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Student Safety and Crisis Management

A crisis is a sudden, generally unanticipated event that profoundly and negatively affects a significant segment of the school population and often involves serious injury or death.

Rochester Public Schools has a multi-tiered approach to crisis management. First, our school district has adopted a School Board Crisis Management Policy Number 806. The purpose of the policy is to provide a guide as to how to address a wide range of potential crisis situations within the district. Thorough crisis management should result in increased security for staff and students; minimization of damage and loss in the event of a crisis; and the return of the school/district to a normal functional level as soon as possible after crisis.

Annually, every building within our district revises and updates their crisis management plan. This plan is very in-depth and covers all of the topics listed within Policy 806. It is the expectation that our building administrators review the crisis management plan with their staff and all staff are expected to be familiar with this document. Our staff and students practice drills annually with respect to the different crisis that may occur. Additionally, the district has an Executive Director of Operations. One of the responsibilities of this position is to oversee crisis training and prevention. The district also has a crisis team in place which provides support at the individual, building, and district level. We also recognize the importance of relationships with community partners and first responders. As a result, the district has participated in “table-top exercises” and planning meetings with Rochester Police Department, Olmsted County, Mayo Clinic, Olmsted Medical Center, Gold Cross, Federal Bureau of Investigation, SWAT, etc.

Safety and security of our students and staff is our number one priority at RPS. We continue to enhance our safety planning and preparedness through the use of research, trainings, and staff development.

What to Know

1. Parents/Guardians will be notified via Skylert (via voice, text, email – depending on what you select via sign-up)

  • Be sure to keep your Skylert account updated with the most current communication.
  • Visit https://asp.schoolmessenger.com/rochester/subscriber/index.php and click on Contact Info to update your preferences.

2. During a crisis, we will update parents/guardians via Skylert in 60-minute intervals.

3. We will also use Facebook (facebook.com/ISD535), Twitter (@RPS535), and Skylert to communicate details as we have them.

4. During a lockdown, no one will be permitted to enter or leave the building with the exception of district personnel, law enforcement, and first responders.

5. In some cases, we may need to evacuate the school. Evacuation sites have been established, but we do not publicize those locations prior to an emergency to maintain student safety. We will inform you the time and place to pick up your child through the district communication channels.

6. During the reunification at the evacuation site, parents will be asked to remain in their cars and proceed through the line. Only parents or those listed as emergency contacts will be allowed to pick up a student. All parents and emergency contacts will be required to provide identification in order to pick up a student.

7. In an emergency, we ask that parents do not come to or call the school. It is important to keep the streets, parking area, and phone lines open for emergency responders and communication. We will provide information to parents through the district communication channels (see #2 and #3 above).

8. If your child has a medical condition, please make sure to have two sets of necessary items (medication/testers/ etc) available (one with you or at home) in case we cannot re-enter the school to retrieve it.

9. Following a crisis, the district will provide on-site counseling as needed, continue communication to parents regarding follow-up developments, and conduct debriefings with staff and responders to evaluate crisis response.