The U.S. Department of Education granted New Haven $93,831 to develop emergency plans in compliance with the National Incident Management System and to train staff in emergency-response skills and procedures.
“We want to be better able to respond in the event of a natural disaster, a threat of violence on one of our campuses or any other emergency situation,” Superintendent Dr. Pat Jaurequi said. Providing a safe learning environment, she noted, is one of the strategies called for by the students, parents, teachers, classified employees, administrators and other community members who crafted the New Haven Strategic Plan.
Dr. Jaurequi thanked District Risk Manager Janice Chin for her work in securing the grant, which will be implemented over 18 months.
“Janice has put us in a position where we can be proactive in putting emergency plans in place – whether we’re talking about an earthquake or a flu pandemic – and in getting our employees trained in what to do in an emergency so that they will be confident and comfortable doing it,” Dr. Jaurequi said.
“A plan isn’t much good unless people know how to follow it, so part of what we will do is conduct training exercises to cover a variety of situations,” Ms. Chin said. “We also want to make sure parents know about our emergency procedures; for example, when to come to the school to pick up their children in the event of an emergency and how to go about it.”
Ms. Chin heads the District’s Preparedness Committee, which will now include representatives of law enforcement agencies, public safety and health agencies, Office of Emergency Services representatives and others.