building administrator in charge or their designee may contact the law enforcement agencies via 911.

  2. The building principal or his/her designee will evaluate each incident, consult with the Superintendent and report the incident to the state or local police if necessary.

  3. The police agencies serving our area are: Village of Pelham & Pelham Manor.

C. Identification of appropriate responses to emergencies, including protocols for responding to:

  1. Our plans include appropriate responses specific to the emergencies listed below:
    Medical Emergencies, Intrusions, Kidnapping, Lock Downs, Lock Outs Bomb Threats, Explosion, Suspicious Package Fire, Civil Disturbance Hazardous Materials, High Winds/Storms, Hostage Taking, School Bus    Accidents, Suicide 
  2. When appropriate, we will contact other agencies regarding potential disasters, tragedies or extreme acts of violence. We have automatic contact via e-mail, fax or telephone to educational agencies (BOCES), government groups, law enforcement, emergency management and local media.
  3. We have internal communications capability via e-mail and intercom for staff. We have walkie-talkie radios and cell phones available for administrative personnel, monitors, nurses and physical education staff.
  4. The Emergency Phone Blast System is monitored in the Central Office. Building administrators will be contacted immediately in the event of weather-related emergencies.

D. Procedures for contacting parents, guardians and persons in parental relation to the students of the district in event of a violent incident or early dismissal are as follows.

  1. The district procedure for early dismissal and parent notification is as follows:

    a.    Superintendent or his/her designee decides on an early dismissal.
    b.    Superintendent notifies building principal(s)
    c.    Central and building administrators are informed.
    d.    Staff and students are informed of closing.
    e.    Parents are notified of early dismissal through media contacts (radio stations, district website, television, and utilization of Emergency Phone Blast system.) Parents will receive information about the threat or act of violence that determined an early dismissal in their child’s school as soon as is practical. This information is limited to information the school is legally permitted to disclose.
    f.    Parents of students will receive a phone call to regular and emergency phone numbers. When phone calls fail to contact the parent or emergency number, the student will remain under the supervision of school personnel until parents are notified and pick up the student or the regular end of the school day, whichever comes whichever comes first.
    g.    Students without access to their home or alternative drop-off sites will remain with school personnel.  Every effort will be made to contact the parents of these sheltered students

  2. Each school will develop an early dismissal plan to include staggered dismissal, rapid parent pick-up strategies, student attendance procedures and alternative sheltering sites.

Section IV: Communication with Others

A. Description of the arrangements for obtaining assistance during emergencies from emergency service organizations and local government agencies.

  1. We have contacted the local emergency services agencies for support and assistance have included their representatives on our safety planning teams, provided them with pertinent information (ex. Building maps), and have included their personnel  in planning and implementing safety-related drills. Our plan provides for accessing emergency mental health services in the event of an emergency or violent incident from SWBOCES and other county and regional mental health agencies.

  2. For fire and EMT and medical emergencies, we use 911. For violent acts, the district protocol is to notify law enforcement immediately. The primary responsibility for these calls is the building principal or their designee. A call is then made to the Superintendent who has the responsibility to notify other key officials.

B. Procedures for obtaining advice and assistance from local government  officials including the county or city officials responsible for implementation of Article 2-B of the Executive Law.

  1. The school district will maintain an updated list of local, county, and state agencies and personnel to contact to obtain assistance. The Superintendent and his/her designee will initiate the contact.

  2. The key officials in local government that can help to develop plans and assist in emergency situations as listed in emergency situations are listed in Appendix 10.

C. A system for informing all educational agencies within a school district of a disaster.

The Pelham School District will notify other schools within our jurisdiction about potential or existing emergency situations that may impact them by telephone, email and phone blast when necessary. This will include any district to which we transport our students. We will maintain information about each educational agency located in the school district.

  1. The Superintendent or his designee shall inform all educational agencies within the Pelham System boundaries of potential, impending or existing disasters.

  2. The list of educational institutions located within the district, including the school population and staff numbers, their transportation needs, phone numbers of key officials of each school will be kept updated annually.

  3. The procedure to inform each school in the event of an emergency situation is the Superintendent will authorize emergency calls to each educational agency.

SECTION V: Prevention and Intervention Strategies

(The District-wide School Safety Plan should provide the framework for the Building Level Emergency Response Plan)

A. Policies and procedures related to school building security, including, where appropriate, the use of school safety officers and or/security devices or procedures.

  1. Each school with the exception of the high school shall maintain a single point of entry system, require visitor and vendor sign-in and maintain appropriate security and surveillance devices.

B. Policies and procedures for the dissemination of informative materials regarding the early detection of potentially violent behaviors, including but not limited to the following.

  1. It is the district’s responsibility to provide information about student and school safety to all students, staff, parents and community members.

  2. Informative materials about early detection of potentially violent behaviors and dangerous situations will be disseminated to students, staff, parents, and community through a variety of methods. These may include student curricula and workshops, staff training seminars, pamphlets, newsletters and other publications, public seminars.

C.    Appropriate Prevention and Intervention Strategies

  1. Collaborative agreements with law enforcement officials have been and are designed to de-escalate potentially violent situations.

  2. Mediation services are available at all buildings.

  3. Non-violent conflict resolution training programs are available.

  4. Staff meetings include an updating of safety policy and procedures.

D.    Strategies for improving communication among students and between students and staff and reporting of potentially violent incidents, include the following.

  1. Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) seminars

  2. Peer mediation,

  3. Conflict resolution,

  4. Creating a forum or designating a mentor for students who are at-risk.

Description of duties, hiring and screening process, and required training of hall monitors and other school safety personnel.

All school employees are subject to fingerprinting and security screening by state law.

  • Monitors receive training that identifies their roles and responsibilities
  • Visitor Screening
  • Maintaining Safety and Security
  • Responding to Emergencies in Schools
  • Bullying Prevention (DASA)
  • De-escalation Training
  • Conducting oneself professionally in a school setting
  • First Aid, CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
  • Active Shooter Training

Appendices for Building Level Safety Plan

  • Appendix 1    District Street Map
  • Appendix 2    Floor Plans, Evacuation Maps
  • Appendix 3    District Organization
  • Appendix 4    Fire Procedures
  • Appendix 5    Bomb Scare Procedures
  • Appendix 6    Lockdown, Lockout/Staff all Call, Shelter in Place and Hold in Place, Red Flag Law
  • Appendix 7    Response to a Crisis
  • Appendix 8    Hazard Specific Guidelines
  • Appendix 9    School Buildings and Contact Information
  • Appendix 10  Local Government
  • Appendix 11  Post Incident Response Team
  • Appendix 12  Radio Channel Description