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School Safety Home Page

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Welcome to Palo Alto Council of PTA's (PTAC) Comprehensive School Safety Webpage.

The concept of School Safety encompasses protecting against any threats to our schoolchildren.  Because potential threats vary over time, school location, and even with current events,

Each of the sections below presents one view of this complex issue. Please choose the ones that interest you and follow the hypertext links.   Or check the What-Why-Where-Who-When-How Site Map for a detailed overview.   Throughout this site you'll find further explanations, descriptions, extracts from preparedness documents, legal references, frequently-asked-questions (FAQs), and links to other sites.

These pages will evolve over time.  Check the "last revised" date at the bottom of each page, and don't be afraid to ask for updates, especially if you find information you know to be out-of-date. 


School  Safety  Overview

• School Safety must be handled comprehensively.

California law mandates that all risks to children must be treated as part of a single comprehensive effort to anticipate, reduce, plan for, and respond to events that threaten the well-being of school children.  Risks are divided into three general categories depending on scope and severity.

» Comprehensive School Safety  
» Hazard vs Crisis vs Emergency  

School Safety is divided into Planning, Preparing, Responding, and Recovering phases.

A difficult job is a little less so when it's divided and assigned to people suited for each role.

» About Planning  
» About Preparing  
» About Responding  
» About Recovering  

School Safety is represented at all levels of government and society

Government and private organizations from the Federal Government down each make their contribution to the School safety picture.

» Federal School Safety Roles  
» State School Safety Roles  
» Regional Government School Safety Role  
» City of Palo Alto School Safety Role  
» NGOs and School Safety  

• PAUSD supervises all phases of School Safety.

Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) is responsible for overall planning, makes sure each school is adequately prepared, will coordinate site responses to the degree possible during emergencies, and will follow-up with recovery processes.

» District Responsibilities

PAUSD Website:  » Emergency Procedures
» PAUSD Emergency Preparedness Plan  
» PAUSD Crisis Response Manual  
» PAUSD Policies and Practices  
» School Safety Terminology  

Principals are responsible for school site emergency response.

Planning assumes that emergencies (think: a major earthquake) will likely isolate each school site, most critically, preventing them from receiving immediate help from outside. Thus each site is intended to be as self-sufficient as possible, and the site principal is in charge.

» Principal's Responsibilities  
» School Safety Terminology  

School sites are responsible for planning.

The Site Council at each site is the mandated originator and maintainer of the site School Safety Plan.

» Site Councils

» Site School Safety Plan  
» The Site Emergency Plan  
» Site School Safety Plan process  

PTA is a key advocate for maintaining and improving preparedness.

PTA's most important role is advocating for children, and it's our responsibility both to assist schools whenever we can and to press for improvements at every level.

» PTA Advocacy for School Safety  

PTA volunteers provide important site preparedness support.

PTA recruits at least one volunteer at each site to assist the principal and office staff in organizing and verifying emergency supplies. PTA may participate in broader preparedness activities at the site.

» PTA Site Volunteer Tasks  
» PTA Site Preparedness Activities  

Crisis response requires special handling.

Crisis is the term used to describe events caused by people that threaten the health or safety of school children.   These require special handling, not only because of the involvement of law enforcement agencies, but because of special needs to maintain privacy.

» Crisis Response Manual  

Other Resources:

» Bookshelf

» Information links  
» Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  


School Safety





Comprehensive School Safety (which includes Emergency Preparedness) for Palo Alto schools is the legal responsibility of the Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD).  Palo Alto PTA organizations provide volunteer assistance to PAUSD under the direction of District officials and site principals. The information in these web pages is presented for information only and does not represent official policy or practices of any organization.

9/28/06 18:24