The Amherst-Pelham School District has an obligation to provide
school facilities and administrative procedures that help to protect the
health and safety of students and staff in the event of an emergency or
disaster situation. The potential for emergency situations requires
planning and preparation, so that the actions initiated are appropriate,
timely, responsive, coordinated and are communicated to and understood
by staff, students, their parents, and other affected members of the
An emergency is a situation requiring evacuation and/or closure of
schools or cancellation/delay of transportation due to fire, inclement
weather, bomb threats, explosives, chemical spills, dangerous weapons or
other building plant problems, etc.
It is the policy of the Amherst-Pelham School District that each
school have clear, comprehensive emergency plans and guidelines
appropriate to the school and be prepared to act accordingly.
Individual school plans should concern actions to be taken in case of
evacuation (drill or actual), inclement weather, fire, building plant
emergency, bomb threats, chemical spills, etc. Plans should allow for
the school’s uniqueness, but also meet the need for the school to act in
concert with this policy and any associated guidelines. School plans
should incorporate safety of students and staff, parent communication,
building security, and means for alternative accommodations. Staff,
students and parents should be made aware of plans for their school.
4. School Responsibilities
Every building principal will appoint an emergency team who will
establish response guidelines that shall be followed in the event of
emergency situations. Guidelines shall be reviewed annually by the
Team and shall address the following:
a. Development of a high level of understanding concerning security and safety by all staff members, as appropriate.
b. Procedures for events such as fire, building collapse, bomb threat,
power outage, security breach (trespassers, intruders), and community
c. The conduct of emergency evacuation drills, as appropriate, in
concert with local agencies, detailing the procedures referred to in
subparagraph b. above.
d. Annual dissemination of written guidelines to staff, including substitute and temporary staff.
e. Notification to parents/guardians of procedures to be followed in the
event of emergency school closure, including a copy of the school’s
plans for meeting emergency situations. Each plan should address
conditions that are likely to occur when students are awaiting parent
pickup or school personnel are unable to notify families in accordance
with provisions on emergency notification cards.
f. Provisions for the evacuation of special needs students.
g. Training for all staff in handling emergency situations.
h. Provisions for communication with students and parents as fully as
possible, and as soon as possible about the nature of an emergency and
the actions taken in response to it.
5. District Responsibilities
a. The Superintendent is empowered to close any or all schools, delay
the start of schools or dismiss schools early in case of severe weather
or other emergencies which threaten the safety or welfare of students
b. In the event a decision is made to close, delay, or dismiss the
schools, the superintendent is responsible for communicating this
decision to building principals and to parents via local area radio
stations and other media outlets. A list of the outlets will be
provided to school principals at the beginning of the school year and
should be included in parent and staff handbooks.
c. The superintendent will publish district guidelines, in the form of a
School Safety Manual, for preparing for and responding to threats to
the safety and security of students and staff.
6. Parent Responsibilities
a. Parents are expected to provide the school with information about
how they can be reached in case of an emergency and about alternative
homes to which students can be taken when parents are not reachable.
a. In addition to information provided by principals to students and
parents, the Superintendent will ordinarily make information about
emergency closings available to the public through the district
newsline, district website and the media.
b. The Superintendent will notify the School Committee Chair, who will notify other Committee members.
MGL 71:55C and Acts of 1985c 614 Sec 1
Board of Education 603 CMR 36:00
Region Voted to Approve: 10/12/99
Amherst Voted to Approve:
Pelham Voted to Approve:
Effective Date: 10/12/99