Emergency Resources for Schools


Letter from Denise Juneau, Superintendent of Public Instruction
December 17, 2012
Resources for Emergency Planning and Traumatic Events

Dear Colleagues,

We know how hard our schools work every day to keep Montana children safe. In light of the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, the Office of Public Instruction would like to share some resources that may be helpful to you as your communities, school staff and children react to this horrific event.

If you have additional questions or need additional assistance, please contact Karin Billings at 406-444-0829 or KBillings@mt.gov or Cheri Seed at 406-444-3000 or CSeed@mt.gov.

Talking to Youth and Children about Traumatic Events:

The U.S. Department of Education has compiled resources from federal agencies and counseling experts to help adults give children the space to talk or express their emotions after traumatic events: http://rems.ed.gov/HelpingYouthandChildrenRecoverFromTraumaticEvents.aspx

Creating and Updating School Emergency Plans:

The U.S. Department of Education provides free tools and education programs to help schools plan how to prepare in an emergency event. The Department has compiled many of those tools here: http://rems.ed.gov/CreatingAndUpdatingSchoolEmergencyManagementPlans.aspx

One resource you may find particularly helpful is Early Warning, Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools. This guide offers research-based practices designed to assist school communities to identify warning signs early on and develop prevention, intervention and crisis response plans.

Trainings Available in Montana:

The Montana Safe Schools Center provides training, research and professional development services to schools and communities across Montana and throughout the U.S. This is provided from the campus of the University of Montana.

The OPI's Health Enhancement and Safety Division and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Disaster and Emergency Services have partnered to offer an 8-hour awareness level course for school administrators, their staff and emergency responders. Licensed staff who participate receive seven renewal credits. The next training is on January 3 in Ronan. For more information about this and future trainings, please contact Marschal Rothe, mrothe@mt.gov or 406-324-4776. These trainings are provided to school districts at no cost.

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