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Emergency Response and

Crisis Management Grant Evaluation


2005-07

eQuotient, Inc.
803 Trost Avenue
Cumberland, MD 21502
http://www.equotient.net
e-mail: equinfo@equotient.net
May 31, 2007
Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

Emergency Response and


Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07


eQuotient, Inc.
803 Trost Avenue
Cumberland, MD 21502
http://www.equotient.net
e-mail: equinfo@equotient.net
May 31, 2007

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

Table of Contents
List of tables, figures, and appendices.................................... ii-iii
1.0 Introduction...................................................................................................................1
2.0 Evaluation......................................................................................................................3
3.0 Project Management.......................................................................................................7
4.0 Professional Development..............................................................................................9
5.0 Emergency Plans..........................................................................................................12
6.0 Emergency Drills..........................................................................................................16
7.0 Communication, Collaboration, and Community Outreach........................................20
8.0 Perception of Schools Emergency Response and Crisis Management Plans...................26
9.0 Summary and Conclusions...........................................................................................29
References....................................................................................................................31
Appendices...................................................................................................................32

List of Tables
Table 2.1 Evaluation Framework...................................................................................... 4-6
Table 4.1 Grant Training Characteristics............................................................................10
Table 4.2 Teacher/Staff Training Survey Results.................................................................11
Table 4.3 Secretaries Training Survey Results.....................................................................11
Table 5.1 Emergency Plan Completeness...........................................................................13
Table 5.2 School Vulnerability Assessments........................................................................14
Table 6.1 Public School Emergency Drill Lockdown Data (N=19), percentage of total and mean..................18
Table 7.1 Activity Levels of Partners...................................................................................21
Table 7.2 Indicators of Collaboration Success....................................................................22
Table 7.3 School Safety Council Assessment......................................................................22
Table 7.4 Crisis Planning Performance Areas Assessment............................................. 23-24
Table 7.5 Overall Satisfaction with Grant, percentage of total............................................24
Table 8.1 Effective Schools Climate Survey for Parents.....................................................27
Table 8.2 Effective School Climate Survey for Teachers......................................................28

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

Appendices
A.1 Teacher/Staff Training Survey.............................................................................32
A.2 Secretary Training Survey...................................................................................34
A.3 School Emergency Plan......................................................................................36
A.4 Emergency Response Form.................................................................................38
A.5 Sample Table Top Drill.......................................................................................40
A.6 News Stories.......................................................................................................42
A.7 Braddock Middle School Drill Assessment Forms...............................................44
A.8 School Lockdown Comments.............................................................................46
A.9 Partner Survey....................................................................................................54
A.10 Hotline Flyer......................................................................................................56
A.11 Effective Schools Climate Survey, Parents...........................................................58
A.12 Effective Schools Climate Survey, Teachers.........................................................60
A.13 Follow-up Survey, Parents...................................................................................62
A.14 Follow-up Survey, Teachers.................................................................................64
A.15 Parent Comments...............................................................................................66
A.16 Teacher Comments............................................................................................74

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

1.0 Introduction
The Allegany County public school system’s Emergency Response and Crisis Management (ERCM)
project was designed to improve safety, security, and disaster planning, recovery, and response for 31
public and private schools in Allegany County. Providing Safe and Drug Free schools is an important
component of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and each school receiving funding under Title
IV is required to have a crisis management plan. Although the Allegany County Public School
system had such plans, assessments conducted in 2004 revealed that improvements were needed to
the management, staffing, planning, infrastructure, and documentation of the school crisis response
(Allegany County Board of Education 2004). Furthermore, vulnerability assessments conducted in
a June 2004 Allegany County Schools Vulnerability Survey for each school location revealed a need to
mitigate various vulnerabilities including such things as unsecured doors, proximity to hazardous
materials, proximity to flood plains, and lack of multiple evacuation routes.

In Fall 2004, the Allegany County Board of Education (BOE) was awarded a Emergency Response
and Crisis Management grant from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Safe and Drug-Free
Schools for the amount of $247,414. Matching funds and in-kind contributions of $66,754 were
provided by the BOE. The proposed project involved a multifaceted strategy to address gaps in crisis
preparedness and emergency response with the following elements:

• Hiring a full-time project coordinator to manage the project;


• Improving coordination between schools and local emergency (police, fire, Homeland
Security services) through the School Safety Council to improve emergency response;
• Developing and publishing written school-based and County wide emergency plans to
guide various aspects of crisis response;
• Training School Safety Council, administrators, teachers and staff in hazard identification
and crisis response;
• Training students on aspects of the new plan;
• Supplying hazard kits such as Trauma Bags and Go Kits to individual schools and
classrooms;
• Conducting two large-scale emergency drills (one at a public school and another at a private
school) and numerous “table-top” drills to evaluate emergency preparedness;
• Upgrading the telephone emergency communications through the ALLCONET II wireless
system in order to improve the ability to communicate between responders and schools;
• Broadcasting school information through a new countywide television channel;
• Conducting community outreach to increase crisis planning awareness and to advertise the
successes of the grant through appropriate media outlets.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

This report includes a review of the various components of the management plan and an evaluation of
expected and actual outcomes of the project. It also addresses benefits of the project that exceed the
scope of the project and evaluates the likelihood that the project can be sustained at current levels in
the future.

The report is divided into the following sections. The next section discusses the evaluation framework
proposed in the grant application for the project and provides a summary of research findings. The
third section reviews success in realizing various milestones and schedules for service delivery described
in the Management Plan. These include the components of staffing, training consultants and materials,
and equipment purchases. The fourth section describes professional development activities that were
sponsored by the grant and participant satisfaction with this training. These activities include training
involving School Safety Council members, Board of Education administrators, teachers, staff, and
students. The fifth section reviews the System and School Emergency Plans for completeness and
conformity with the goals of the ERCM grant and integration into the Allegany County Emergency
Plan. The sixth section addresses the various types of drills that were incorporated into the new
emergency plans and provides summary evaluations of two major school drills: one based at Braddock
Middle School and another drill at St. Michael’s School. The seventh section evaluates the quality of
communication and collaboration during the grant period. Components of this include: communication
systems interoperability, School Safety Council collaboration, and community outreach/publicity
efforts. The eighth section discusses changes in School Safety Council, parent, and teacher awareness
and confidence in school safety measures that resulted from grant activities. The final section includes
a summary of the report and describes how the improvements will be sustained in the future.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

2.0 Evaluation
This report examines the degree to which goals outlined in the Allegany County Emergency Response
and Crisis Management grant proposal were met. The areas of particular concern are stated on page
19 of the proposal and described in table 2.1 below. In brief, the proposal indicates the grant would
provide professional development centered around new Emergency Response and Crisis Management
plans, foster new collaborative partnerships with county/state/federal agencies, increase the number of
hazards addressed an improve emergency response, and develop capacities to help sustain the program
into the future. The project would also adhere to a management plan in which certain milestones for
service provision, purchasing, staff and student development, community awareness, internal review,
and external reporting were met.

A variety of quantitative and qualitative measures are used to assess project effectiveness. Most of these
measures are obtained from records kept by program staff and formal surveys. Copies of the latter are
provided in the report appendices and will be referenced elsewhere in the report.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

Table 2.1 Evaluation Framework

Objectives Data Sources Intended Outcomes Actual Outcomes


Deliver quality • Pre- and post- • Teacher’s apply • Training participation
professional tests of teacher and new knowledge as by teachers, staff, and
development based guidance counselor demonstrated in students exceeded
on the new Allegany knowledge/need for lesson plans, teaching grant milestones.
County Emergency and understanding of strategies.
• Teachers and staff
Response and Crisis new emergency plans.
• Teachers express training satisfaction
Management plan.
• Implementation of changed attitudes and surveys indicate
new plan. increased comfort with satisfaction with
using new emergency training.
• Participation rates in
plans.
on-line training. • Expanded and more
• Teachers demonstrate comprehensive school-
• Reviews of new
proficiency with based drills provide
school plans.
awareness. evidence of improved
• Awareness of coordination and
• Teachers integrate
community television response.
new processes into
channel and wireless
their plans and • Teacher pre- and
telephone system.
methodology. post surveys indicate
• Teacher, guidance safety environment,
counselor, student and emergency plans,
parent perceptions. and crisis preparation
improved.
• Parent pre- and
post surveys indicate
safety environment,
emergency plans,
and crisis preparation
improved.

continued on next page

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

Table 2.1 Evaluation Framework continued from previous page

Objectives Data Sources Intended Outcomes Actual Outcomes


Develop and maintain • Interactions and • Commitment to • Partners agreed
strong collaborative relationships through common goals. that they understood
partnerships with observations Partner their roles, have good
• Making and carrying
county/state/federal Interviews relationships, and have
out decisions.
agencies. Collaboration Self- clear and effective
Evaluation Tool. • Sustaining decision making
relationships. procedures.
• Sharing ownership • Partners agree that
and accountability for strategies of grant were
results. implemented and
demonstrated positive
• School, school system outcomes.
and partner support
for the program.

Increase number of • New school • Increased participant • New school Plans


hazards addressed Emergency knowledge of potential address approximately
and improve response Response and Crisis crisis situations as 50 different hazards
time and quality of Management plans. demonstrated in compared to only 10
response. simulated crisis drills. in old school plans.
• Evaluations of
practice drills/exercises. • Increased participant • Emergency drills
performance as provide evidence of
• Evaluations of
measured by 2003 improved response and
partners.
baseline school coordination.
• Evaluation of table emergency plans.
• Teacher pre- and
top drills.
• Increased post surveys indicate
participant attitudes safety environment,
and appreciation emergency plans,
for improved crisis and crisis preparation
management. improved.
• Parent pre- and
post surveys indicate
safety environment,
emergency plans,
and crisis preparation
improved.

continued on next page

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

Table 2.1 Evaluation Framework continued from previous page

Objectives Data Sources Intended Outcomes Actual Outcomes


Develop resources used • Trauma bags. Development of • Trauma bags
to replicate and sustain training and materials purchased and installed.
• On-line FEMA
the program. that can be used to
courses. • On-line FEMA
sustain and extend the
courses promotion
• Local school system Program.
occurred.
resource and product
support. • Wireless telephone
system installed for 11
• Wireless telephone
schools.
system for 9 locations.
• New Emergency
• New Emergency
Response and Crisis
Response and Crisis
Management Plans
Management plans.
created for each school,
central office, and
system.
• Trained School Safety
Council members will
continue staff training
in the future.

Source: Allegany County Board of Education (2004)

In subsequent sections, this report addresses the three Emergency Response and Crisis Management
(ERCM) Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) measures. These include: (1)
“Demonstration of increased number of hazards addressed by the improved school emergency
response plan as compared to the baseline plan,” (2) “Demonstration of improved response time and
quality of response to practice drills and simulated crises”, (3) “A plan for, and commitment to, the
sustainability and continuous improvement of school emergency response plans by the district and
community partners beyond the period of Federal financial assistant.”

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

3.0 Project Management


3.1 Staffing

The grant was administered by a full-time Coordinator who was projected by the grant application
to begin employment in September 2004. However, there were delays in the process of securing
funds and coordinating with other agencies involved in the Coordinator hiring decision,
including the Allegany County Government. The actual hire, Mr. Todd Lake, a retired U.S.
Navy commissioned officer with experience in safety and risk management, occurred nearly 6
months later in February 2005 and work commenced in spring 2005. Delays in this process later
required that the project be extended by approximately one year Mr. Lake worked full-time until
December 2006 and switched to part-time employment during the final 3 months of the project
in 2007. Additional administrative support (including the services of an administrative assistant)
was provided within the Office of Health and Family Life.

Prior to the ERCM grant, the Board of Education had not been able to employ a full-time security/
emergency director/planner because of funding limitations. The grant enabled this position to
be funded on a temporary basis to develop institutional capacity and thereafter permit existing
personnel to coordinate the processes that were developed during the grant period (e.g., regular
review of Emergency Plans).

The grant was coordinated in conjunction with the Public School Safety Council which changed
its name to the School Safety Council. This change was made to reflect its charge of coordinating
safety measures for all public and private schools as specified in grant and resulted in the expansion
of membership to include administrators from those schools. The Council includes several Public
School Administrators including the Director of Emergency Management (Todd Lake), the
Transportation Supervisor, the Maintenance Supervisor, and the Plant Operations Supervisor.
The Council membership represents a wide cross-section of area agencies including representatives
from local law enforcement, emergency responders, health, and mental health. Membership also
includes parents and students—though attendance by these members was sporadic. Members of
the business and community are not currently included in the membership, but they were kept
apprised of school safety issues through community outreach activities described elsewhere.

The School Safety Council meets on a monthly basis, the last Thursday of every month.
Records indicate that membership participation improved during the period of the execution
of the grant. Informal observation suggests that grant sponsored activities heightened interest
in attending the meetings.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

3.2 Training Consultants and Materials

The project adopted a “train the trainer” approach to staff and student training. Nine members
of the School Security Council, including first responders, the Local Emergency Management
Director, Head of School Security, and Assistant Supervisor of Health and Family Life obtained
Emergency Response and Crisis Management training in a Emittsburg, Maryland workshop
provided by Bruce Marshall of Marshall ASA on May 1-5. Marshall is a retired Chief of the
Support Systems Branch in the Training Division of FEMA’s Preparedness Directorate and was
responsible for FEMA training activities there. As a private consultant, he is a certified trainer
for FEMA’s Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools. The curriculum was based on the
Federal Emergency Management Agency manual Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools
Train-the-Trainer.

The core group trained at this workshop was certified to train others. Marshall conducted the first
several sessions but thereafter training was provided by them for school teachers and staff at Allegany
College of Maryland on dates described in Section 4.1 below. The training utilized a manual,
PowerPoint presentation, and the video The First Twenty Minutes. Training participants received
a variety of course materials. These included the FEMA student manuals, Emergency Planning
Guidelines along with school Emergency Plan template, a copy of the Governor of Colorado’s
Columbine Commission Report (http://www.state.co.us/columbine/Columbine_20Report_WEB.
pdf), and a copy of the brochure Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and
Communities. Training emphasized all four phases of crisis management (mitigation/prevention,
preparedness, response and recovery). Participants in the original training were also briefed on the
availability of online course study materials at the FEMA Emergency Management Institute website
(http://www.training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/crslist.asp).

A modified curriculum was offered to selected other groups. For instance, training was extended to
school secretaries (not outlined in the original grant proposal) which included specialized training
on “skills for dealing with frantic phone calls during emergencies” and providing basic awareness
about school emergency planning preparedness such as the various types of school drills and
their rationales. Student volunteers were recruited for training that was conducted at Frostburg
State University. Presentations were given on the Allegany County Schools emergency plans and
emergency drills. Students also participated in table top exercises.

Some adjustments in curriculum, training delivery, and participation described in the original
grant application occurred during the project. For instance, guidance counselors participated
along with other staff in staff training. However, they were not utilized to train others as specified
in the grant. In addition, “front-line” staff such as bus drivers, custodians, and school cafeteria
workers were included in staff training. This was not described in the grant application but at
least one grant referee remarked about their exclusion. Finally, the grant application indicated
that curriculum and training would be based on materials obtained from the Renew Center for
Personal Recovery (http://www.renew.net) but the Marshall ASA training aligned better with the
objectives of the project.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

3.3 Equipment Purchases

A relatively small portion of the grant was dedicated to equipment and technology purchases.
The grant specified that 9 schools would receive wireless equipment for schools to enable a robust
wireless communication network to be installed to assist in crisis response. During the grant
period, 11 schools received the equipment. They included the following schools: Allegany High
School, Braddock Middle School, Cash Valley Elementary, Career and Technical Center, Eckhart
School (Alternative School), Frost Elementary, George’s Creek Elementary, Parkside Elementary,
South Penn Elementary, Washington Middle School, and West Side Elementary.

Each school was equipped with a Trauma Bag and each school classroom received an emergency
kit. Training regarding the purpose and use of these materials were provided to teachers, staff,
and students.

4.0 Professional Development


Responder, staff and teacher training was a central part of the ERCM grant. This training was based on
the Multi-hazard Emergency planning curriculum and was designed to both increase awareness and to
help schools develop a proper emergency response. Training occurred throughout the grant period and
was offered in a variety of time and thematic formats that met the needs of different audiences. This
section reviews participation levels and satisfaction with the training activities.

4.1 Participation

Training Dates, topics, and attendance numbers for the grant period are shown in table 4.1. The
grant application specified that 150 teachers/guidance counselors would be trained as a result of
the grant. In actuality, approximately 3 times as many teachers and staffed were trained. This
total includes approximately 250 teachers and an additional 200 other staff (including principals,
school nurses, guidance counselors, secretaries, receptionists, custodians, bus drivers, and cafeteria
works). For some of the sessions, staff from other agencies were invited to attend. So, their
attendance will be reflected in the attendance totals (517 in total). The grant also specified that
150 students (p. 12) would be trained. Approximately 200 students were actually trained.
Although online independent study courses available at the FEMA Emergency Management
Institute website were promoted during various presentations, no documentation was available to
support that these study courses were used by teachers and staff. Also, there is no evidence that
parents were included were trained in Emergency Response. However, outreach activities were
conducted to familiarize parents and the community with the enhanced Emergency preparation
plans that were being implemented.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

Table 4.1 Grant Training Characteristics

Date Location Topic Attendance


Multi-Hazard Emergency
April 26-27, 2005 Allegany College of Maryland 50 each day
Planning
Emergency Planning
May 1-5, 2005 Emittsburg, MD 9 people
Training Team
Multi-Hazard Emergency
May 19-20, 200 Federal Correctional Institution 50 each day
Planning
Multi-Hazard Emergency 20 day 1;
Aug 2, 3, 2005 Allegany College of Maryland
Planning 30 day 2
Multi-Hazard Emergency 27 day 1;
Aug 10-11, 2005 Allegany College of Maryland
Planning 30 day 2
Condensed course to 23
Aug 22, 2005 Allegany County Health Dept. 25
school nurses
Condensed Course
for BOE Directors
Sep 9, 2005 Allegany College of Maryland 12
Supervisors, and Key
Personnel
Multi-Hazard emergency
June 14-15, 2006 Allegany College of Maryland 38
planning training
Multi-Hazard emergency
June 28-29, 2006 Allegany College of Maryland 40
planning training
Multi-Hazard Emergency
July 19-20, 2006 Allegany College of Maryland 27
planning training
Multi-Hazard Emergency
Aug 9-10, 2006 Allegany College of Maryland 44
Planning training
January 19 2007 Secretary training 73
102 day 1;
February 1-2 2007 Frostburg State University Student Training
94 day 2
Community Emergency
March 26-27, 2007 Response Training 12
(CERT)
Central Office
Receptionist Training
March 30, 2007 on Emergency 30
communication and
coordination

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

4.2 Satisfaction with Training

Teacher and staff training participants were provided feedback survey forms (see Appendix A.1 for
a copy of the Teacher/Staff survey form and Appendix A.2 for the Secretary training form) at the
conclusion of the training sessions. Results from these surveys (see tables 4.2 and 4.3) indicate a
high level of satisfaction with the training with all of the participants reporting that the training
was “good” or better.

Table 4.2 Teacher/Staff Training Survey Results

# %
Excellent (5) 99 54.40
Very good (4) 74 40.66
Good (3) 9 4.95
Fair (2) 0 0.00
Poor (1) 0 0.00
Mean 4.49 100.00

Table 4.3 Secretaries Training Survey Results, percentages of Total (N=37)

Excellent Good Fair Poor Mean


Did today’s session meet all of the 3.86
86.49 13.51 0.00 0.00
objectives of the agenda?
How well did the session meet your
81.08 18.92 0 0 3.81
objectives?
Was the information presented new
75.68 24.32 0 0 3.76
and useful?
Were today’s topics covered in
81.08 18.92 0 0 3.81
enough detail?

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

5.0 Emergency Plans


Written Emergency Plans for each school were available prior to this grant. However, the plans did
not address the various requirements of modern crisis management including an Incident Command
System, accommodation for the four phases of Emergency Management, and preparations for a variety of
drill scenarios. The original plans were based on an ad-hoc template developed by Beall High Principal,
Mr. Greg Smith, and included preparation details for only two drills, evacuation and lock-down and
addressed only ten threats/hazards (i.e., bomb threat/bombing, drive-by shooting, death/homicide,
weapons/shooting on campus, trespassing/intruder, intrudes inside building, hostage, kidnapping,
intruders outside building, hazardous materials). These hazards were not tailored to the needs and
circumstances of each school but were identified as system-wide threats and school emergency plans
adopted a common rubric.

During the grant period, new Emergency Plans were created for each public and private school using
the Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools curriculum and guidelines provided in an Emergency
Planning Guidelines for Schools (BOE 2005) that was distributed to participating school personnel.
These materials are available from the U.S. Department of Education and address all four phases of
crisis planning, including mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The Guide included five
chapters which cover background information useful in developing a plan: Chapter 1 -- the duties and
responsibilities of key school personnel; Chapter 2 – key characteristics of an Emergency Plan and a
description of the School incident command system; Chapter 3 – the four phases of crisis planning;
Chapter 4 – preparing for terrorist attacks; and Chapter 5 – how to conduct various kinds of drills and
tests for practicing the plan.

The appendix also contains a school Emergency Plan template which can be adapted by individual
schools. The template required that schools provide customized information in the following areas:
(1) Introduction -- a list of agencies that will received copies of the document, and a statement by the
school principal about the importance of crisis planning; (2) Risk Analysis -- a vulnerability analysis
of school hazards likelihood and seriousness, (3) Planning – a description of the school Incident
Command System Structure and responsibilities of key administrators and staff, (4) Response –
guidelines for contacting Emergency dispatchers, information on establishing an command post, an
emergency checklist, and descriptions of lockdown, evacuation, and remaining in place procedures, (5)
Media Procedures – guidelines for media relations and a list of local media contacts, (6) Parent/Student
Reunification – rules and procedures for releasing children to the custody of their parents, (7) Recovery
– information on the issues that staff will likely deal with in recovering from an emergency such as
grieving, (8) Contact Information – phone numbers for key Emergency personnel and school offices
and addresses and phone numbers for evacuation sites, (9) Staff Recall – phone numbers for each school
teacher and member of staff, (10) Emergency Phone Numbers, (11) Teletree – a hierarchical school
personnel contact list to ensure that each staff member stays informed, (12) Staff Personal Information

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

– a complete list of staff members along with their home contact information and contact information
for their spouses/guardians, (13) Floor Plans – a floor layout for each floor in the school facility, and
(14) Staff Checklist – a checklist to be used in the event of emergencies. Because the Central Office has
no students, its Emergency Plan does not include sections pertinent to student management.

A review of individual school plans revealed that they had mostly adhered closely to the guidelines.
However, some expected elements were missing. A representative plan is included in Appendix A.3
of this report. Details about recovery activities are the least specific because they are to be coordinated
by Central Office staff and involve certified counselors. Table 5.1 provides an assessment of the
completeness of plans as they relate to features recommended in Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for
Schools Train the Trainer.

Table 5.1 Emergency Plan Completeness

Do Plans Include? Sections


1. When it will be activated and by whom? Planning
2. General areas of responsibility, by position? Planning
3. How school personnel will work with the local Emergency
Response
Manager and first responders?
4. A statement concerning liability issues? N/A
5. How the response will be coordinated and by whom? Response
6. How school personnel will communicate? Teletree
7. How parents and others will be notified that an emergency exists? N/A
8. Who will deal with the media and how? Media Procedures
9. When an evacuation will be ordered? Mitigation
10. How sheltering will be accomplished? Response
11. How students and staff will be provide with food, medical care,
Response
and other essential supplies?
12. How the school will locate, obtain, and distribute resources? Response
13. Procedures for assessing and documenting damage? Response
14. Procedures for conducting search and rescue operations? Response
15. Procedures for student/parent reunification? Parent/Student
Reunification
Source: FEMA. 2006. Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools Train-the-Trainer

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

The plans also show an increase in the number of vulnerabilities addressed by the school system as a
whole. A major objective as stated in the grant application was to increase the scope of vulnerabilities
addressed from merely “intruders, suicide and bomb threats” and expand the total number of
vulnerabilities addressed from 8 to 48. Increasing the number of vulnerabilities addressed is also an
ERCM GPRA performance measure.

Table 5.2 indicates that this objective was achieved with 50 total vulnerabilities identified, including
natural disasters, human caused disasters (e.g., chemical spills), crime and violence, and terrorism.

Table 5.2 School Vulnerability Assessments

Access to skill bldg-multiple entrances/exits Highway accident/spill


Agitated student/parent Hunting accident
Aircraft crash Loss of power
Bank robbery Maintenance shed spill
Blizzard/Snow/Ice Major school incident
Bomb threat Missing child
Bus/vehicle accident Natural disaster
Chemical leak (rail) Non-custodial parent
Chemical spill Oil tanks
Chemical mix – bad Pandemic flu
Contaminated mail Prison escape
Courthouse incident Railroad/train derailment
Electrical wiring Severe weather
Explosion in school Shooter–criminal
Explosion in nearby store Snake/animal bite
Explosion in factory Stray animals
Fire (school) Student kidnapping
Fire (forest) Student with weapon
Flood Terrorist
Gunman in building Threatening person
Hazmat truck spill/explosion Tornado
Hostage Traffic accident
Internal-boilers, gas lines Violent child
Interior-machinery, chemicals, tools Wild animal
Intruder Wind damage

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

As mentioned earlier, rather than adopt a common template, each school self-identified vulnerabilities
based on individual risk assessments. There are both advantages and disadvantages to this “bottom-up”
approach. The advantage is that schools are more likely to identify unique situations or circumstances
that affect school emergency preparedness (e.g., the presence of a nearby railroad, risks of flash flooding).
The disadvantage of this method is that schools may overlook some common threats or vulnerabilities
or that vulnerabilities are assessed in a way which are inconsistent from school to school (e.g., a few
schools did not identify a building fire or bus accidents as vulnerabilities even though they have a
relatively high likelihood of occurrence and severity everywhere). This occurred despite the preparation
of a document (Emergency Planning Guideline, July 1, 2005) which (Chapter 3, page 4) stated that “At
a minimum, the following hazards must be addressed in your school’s emergency plan: chemical spill,
fire, explosion, bomb threat, terrorism, to include a chemical or biological attack and an attack against
local military installations, school violence, to include an armed intruder, any commercial endeavor
that deals in hazardous or explosive material (For example, ATK or the paper mill), tornado, major
winter storm, severe lightening storm, civil disturbance, loss of electricity, loss of communication,
bus accident, any community incident that will adversely impact the emotional well being of staff
and students, suicide of staff or student, death of Staff or student, kidnapping).” Given this situation,
school administrators or School Safety Council members should consider providing additional “top-
down” guidance to principals in revising the school-based vulnerability assessments in the next year.

This evaluation was not able to determine to what degree the Board of Education Emergency
Plans are integrated into the County-wide Emergency plan. The County plan is posted at:
http://www.eplan.allconet.org but it is for internal use only and access is restricted to designated
school, County, and public safety personnel. However, project staff indicated that the plans are
acknowledged and referenced in this County plan.

Several other gaps are identified in the emergency plans. First, many plans do not address the needs of
special populations such as disabled students. For instance, Beall Elementary, which is not handicap
accessible, makes no reference to either its special populations or their unique “communication,
transportation, and medical needs” (p. 13, grant application). Second, plans were supposed to address
how the schools would be prepared to “stand alone for up to 72 hours” (Emergency Planning Guideline,
July 1, 2005, Chapter 3, page 4) but this is not referenced in the Emergency Plans. Third, Board of
Education (BOE) reporting procedures following incidents or drills is not documented, even though
an Emergency Response Form (see Appendix A.4) has been created for this purpose. Fourth, the parts
of the School plans that address “Recovery” indicate that “the BOE will set the direction for recovery
activities.” However, there was no documentation available that showed how the various medical,
infrastructure, insurance, liability issues might be addressed during the recovery phase.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

6.0 Drills
During the grant period, public and private school personnel were introduced to new drill methods and
tabletop drill techniques. In addition, a major disaster drill was conducted at Braddock Middle School
and smaller scale drill was performed at St. Michael’s private school. During the fall 2006, the public
school system conducted its first system-wide lockdown of all 23 schools. Documentation from these
exercises suggests that many lessons were learned by school personnel and emergency responders and
that emergency response has benefited. However, no quantitative evidence was available that showed
improved response times or improved quality of response.

6.1 Types and Frequency of Emergency Drills.

Prior to the grant, the schools conducted what could be described as traditional fire drills and
an occasional lock down. There were no evacuation drills. Now, a variety of different types of
drills (“response postures”) are conducted on a regular basis including the following:

• Evacuation/fire drills. This drill prepared students to leave the building quickly and safely
in the event of a fire or other dangerous condition within the building.

• Reverse Evacuation drills. Students return to the school from the outside in order to avoid
a dangerous situation outside.

• Lockdown drills. Students are locked within individual school classrooms in order to
protect against dangerous individuals inside or outside the school building.

• Lock-In drills. Entry doors for the school are locked and ingress and egress are prevented
to protect against dangerous individuals outside the school building.

• Shelter-in-Place drills. Students move to a secure part of the building where doors and
windows can be covered to protect against dangerous substances and vapors.

• Drop, Cover, and Hold drills. Students find a secure place within the classroom and
crouch to protect against flying or falling objects.

School based emergency plans indicate that that the schools will conduct monthly fire drills each
year and each of the remaining drills at least once during the year.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

6.2 Tabletop Drills

Throughout the grant period, a wide variety of tabletop drills were conducted to improve
Emergency Preparedness. In these drills, an emergency scenario was described and participants
were asked to provide a detailed description of how they would react to the scenario (see
Appendix A.5). School based emergency plans indicate that schools will conduct at least two
table top drills each year.

6.3 Braddock Middle School Evacuation Drill

The public school evacuation drill was conducted at Braddock Middle School. The drill involved
15 local agencies, including Allegany County Emergency Services and communication, Allegany
County Health Department, Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, Allegany High School, Allegany
County Board of Education, Braddock Middle School, Community Crisis Response Team,
Cumberland City Fire Department, Cumberland City Police Department, Hazardous Incident
Response Team, Local Emergency Medical Services, Maryland State Police, and Western Maryland
Health Systems.

The drill scenario was a terrorist attack involving a stolen crop duster which dispenses 80 gallons
of a toxic liquid substance on students and then crashes into the school gym. The drill was
preceded by several planning meetings with the participating agencies and two tabletop exercises.
Parental and community awareness of the drill was conducted through news media stories (see
Appendix A.6), parental notification and permission forms, and a neighborhood flyer. The actual
drill was held on October 11, 2005 with other public schools invoking a lock-down during the
time that the drill occurred. Formal assessment of the lockdowns was conducted using the form
included in Appendix A.7.

Table 6.1 summarizes the results of the drill lockdown survey of 19 public and private schools.
Overall, there was a high level of satisfaction with the lock-down drills. However, some problems
were identified, particularly in communications. Some principals identified the paging system as a
problem area (see Appendix A.8). A typical response: “Paging system was garbled at times. Message
need to be shorter and directions given immediately.” Other principals indicated that two-way
radios were effective ways of communicating with the Central Office and the Incident Command
System. However, not all schools had these devices and some schools that had them indicated
they could use more of them. Some participating schools used cell phones for communication but
found that battery life was too limited for continued use. A handful of schools reported problems
with individual doors and windows that prevented them from achieving a complete lock-down.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

An assessment of the Braddock Drill by participating agencies was conducted after the drill. Written
suggestions for improvements were made in a number of areas. The role of the school nurse, need
for additional adjustments to improve internal communications, need to improve communications
interoperability, and need to provide better guidelines for communicating with the public were
identified. Agencies also suggested that the amount of personnel and communication resources
available were inadequate for this kind of emergency but addressing these questions is beyond the
scope of this grant.

Table 6.1 Public School Emergency Drill Lockdown Data (N=19), percentage of total and mean.

(3) (2) (1) Mean

Planning
Emergency Planning Team Established 68 32 0 2.68
Emergency Plan in Place 63 37 0 2.63
Lockdown duties and responsibilities explained to staff 79 16 5 2.73
Students Trained on Lockdown Response 74 26 0 2.73
Parents informed/educated on lockdown response 63 37 0 2.63

Response
Communication to/from central office (Paging System) 48 26 26 1.78
Timely decision to lockdown made 79 21 0 2.78
ICS Activated 68 32 0 2.68
Lockdown Announcement/notification 84 16 0 2.84
Lockdown executed as planned 79 21 0 2.78
Lockdown evaluated 84 11 5 2.78
Lockdown ended per the plan 74 16 11 2.63

Recovery
Lessons learned input from staff 72 28 0 2.72
Lessons learned input from students 56 28 17 2.38
Letter sent home to parents explaining the drill 63 26 11 2.52
Emergency plan modified based on lessons learned 67 33 0 2.66

3=Outstanding, 2=Satisfactory, 1=Needs Improvement

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

6.4 St. Michaels Private School Drill

St. Michaels Elementary School was selected as the site of the private school evacuation drill. The
drill conducted on November 14, 2006 was of a much smaller scale (far fewer agencies and partners
involved and far fewer students impacted) than the Braddock evacuation drill but still required
advanced planning. The drill was preceded by two planning meetings and two tabletop drills with
other participating agencies including Frost Elementary Bishop Walsh, Allegany County Board of
Education, Frostburg City Police, and Frostburg State University .

The drill scenario involved a power outage that resulted in loss of electric and heat at the school
facility. The school invoked its Emergency Plan and conducted a bus evacuation to Frost Elementary
School. When students from St. Michaels arrived, Frost Elementary conducted a lock-down drill.
Responses from both elementary schools indicated that the drill proceeded well. However, there
was some confusion on the part of Frost Elementary about how to dismiss students whose parents
arrive during a lock-down situation.

6.5 Drill Improved Response Time and Quality of Response

No documentation is available for individual schools on how response times and quality of
response to practice drills and simulations were improved as a result of the grant. However, several
school principals reported that response times and/or quality of response improved because of the
training and drill procedures introduced by the grant.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

7.0 Communication and Collaboration


An important goal of the ERCM grant was to improve interagency communication and collaboration. This
was accomplished through a variety of methods, including the adoption of an ICS, telecommunications
equipment purchases, regular meetings of the School Safety Council, and Publicity/Marketing/Outreach
efforts. Accomplishments in these areas are documented in the following subsections.

7.1 Communication systems and interoperability

At the beginning of the grant period, the Allegany County Board of Education adopted a NIMS
(National Incident Management System) resolution. The Incident Command System became the
organizational structure around which internal and external communication coalesced and the
chain of command was formalized during emergency response. In addition, several investments
in telecommunications and radio systems capacity were leveraged by grant funds to improve
emergency communication among school staff, with first responders, and with members of the
public. These improvements and planned improvements are as follows:

• Wireless system improvements. Because wireless access is relatively spotty in the mountainous
areas of the county, 11 schools received wireless system upgrades.

• Pagers. Key central office staff use pagers to obtain immediate information about
emergency situations.

• Portable two way radios. The Allegany County Department of Public Safety and Homeland
Security provided 30 handheld portable two way radios and chargers to the Board of Education.
Each school and key Central Office staff will receive one radio to communicate with first
responders and in others within the ICS.

• Cell phones. The Board of Education is exploring the possibility of providing school and key
central office staff with cell phones to improve communications.

• Base radio stations. The Board of Education is investigating the possibility of purchasing
base radio stations which would be installed in school and other BOE buildings to provide a
permanent basis for communicating with first responders. Grant funds are being sought for
these purchases.

• Cable Television Broadcasts. Memoranda of Understanding are being developed


with the three Allegany County cable providers to provide an integrated County-wide
Government Access channel to provide Emergency Communications messages to the
public. Equipment purchases were made in March 2007 and the equipment will be
installed at the Career Center in Cresaptown.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

7. 2 Collaboration

The coordinating or steering entity for the ECRM project was the School Safety Council.
Therefore, this body conducted a self-assessment at the conclusion of the project. In March
2007, a survey of collaboration effectiveness was conducted to gauge the extent of cooperation
and communication among participants and agencies included on the School Safety Council
and to measure their satisfaction that the ECRM grant had achieved its objectives. This survey is
included in Appendix A.9. Eleven responses were received.

Table 7.1 indicates that all but one of the respondents indicated that they were at least “somewhat
active” during the grant period. Table 7.2 provides evidence that council members were satisfied
with the makeup of the Council, that members communicated clearly during meetings, and that
they understood the goals of the project. Members also agreed that the council had clear and
effective decision making processes, that members understood their roles, and that members have
relationships built on trust and mutual respect. Results indicated that some members had little
contact with other School Safety members between meetings. That makes attendance at regularly
scheduled meetings that much more important.

Table 7.1 Activity Levels of Partners

# %
Very active 7 63.64
Somewhat active 3 27.27
Not very active 1 9.09
Inactive

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

Table 7.2 Indicators of Collaboration Success



% Agree
The composition of the Safety Council team was “right” for this program. 100
The composition of the Safety Council is appropriate for making Emergency 100
Management decisions.
The Safety Council communicated openly and clearly during meetings. 100
The Safety Council communicated openly and clearly between meetings. 73
Members of the Safety Council established informal communication networks (e- 64
mail communication, phone calls, etc.).
Members of the Safety Council staff have relationships built on trust and mutual respect. 91
I understand the goals and objectives of the Emergency Response and Crisis 100
Management project.
I understand my roles and responsibilities as a member of this project. 91
The Safety Council has clear and effective decision making procedures. 91

Table 7.3 shows School Safety Council assessments of the success of the project. Members of the
School Safety Council were in agreement that the grant strategies had been implemented and that
they were demonstrating positive outcomes. They also indicated that community awareness of Crisis
Management had increased during the grant period.

Table 7.3 School Safety Council Assessment

% Agree
Community awareness of Crisis Management has increased in the past year. 90
Resources for this project were adequate to meet objectives. 70
The strategies of this grant have been implemented. 100
The strategies of this grant are demonstrating positive outcomes. 100

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

Members appraised twelve different areas of grant performance. These results are presented in table 7.4.
They indicate that members were satisfied with the completeness of the Emergency Plans that were
developed during the grant period and that these plans addressed a greater number of hazards. They
also agreed that the ICS was effective and that coordination among schools and emergency services had
improved. Some areas rated below a “3” (Good), including “Quality of Student Training,” “Planning
for Special Needs students,” and “Quality of Paging Communication System.” Since student training
occurred towards the end of the grant period (February 2007), members may have not been adequately
briefed about the extent and results of student training. Defects in the paging communication system
were being addressed with an improved pager procedures and also supplemental telecommunications
equipment such as cell phones and portable two way radios. Despite these concerns, table 7.5 indicates
that all of the surveyed School Safety members were satisfied with the grant

Table 7.4. Crisis Planning Performance Areas Assessment, percentage of total.

(4) (3) (2) (1) (0)


Excellent Good Minimal Inadequate NA
Completeness of school
45.45 54.55 0.00 0.00 0.00
emergency response plans (3.45)
Demonstration of increased
number of hazards addressed by
36.36 63.64 0.00 0.00 0.00
new school emergency response
plans (3.36)
Demonstration of improved
coordination between schools
and local emergency services 54.55 45.55 0.00 0.00 0.00
(e.g., police, fire, health system,
Homeland Security) (3.54)
Quality of staff training (3.30) 45.55 27.27 18.18 0.0 9.09
Quality of student training (2.89) 27.27 27.27 18.18 9.09 18.18
Inclusion of First Responders in
36.36 54.55 9.09 0.0 0.0
planning (3.27)
Planning for Special Needs
27.27 27.27 45.45 0.0 0.0
students (2.82)
Demonstration of improved
response time and quality of
36.36 63.64 0.0 0.0 0.0
response to practice drills and
simulated crises (3.36)

continued on next page

23
Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

Table 7.4. Crisis Planning Performance Areas Assessment, percentage of total.


continued from previous page

(4) (3) (2) (1) (0)


Excellent Good Minimal Inadequate NA
Plans and commitment by the
school district and community
partners for the emergency
36.36 54.55 0.00 9.09 0.00
response plans to be sustained
beyond the grant funding period
(3.18)
Integration of the School
Emergency Plans into the County 27.27 63.64 9.09 0.00 0.00
Emergency Plan (3.18)
Effectiveness of the Incident
45.45 54.55 0.00 0.00 0.00
Command System (ICS) (3.45)
Quality of the paging
0.00 72.73 9.09 0.00 18.18
communication system (2.89)

Table 7.5 Overall Satisfaction with the Grant, percentage of total.

Very Satisfied 27.27


Satisfied 72.73
Somewhat Satisfied 0.00
Somewhat Dissatisfied 0.00
Not satisfied at all 0.00

Because of the partnerships that formed and information that was shared among School Safety
Council members, additional resources were secured that strengthened grant objectives. They
include the following:
• As a result of the Braddock Middle School Emergency Drill, the Health Department made
changes in the supply of medications available for Emergency response.
• With funding from the Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Services, the State Police
were able to develop a Virtual Emergency Response System (MVERS) for Mt. Savage
Elementary/Middle School. The grant provided smart car laptops, software, and training
to develop the capability. State police filmed the interior of Mt. Savage Elementary/Middle
School in panoramic camera film/video in order to provide a complete layout of the building
that would be available to multiple responders in the event of an emergency situation.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

• The Allegany County Emergency Management Office is purchasing portable radios (12-18)
to help schools communicate better with first responders in the event of an emergency.
• The Allegany County School Board is securing funds for the installation of security cameras
at the entrance(s) of public schools. The goal is to have each school in the system covered
by cameras in FY08.
• The Allegany County Homeland Security Office helped to offset some of the costs of the
Braddock Middle School drill.

3.3 Publicity

During the year, the Grant project director disseminated information about the enhanced
emergency preparedness efforts to partners, school personnel, students, and the general public.
Before each of the two major school based drills, major news stories appeared in the local
newspaper, the Cumberland Times-News, and local radio stations (see Appendix A.6). Parents of
school pupils involved in the exercises and neighborhood residents were kept apprised of the drills
through leaflet announcements. In addition, the project director made several presentations to
local civic community groups such as the Kiwanis and Lions Clubs.

With grant funds, enhanced publicity was also provided for the 1-800-TIP-US-OFF 24 hours
HELP LINE (see Appendix A.10). Funds were used to help defray the cost of flyer production
and a billboard. In addition, announcements prepared by school children were regularly aired on
WCBC radio station.

Several publicity efforts were not completed in their entirety during the grant period. The previous
sections discuss that efforts continue in implementing the regionally integrated Community
Television channel which will be used to broadcast emergency messages along with other content.
In addition, an ERCM website for the Allegany County Board of Education was not functional
by the end of the grant. Although there was an opportunity to publicize better emergency
preparedness to parents such as the need for homes to be equipped with Home Emergency Kits,
it does not appear that there were any initiatives undertaken in this area.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

8.0 Perception of Schools Emergency


Response and Crisis Management Plans
Pre- and post-test surveys were conducted of teachers and parents to measure attitude changes toward
emergency response and crisis management that resulted from the grant. The pre-test parents survey
consisted of a subset of nine questions that measured a “Safe and Orderly Environment” that were
included within a 50 item Effective Schools Climate Survey that was mailed during May 2005 to
parents of children enrolled in Allegany County public schools during the school year (see Appendix
A.11). 1,382 surveys were sent and 198 were returned for a 14.3% return rate. A parallel 86 item
teachers questionnaire with 12 “Safe and Orderly Environment” questions was administered to Allegany
County public school teachers at the same time (see Appendix A.12). 820 surveys sent to all teachers
and 632 were returned for a 77% return rate.

The Effective Schools Survey is conducted every year in order to assess parent and staff satisfaction with
public schools. The Safe and Orderly Environment section was supplemented to include indicators
that could be used to assess the project impact. During the 2006 school survey, however, the Teacher
Survey was not conducted and the Parent Survey scale and questions were modified making it difficult
to conduct a post-test. Also, many professional development and drill activities had not been completed
which made it difficult to assess the full project impact. Therefore, a post-test survey for parents
addressing only the Safe and Orderly Environment using the same item scale was mailed to a random
sample of 1,000 parents in February 2007 and an online survey of BOE teachers using the same
questions as the spring 2005 Teacher survey was posted in March 2007. These surveys also included
sections for parents and teachers to include open-ended responses (see Appendix A.13 and A.14). The
response rate for the Parent Survey was 26.1% with 261 usable surveys returned. The response rate for
the post-test teacher survey was exactly the same as the pretest with 632 completed online surveys.

The results of the parent survey are shown in table 8.1. It indicated that there was a significant
improvement in parent attitudes in areas related to Emergency Response and Crisis Management.
Fifty percent of parents indicated in the pre-test survey that “crisis and emergency response plans are
adequate” for his/her child’s school. This increased to over two-thirds in the post-test survey. The
result was statistically significant at the α=.01 level. Significant improvements were also observed in
the percentage of parents who reported that schools had “adequately prepared for a school crisis and/or
emergency” and that schools had adequately prepared for “terrorist attack,” “natural disasters,” and
human-caused disasters. These improvements appear also to have improved parent attitudes about
overall school safety, with significantly more parents agreeing that their “child feels safe at school.”
Parent perceptions for areas not addressed by the grant, including drug, alcohol, and tobacco use, did
not significantly change.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

Open-ended comments from parents are listed in Appendix A.15. Many of these comments reflect
favorably on the changes that have been made during the grant period. In addition, some parent
identified vulnerabilities that they felt still needed to be addressed such as securing and surveillance of
school entry areas and procedures for school dismissal. Although not directly related to ERCM, school
bullying and drugs were also identified by some parents as problems. Some parents were skeptical that
an effective preparedness plan could be developed and others expressed some interest in knowing more
about the school district’s emergency preparedness plans.

Table 8.1 Effective Schools Climate Survey for Parents, percentage agreeing

Pre Post

My child feels safe at school. 72.1 86.6***

+Crime and violence is not a problem in my child’s school. 69.4 61.5*

My child’s school provides a safe and orderly environment. 72.1 73.7

The crisis and emergency response plans are adequate for my child’s school. 50.8 67.8***
My child’s school has adequately prepared (drills, exercises) for a school crisis
56.9 76.8***
and/or emergency.
My child’s school is adequately prepared to respond to a terrorist attack. 32.0 42.9**

My child’s school is adequately prepared to respond to natural disasters. 33.2 53.1***

My child’s school is adequately prepared to respond to human-caused disasters. 30.8 50.0***

My child’s school is drug, alcohol and tobacco free. 49.0 49.6

+ Question 3 was stated as follows in the survey: Crime and violence is a problem at my child’s
school. So as not to skew results, statement is reversed from this report.

*** α=.01; ** α=.05; * α=.10

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

Teacher survey results are shown in table 8.2. The results are remarkably similar to the parent responses.
Teachers expressed more confidence in the crisis and emergency response plans and preparedness. They
expressed increased agreement that students and staff fell safe. In contract to parents, they were also
more likely to report that the school provides a “safe and orderly environment” in the post-test surveys.
Once again, no differences were noticeable for areas not impacted directly by the grant such as “drug,
alcohol and tobacco” use, “crime and violence,” or student involvement in setting classroom rules.

Appendix A.16 lists open-ended comments offered by teachers on the post-test survey. Many comments
reflect improved confidence in emergency response planning. However, some teachers indicated that
they were unfamiliar with plans and a few expressed skepticism about the ability to be fully prepared for
emergencies. Some teachers indicated that they did not have go kits available in their classroom. Others
identified communication problems and entrances to buildings that have not been adequately secured.

Table 8.2 Effective School Climate Survey for Teachers, percentage agreeing.

Pre Post

This school provides a safe and orderly environment. 86.0 95.9***


Students and staff feel safe in this school. 83.7 94.8***
The physical appearance of this school building and grounds is generally neat,
82.9 89.4***
clean, and attractive.
Crime and violence is not a problem in this school. 81.0 81.0
The crisis and emergency response plan is adequate for this school. 72.1 86.2***
This school has adequately prepared (drills, exercises) for the school crisis and
75.5 86.7***
emergency response plan.
Students are involved in helping to decide classroom rules and regulations. 63.4 63.6
This school is adequately prepared to respond to a terrorist attack. 47.7 55.1***
This school is adequately prepared to respond to a natural disasters. 58.9 72.6***
Teachers are confident that students are safe and secure in school. 80.5 88.4***
This school is drug, alcohol and tobacco free. 69.1 69.1

*** α=.01; ** α=.05; * α=.10

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

9.0 Summary and Conclusion


This Evaluation Report provides support that the strategies of the grant have generally been implemented.
There have been some delays in implementing funding and hiring, but once the project was put in
motion, the Management Plan was adhered to with only a handful of modifications.

The grant resulted in systemic changes to the way that local schools prepare and respond to emergencies.
The Board of Education adopted a NIMS (National Incident Management System) resolution, forged
closer relationships with local emergency providers, enhanced its telecommunications equipment for
better emergency communication and interoperability, revamped its Emergency Plans to align with
current Emergency Response models, provided comprehensive staff and student training, conducted a
variety of new emergency drills, and conducted additional community outreach activities.

In a few instances, grant objectives were not fully achieved. For instance, although equipment was
purchased for a Community Wide Channel, a site was found to host the equipment, and agreements
were secured for airing the broadcasts, the channel was not operating by the end of the grant period
(March 31, 2007). In addition, a project or Emergency Management and Crisis Management website
was not constructed. Although revised School Emergency Plans include many improvements, some
gaps remain. Finally, there was no identifiable assessment system in place that quantifies the timeliness
of drill and emergency responses.

In some areas, the project well exceeded its goals. Approximately three times as many personnel were
trained as a result of the grant than were projected. In addition, dozens of outside agency personnel
were trained as well. Fifty more students were trained than projected. Furthermore, the School Safety
Council was an effective conduit in securing additional resources to enhance the project. These included
funds to defray the costs of the project (e.g., drills, radios) and funds to create panoramic video of
the interior of school buildings (MVERS) to provide information about the layout of building to be
available in the event of an emergency.

Survey results indicate that awareness and satisfaction with the school system’s emergency preparedness
improved during the grant period. Surveys of staff and student participants show high rates of
satisfaction with the training. Before and after surveys of parents and teachers show sizeable shifts
in satisfaction with the school board’s plans, drills, and disaster preparedness. School Safety Council
members were also in agreement that the strategies were implemented, were effective, and that the
community was more aware.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

Although parents satisfaction improved, they expressed some concerns about certain school safety issues.
For instance, school entry and school dismissal were vulnerabilities that many parents felt still needed to
be addressed. Although not directly related to this grant, school bullying and drugs were also identified
by some parents as problems. Some parents were skeptical that an effective preparedness plan could be
developed and others expressed some interest in knowing more about the school district’s emergency
preparedness plans. Some teachers reported that they were still unfamiliar with emergency response
plans, that communication issues within the ICS system remain, that go kit materials had not reached
them, and that certain entrances had not been adequately secured. Concerns were expressed by Council
members too – for instance that the resources were not adequate for the task, that communication
interoperability problems (in particular the paging system) remain, that special needs students are not
adequately addressed in crisis planning, and that the project may not be sustainable without an infusion
of additional resources from those planned at that time.

With the expiration of the grant, the Allegany County Board of Education has identified a process to
sustain the system of Emergency Plan review and revision, training and school drills fostered by the
plan. The grant-funded director position will be discontinued, but a risk management position funded
for FY 08 has apparently been created to assume his major responsibilities. In addition, each year
the Allegany County School Safety Council and School Superintendent will review the Emergency
Planning Guidelines manual and makes recommendations for changes. These changes would then
be adopted in revised school-based plans. Each school-based Emergency Plan will be updated on an
annual basis by school principals. Training will be provided on an annual basis by School Council
members who have been trained in ERCM methods and online course materials will be promoted.

The school system will be better able to evaluate the effectiveness of its emergency preparedness with
new evaluation measures. Both the parent and teacher school climate surveys have been revised to
include permanent emergency preparedness questions. This will allow the school superintendent to
track progress on these measures. Prior to the grant, these survey questions centered primarily around
tobacco use, drugs, and crime issues.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

References
Allegany County Board of Education. 2004. Emergency Response and Crisis Management Proposal.
July 8, 2004.

Allegany County Board of Education. Emergency Planning Guidelines. July 1, 2005.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

APPENDIX A.1
TEACHER/STAFF TRAINING SURVEY

32
A Penny For Your Thoughts

What I liked: What I didn’t like:

Please rate
I Learned: how this day
met your
needs:
5 – Excellent

4 - Very Good

3 – Good

2- Fair

1- Poor

I would change: I would like to know more about:


Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

APPENDIX A.2
SECRETARY TRAINING SURVEY

34
EMERGENCY RESPONSE AND CRISIS MANAGEMENT
WORKSHOP
Allegany College of Maryland, Continuing Education
Cumberland, MD 21502

January 19, 2007

EVALUATION

For each of the following areas, please indicate your reaction:

EXCELLENT GOOD FAIR POOR

Did today’s session meet all


of the objectives of the agenda? ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

How well did the session


meet your expectations? ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

Was the information presented


new and useful? ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

Were today’s topics covered


in enough detail? ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

What was the most valuable aspect of today’s meeting?


_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________

How could the meeting have been improved?

What information do you still require?


_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

APPENDIX A.3
SCHOOL EMERGENCY PLAN

36
Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

APPENDIX A.4
EMERGENCY RESPONSE FORM

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

APPENDIX A.5
SAMPLE TABLETOP DRILL

40
Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

APPENDIX A.6
NEWS STORIES

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

APPENDIX A.7
BRADDOCK MIDDLE SCHOOL
DRILL ASSESSMENT FORMS

44
Board of Education of Allegany County

Lockdown Drill Report


School: __________________________

Incident Commander: ______________________________

Date: _____________

Time Drill Called: _____________


Time Lockdown Achieved: ___________

AREA Outstanding Satisfactory Needs Improvement


Planning
Emergency Planning Team
Established
Emergency Plan in Place
Lockdown duties and
responsibilities explained to
staff.
Students Trained on
Lockdown Response
Parents informed/educated on
lockdown response
Response
Communication to/from
central office (Paging System)
Timely decision to lockdown
made
ICS Activated
AREA Outstanding Satisfactory Needs Improvement
Lockdown
Announcement/Notification
Lockdown executed as
planned
Lockdown Evaluated
Lockdown ended per the plan
Recovery
Lessons Learned input from
staff.
Lessons Learned input from
students.
Letter sent home to parents
explaining the drill.
Emergency Plan modified
based on Lessons Learned

1. Please explain all elements marked “Needs Improvement”.


A. Planning:
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

B. Response:
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

C. Recovery:
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
2. Please list all material conditions that prevented you from being able to lock
down. (IE, doors that do not lock, 1st floor windows without shades, etc)
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

3. Other Comments:
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

Completed by: _________________________ (Please Print)


Date: ______________

Central Office Routing:


Initials: Comments
________ Todd Lake, Emergency Planning ________________________________

________ Lorelee Farrell, Asst Supervisor, School Safety _____________________

________ Larry Lancaster, Asst. Supervisor Operations ______________________

________ Wayne Belloff, Maintenance Supervisor ____________________________

________ Vince Montana, Facilities Director _________________________________

________ John Wagoner, Asst Superintendent _______________________________

________ Dr. AuMiller, Superintendent _____________________________________

________ Kim Coleman-Hotchkins, Secretary


Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

APPENDIX A.8
SCHOOL LOCKDOWN COMMENTS

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

PLANNING

Plan was in place. (Allegany High School)

We did not receive the page message to lock down. I felt we should do the lockdown anyway for
the practice. (Flintstone)

This was the first drill. Everything went well. (Flintstone)

Although a letter to the parents was sent home from the central office, there were still many parent
concerns and questions. It may have been helpful for the school to have received a copy of the
exact letter that was sent to parents. (Parkside Elementary)

In honor of school lunch week, parents had been invited to eat lunch with students. School staff
had been assured that the drill would be complete by 11:00 a.m. at which time parents were
expected to arrive. It is understood by school staff that it is necessary to perform drills in order to
be prepared; however, as this was the first drill of this type, this unexpected drill created confusion
and resulted in some parents expressing anger and frustration. (Parkside Elementary)

We found a need to plan for managing very young or disabled students during longer lock-downs
(e.g., finding a quiet area away from the group, etc.). We need to review lock-down vs. drop and
cover procedures with at least one teacher. (Westside Elementary)

RESPONSE

Paging info was broken and hard to read per communication! (Allegany High School)

Pagers were incomplete. (Alternative School)

Paging system was garbled at times. Message need to be shorter and directions given immediately.
(Beall High School)

Communication from Central Office need improved. The caller did not identify herself and did
not leave a phone number. Therefore, we didn’t know who to call back. (Bishop Walsh)

Communication for 2nd drill came from Sr. Phyllis pager. Not any confusion this time. Staff and
students seemed to take this drill more seriously since it was unexpected. (Bishop Walsh)

Communication on the beeper needs to be clear. Too many messages. Some messages were just
characters. We started what seemed to be sooner than others. (Calvary Christian Academy)

Teachers and students reacted quickly. After drill teachers discussed with students their concerns.
(Flintstone)

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

The first lockdown’s communication was successful. All areas utilized had walkie-talkies
to communicate to the central office. The second lockdown utilized more areas of the
building and those additional areas did not have access to walkie-talkies for communication.
(George’s Creek Elementary)

School needs to be more prompt with its evaluation of drill. (Lighthouse Christian Academy)

Since the principal was unable to attend the initial meeting about the pager, directions for its use
were somewhat confusing. We went into lockdown prior to the directive that said “Lockdown
now.” It was difficult for us to understand the messages that were being displayed on the
pager. Again, it was related to not being familiar with the pager and how to use it properly.
(Westernport Elementary)

Communication from central office was outstanding but to central office on our part satisfactory.
Mainly my fault, I placed the pager on my principal’s desk after the first lockdown. I missed the
second lockdown. Lesson learned. (Westmar High)

Too many longer messages on pager are hard to keep track of/manage. When e-mail message
is sent from the school confirming that the lockdown has been achieved, we need to receive
acknowledgement that the message was received. We did not have a procedure called “Lock-In”
prepared. If this is to be used, we’ll need to add it. (West Side Elementary)

RECOVERY

We did not do a formal evaluation for the drill from the students. We did not send home a letter
following the drill but we are having a parent meeting with Todd Lake on November 2nd to
discuss our plan. (Bishop Walsh)

No formal student feedback only verbal. (Bishop Walsh)

No issues seemed to arise. (Calvary Christian Academy)

School needs to be more prompt with its interview of students following drill.
(Lighthouse Christian Academy)

A Safety Night is being discussed in order to give more information regarding emergency plan to
students and parents. (Parkside Elementary)

There were parents in the lobby due to the school lunch week visit and some parents were allowing
other parents to enter the school during the drill. There wasn’t clear communication as to why
parents outside the building were not permitted to enter. (Parkside Elementary)

Classroom teacher informally solicited feedback from students. However, feedback was not
documented and discussed with staff. After future drills, we will provide student feedback and
discussion during a staff meeting. (South Penn)

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

OTHER COMMENTS

The Mass Casualty Drill was a great learning experience for us. While I felt we operated effectively
for the most part, there are some real problems and concerns we face when being in a situation
such as this: (1) Public Address System - Our PA System doesn’t work in all parts of our building.
You cannot hear the announcements in the cafeteria. When we were instructed to lockdown
again, it created problems getting students to safety efficiently and effectively. (2) Room Phones
- Teachers have no way of communicating with the main office from their classrooms. We cannot
contact individual rooms from the main office. This is a safety concern. (3) Alphanumeric Pagers
- Many of the messages sent were incomplete and fragmented. You cannot read the messages in
the dark. (4) We only have 3 two-way radios that work. Five have been ordered, but are not in as
of yet. It was easier to communicate on our cell phones. In a real situation, phone lines might not
be available. Cell phone batteries started to go dead. (Allegany High School)

We were very pleased how our students reacted to the drill. The support we are receiving from the
students, staff, parents, and stakeholders, has been very positive. (Bel Air Elementary)

We needed better communication throughout our building so we have purchased hand-held 2


way radios. Need to clarify the difference between “lock down” and “lock in.” (Bishop Walsh)

Please clarify difference, if any, in “lockdown” vs. “lock-in.” We do not recall any discussion in our
training on a “lock-in.” (Bishop Walsh)

Did not know how to use the beeper to begin with. Took a couple of times to figure out how to
read a long message. Lock down was very profitable. (Calvary Christian Academy)

We didn’t go into a second lockdown. This was not planned for here and we did not want to create
panic. I phoned the central office for clarification. I shared with them that we would opt out of
this second event. Students and faculty had been counseled and given instructions for one event.
We’ll plan another lock down drill in the coming months. (Calvary Christian Academy)

We need more walkie talkies so that we are able to communicate with each teacher. (Flintstone)

The second drill utilized more areas of the building and those additional areas did not have access
to walkie-talkies for communication. George’s Creek PTO has purchased 10 additional sets of
walkie-talkies to ensure that all areas of the building will have communication with the central
office during an emergency in our building. (George’s Creek Elementary)

The need for walkie-talkies in each pod was evident. This would increase communication between
areas with students and the ICS. This drill was much more realistic because it was unexpected.
Students and staff did a great job returning to lock-down mode and then proceeding to lock-in
mode. The entire school was very quite and secure. (John Humbird Elementary)

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

2nd lockdown became a lock-in. (Lighthouse Christian Academy)

Incident commander called lockdown at first page rather than at actual call.
(Lighthouse Christian Academy)

Staff and students successfully followed lockdown procedures to the best of their ability. We
realize the need to designate personnel to be responsible for checking certain areas within the
building (i.e., office doors, hallway lighting, etc.). Overall, South Penn staff and students did an
excellent job during the lockdown. They should be very proud. (South Penn Elementary)

Plan was reviewed with faculty and procedures were in place. Faculty was very comfortable in
working with plan. Students were aware of plans and cooperated. Overall, lockdown was very
successful. (Washington Middle School)

For an elementary school, I think this drill was exceptional. Our students responded appropriately
and performed the drill without a problem. During this drill we had 5 fourth grade student sin
the restroom. The teacher was able to Instant Message us immediately that she was missing some
children. The guidance counselor responded to the restrooms to find the students quietly sitting
tin the stalls with their feet up so they couldn’t be seen. They remained there until we ended the
drill. Our guidance counselor went to each classroom following the drill and checked to see if any
children had difficulties or needed to talk with him. (Westernport Elementary)

If intruder entered main office and prevented office staff from alerting rest of school. (Westmar High)

Please list all material conditions that prevented you from being able to lock down.

Problem with covering windows in cafeteria. (Bishop Walsh)

Lock down went well. Found student helpers need a key to return into the building. (Calvary
Christian Academy)

There are some windows in the building without shades. (Cash Valley Elementary)

No entry/exit doors have shades or blinds. (Cresaptown Elementary)

All 10 bathrooms did not have locks on them. Students and staff could not be locked in.
(George’s Creek Elementary)

All outside doors were locked. (George’s Creek Elementary)

More walkie-talkies would be helpful. (Flintstone)

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

APPENDIX A.9
PARTNER SURVEY

54
EMERGENCY RESPONSE AND CRISIS MANAGEMENT PROJECT SURVEY

This survey is being conducted to assist in the evaluation of the Board of Education’s
Emergency Response and Crisis Management Project and to plan future improvements in
school safety and emergency response. Please answer each question to the best of your
ability and return the survey in the enclosed postage paid envelope. Thank you.

1. How active have you been with the Allegany County School Safety Council?

_____ Very active


_____ Somewhat active
_____ Not very active
_____ Inactive

2. If you have not been very active, is there a specific reason, or is there something that
could be changed that would allow you to be a more active participant?

3. The following factors have an effect on collaboration success. Please indicate whether
you agree or disagree with the following statements:

(A) Agree (D) Disagree

_____ The composition of the Safety Council team was “right” for this program.
_____ The composition of the Safety Council is appropriate for making Emergency
Management decisions.
_____ The Safety Council communicated openly and clearly during meetings.
_____ The Safety Council communicated openly and clearly between meetings.
_____ Members of the Safety Council established informal communication networks
(e-mail communication, phone calls, etc.).
_____ Members of the Safety Council staff have relationships built on trust and mutual
respect.
_____ I understand the goals and objectives of the Emergency Response and Crisis
Management project.
_____ I understand my roles and responsibilities as a member of this project.
_____ The Safety Council has clear and effective decision making procedures.

4. Indicate whether you agree or disagree with the following statements

(A) Agree (D) Disagree

_____ a. Community awareness of the Crisis Management has increased in the past year.
_____ b. Resources for this project were adequate to meet objectives.
_____ c. The strategies of this grant have been implemented.
_____ d. The strategies of this grant are demonstrating positive outcomes.
If you indicated that you disagree, please explain:
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

5. How do you rate Allegany County Schools in each of the Crisis Planning performance
areas listed below? Please use the following scale:

(4) (3) (2) (1) (0)


Excellent Good Minimal Inadequate NA

_____ a. Completeness of school emergency response plans


_____ b. Demonstration of increased number of hazards addressed by new school
emergency response plans
_____ c. Demonstration of improved coordination between schools and local emergency
services (e.g., police, fire, health system, Homeland Security)
_____ d. Quality of staff training
_____ e. Quality of student training
_____ f. Inclusion of First Responders in planning
_____ g. Planning for Special Needs students
_____ h. Demonstration of improved response time and quality of response to practice
drills and simulated crises
_____ i. Plans and commitment by the school district and community partners for the
emergency response plans to be sustained beyond the grant funding period
_____ j. Integration of the School Emergency Plans into the County Emergency Plan
_____ k. Effectiveness of the Incident Command Structure (ICS)
_____ l. Quality of the paging communication system

6. How satisfied are you overall with the Emergency Response and Crisis Management
grant?
_____ Very Satisfied
_____ Satisfied
_____ Somewhat Satisfied
_____ Somewhat Dissatisfied
_____ Not satisfied at all

7. Is there anything that could be done differently regarding Emergency Response and
Crisis Management?

8. Do you have any additional comments or suggestions?

________________________________________ ________________
Name & Agency Date
Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

APPENDIX A.10
HOTLINE FLYER

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

APPENDIX A.11
EFFECTIVE SCHOOLS
CLIMATE SURVEY, PARENTS

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

APPENDIX A.12
EFFECTIVE SCHOOLS
CLIMATE SURVEY, TEACHERS

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

APPENDIX A.13
FOLLOW-UP SURVEY, PARENTS

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

APPENDIX A.14
FOLLOW-UP SURVEY, TEACHERS

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

APPENDIX A.15
PARENT COMMENTS

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

All we can expect the schools to do is prepare for known problems. No one can expect how a sick
person or terrorist may attack. I feel that all schools need armed security since guns can only be
stopped by more guns in the right hands.

At Mt. Savage school at play time the teachers need to watch the children better because when I
come past the school, the kids are on the road in the back of the school.

Attacks and disasters cannot be prepared for. I know you are trying, but nothing will follow your
plan in the event that something major happens.

Beall Elementary does a wonderful job implementing their plans and communicating details to
parents.

Entry procedures to the school are too accessible. Anyone can walk in and around the school
without signing in at the front desk.

Front door is currently unlocked. It should be locked with a video camera/buzz in/unlock to open
system similar to the one used at the YMCA

Bathrooms are disasters with feces and graffiti covering the walls. If you cannot keep this under
control and cleaned up how can we have any confidence in your ability to prepare for or respond
to other crisis or emergencies.

Great job Bel Air staff.

Have not been informed of any plan for emergency response plans. How can it be tobacco free
when you can see teachers or workers at school smoking on school grounds.

How can any one be prepared for disasters or terrorist attacks? They are, as much as possible, but
in an emergency situation, nothing goes according to plan.

I am not aware of any of the plans for my child’s school and therefore cannot respond to these
questions.

I am not aware of their program for attacks and natural disasters.

I am not aware of what’s happening at the school as I was used to from Elementary school.

I am sure you have ERPs but I have not read them.

I am unaware of the procedures and plans in an emergency.

I am unsure about a lot of my responses because the schools only briefly inform or no explanation
of drills etc. Parents would appreciate a memo or brief explanation. Thank you.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

I am very impressed at how the children know exactly what to do during a lock down. The teacher
and staff and children are ready for the unexpected. The children have been taught what to do, and
instead of my daughter being fearful, she is always aware of what to do should an emergency arise.

I believe if I’m available to pick my child up in this event that I should be allowed.

I believe South Penn has done a lot to prepare and be ready with plans for certain disasters. However,
sometimes when it actually happens, people panic. There is always room for improvement.

I believe there have been a lot of fights lately according to my child in the halls between classes.

I do not believe in the lock down program. How safe are the kids being lock-in when there is a
shooter or bomb in the school if they are all locked in together.

I don’t believe there are enough safety regulations for people to walk in to the schools. I believe
there should be a guard at every school at the door.

I don’t have any major concerns at this time.

I don’t know if the school has had drills on terrorist attacks or not. Would be a good idea!!

I don’t think anybody is really ready for any kind of disaster or any kind of attacks that may
happen. I do feel we are more prepared then what we were in 2001.

I don’t think anyone is prepared for an attack or disasters.

I feel 90% of the time my children are safe.

I feel my child is safe except at dismissal time. No verification is required that you are authorized
to pick up a child at dismissal. You just give the child’s name to the person who shows up with
the clipboard on a given day.

I feel that my child is very safe. She is in a good school.

I feel that my grade school (child’s) is safe, but I don’t feel as confident about my middle school or
high school. I have a child in each and this is definitely a problem at those levels.

I feel that my son feels safe at school, and they are thoroughly prepared for emergency readiness.

I feel there should be stricter policy on who goes in and out of the school. Just checking in at the
office is not enough. If everyone in the office is at lunch, anyone can walk through.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

I have been present at a few “lock downs” and fire drills because I volunteer a lot and I feel that
my child’s school (Mt. Savage) does an excellent job in preparing our children for un-expected
emergencies. As a parent, I feel I have been fortunate that I was at school during these “drills”
Every parent should know what is going on. Many more parents need to get involved! And know
how these teachers and staff handle these situations! I know!

I have never been in a school system where my children’s safety is not regarded after they walk
out the door to go home. My kids have been picked on–one child even had to have staples in his
leg and the school told me we can’t do anything. They left school. In other states, children are
accountable for their behavior.

I have never had access to the plans. So I feel I am not able to answer this survey adequately.

I have no clue about any of this, but I do know there are a lot of signs in school. I don’t think the
teachers have any control over the kids.

I have no idea what plans or safeguards are in place at my child’s school.

I have no idea--they have never discussed this with the parents.

I have no worries concerning these issues.

I know South Penn has fire drills and lock downs, but not quite sure of their actual plan.

I quizzed my child. He wasn’t aware of all procedures. I’m not aware of all procedures. While my
child may feel safe at school, and they do drills, I’m not sure the plans are perfect or even better
than adequate. My child isn’t aware of any fall-out areas or lower level safe areas in case of tornado.
It appears that drug incidents are few--but would parents really know? I have to trust the staff
have a handle on the situation.

I really don’t feel qualified to answer these questions because of little to no contact in school
environment.

I think it would be hard to prepare for disasters. You never know how people (kids) will act if
something happens.

I think our educators go above and beyond what is required of them. None of these questions
ask about their learning and that’s what I worry about. I hope they never have to worry about
terrorists, natural disasters, drugs, etc. But if they do I think our teachers would keep them as safe
as if they were their own children.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

I think that there should be “more” drills and exercises about “other” emergency situations, not
just fire drills. This world is getting really bad, really fast, and I think that our children should
be taught more about things that could happen, and be ready in case they do. Thank you for
allowing me to speak on behalf of our children and parents.

I would like to have a copy of the emergency response plan sent to me if possible.

I’m not sure if anybody could respond to a terrorist attack!

I’m not sure of any plans that my children’s school have in place. More information sent home to
the parents would be nice.

It is hard to provide a totally safe environment for all kids. I think the new proposal on security
cameras is very good. No one–including schools–is prepared for a terrorist attack.

Keep up the good work.

Kids are selling drugs in the bathrooms, at least daily.

Maybe inform parents of the above exercises and explain processes.

My “N”s are because I just don’t know about these things because I’m not at school enough to see
what is happening in these areas.

My child is a high school student. I do have concerns about drugs in high school.

My child loves going to school. All of the drills the school has had -- both real and practice -- have
gone quite well. We are very happy and fortunate to have such an excellent school system available
for our children to attend.

My child said that there are drugs, alcohol and tobacco at her school. Also, there is harassment of
other students -- between students.

My child was assaulted at school this year. And she was worried about going back due to friends
of the person who assaulted her would also try to assault her. And, I’m worried about the schools
merging into Mountain Ridge may cause fights between the 2 rival schools.

My children want to know why they don’t wear seat belts.

My grandchildren live with me due to a court order. Their mother is not to have visits with them.
She has tried to enter school to be with the children. The school staff are aware of this and on
many occasions been supportive with the safety [the children]. I feel they are safe at school and
they feel safe and protected while they are in school and away from home. We appreciate all who
understand and help. Thank you.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

No one is prepared for a terrorist attack.

No, I think they do a great job.

Other than fire drills, do not know the schools emergency plans.

Our children both go to West Side Elementary.

School has stay put kits and go bags for every class. Police have been called to the Middle School
where drugs have been found.

School has several bullies that the VP is aware of -- why are they still at that school? No one can
be prepared for a terrorist attack!

School is not orderly. Bullying and drugs are problems. Children are not always safe walking
home. Principal yells and contributes to hostile environment.

See kids smoking when coming out of school. I’m not sure what all you have had the children prepare
for. I do know West Side. Braddock has the children prepare. They come home with stickers.

Should do more frequently (emergency drills) and do them unannounced to really assess student
and teacher preparedness. It is far too easy to just walk into our schools. I have done so many
times and no one stops to ask me who I am. Keep the doors locked and check people out--even
if they look like nice moms or grandmothers!

Some of the children are out of control, especially on the school buses. Need some way to monitor
children’s behavior on school buses.

South Penn does an excellent job communicating with parents and dealing with issues when
they arise.

Take control of our schools.

The one thing I don’t like is how the walking children get let out -- kids running everywhere one
they come out of school. I’ve very worried about children running out in front of cars and the
speed of cars through the school zone. Another thing is that middle school kids get dropped off
right at the school and they hang around even if they are right at the school and they hang around
even if they are not waiting for a younger sibling. They are rowdy and curse in front of the small
children. This is just not an environment that I think is suitable. I just believe more could be
done for the release of the children after school.

The questions I answer “N” are areas where I feel we can only hope we are prepared for. Although
my child’s school works hard to be drug, alcohol, and tobacco free, my child has seen drug activity.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

The school needs to communicate their emergency readiness with parents.

There is no way as a parent I can responsibly respond to these statements (c-g). I don’t recall ever
having seen copies of plans or preparations. Until the disaster occurs, who knows?

These questions are difficult to answer. There is not information given to parents regarding such
questions and where do we find this information out?

To be honest, I do not know a lot about the procedures.

To my knowledge no information has been sent home regarding the emergency plans that would
pertain to questions e, f, g, that would let parents know about these situations.

Unfortunately, I believe there needs to be more monitoring of people coming in and out of the
school. The school system/administration should not expect the school secretary to accomplish
this task. She is busy doing her job. She should not be the only person responsible for monitoring
the proposed security cameras.

Vo-tech seems very organized. I hope that I am agreeing to true statements. Beall High is a good
school also, but has some students too that do drugs.

We have never had a disaster, terrorist attack, or natural disaster to threaten the school yet.

We need more budget dollars for drug searches, cameras and safety measures for our high school,
especially in the Career Center in its skill classes.

What are the plans to specifically respond to these attacks/disasters: terrorism, natural and human-
caused?

When my child attended elementary school they kept us informed on fire drills, lock downs, and
etc. Middle schools do not. As a parent, I would appreciate more information in these areas.

Yes. The staff needs to work more with the kids to make them ready.

You can never be truly ready for a disaster/attack. But, I think school make themselves feel
better by practicing

You should handle fights better. Kids are given too many chances. Drugs are really bad. I cannot
believe all that goes on in school.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

Appendix A.16
TEACHER COMMENTS

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

Our plan is a good one but the administration does not follow the procedures outlined in the plan.

As I am relatively new here, I am a bit unfamiliar with the schools plan.

Bells need moved so we can hear

Can never do enough to avoid all that could occur

Concern w/ administration to teacher communication with response to emergency.

Crime and violence is not a problem in this school. This applies after school. We have had issues
from the local “gang” in the area.

Elementary is drug, alcohol and tobacco free. The administration is vigilant in dealing with
middle school issues.

Even though I think our school is well-prepared, I believe every school can improve
emergency preparedness.

How could any school be properly prepared for a terrorist attack?

I am pleased that we are now locking all doors except the front entrance after school begins. That
makes me feel safer.

I appreciate and commend everyone’s efforts for helping our kids remain safe in any given situation
that may arise.

I believe we are as prepared as we can be. I don’t think any school can be prepared for a
terrorist attack.

I don’t feel that the faculty and staff have been adequately trained to handle situations. I feel there
is a lack of organization in the leadership of this team.

I don’t think any open-space school is prepared for a disaster of any kind.

I don’t think any school is prepared to respond to a terrorist attack! (As the Pentagon wasn’t either)
I’m not sure we can be.

I feel pretty confident with our plans.

I feel that each classroom should have a shelter in place kit provided to each classroom so that
everyone has the same materials available.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

Some personnel take this situation more seriously than others.

I feel that we need to have more practice and prepare the students for any emergencies that may
happen.

I feel that we should practice more for emergencies. I also think teachers should have a typed list
of plans and procedures for each type of major emergency that could happen.

I feel we are getting better every month as we make necessary adjustments as it is all so new to us.

I work at South Penn in the evening, and have never been informed of the school’s emergency
plan.

I would be interested in suggestions for substitutes knowing what to do, where to go, etc.

I’m not quite sure how one could survive or prepare for a terrorist attack. If someone is determined
to kill innocent people, I don’t think locked doors are going to help. I would like to see a policeman
at the entrance of schools. Maybe even two.

Is anyone ever ready for terrorist caused disasters? The unpredictability and unlimited means
of such situations are difficult to be totally prepared for. Some people may have a false sense of
security and claim their school is adequately prepared.

Is it possible to be prepared for a terrorist attack?

Many staff members have been trained and ready for emergency, if any, should occur. We are
always willing to help when able.

More needs to be done, I feel we have the this won’t happen here attitude

[Our principal] has done a fantastic job preparing us for many emergencies. We feel safe under
his direction.

Need a specific way to reach an administrator in the event of an emergency-phones aren’t always
answered nor available.

Need more practice so that everyone in the building would know what to do.

No go buckets, no radios, no hats, no efforts are being made to get those materials.

No one can be adequately prepared to respond to a terrorist attack!

Nobody can be ready for a terrorist attack.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

Other than fire drills, I don’t believe we have much of a plan. If we do, I don’t believe the teachers
have been informed or trained with it.

Our plan is a work in progress and administration is always receptive to suggestions for
improving the plan.

Our school has worked very diligently to be as ready as possible for emergencies and I feel
completely safe in this school and I believe the students feel the same way.

Procedures need to be defined and followed.

Somehow substitutes must be instructed in how to respond to these situations, and the
outside doors are not monitored and kept locked - there is too much leeway with students
moving between buildings.

Teachers and students I think feel safe because they don’t know the real threats and as far as I know
have never really been involved or explained to what to do in emergency situations. On the other
hand, I see a lot of things in a whole different light.

Terrorists, natural disasters, and the opinions of other teachers are three areas that cannot be
answered negative or affirmative. Look at what happened in the news today in the tornado where
lives were lost in a school.

Thanks for staying on top of things!

The only concern that we have trouble with drills is our school is open space.

The phones in the office need to be answered at all times in the office by administrative personnel

The school is as prepared as physically possible for terrorist attacks and natural disasters. The
building is clean, but there are some problems outside the control of the building staff, such as a
crumbling brick wall in the parking lot, and leaking doors.

The school needs supplies like blinds for windows/doors, flashlights per class, etc.

This building is better than it used to be, but it will take a true incident for upper management
to things seriously. The need to communicate quickly among its personnel is a major problem. I
think we have the “it won’t happen here” attitude.

This is my first year at Northeast and have felt, the ‘emergency Team’ has worked hard to be
prepared. I have been well informed through ‘table-top scenarios,’ memos and the actual plan.

This school has well-trained professionals in the emergency areas.

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Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Evaluation, 2005-07

Too many drills.

Until the doors (all) are secured the name tags will only be good for identifying the bodies
after an attack.

We are an open school. It is difficult to find a secure place within the building. We are as secure
for the building as we are going to be.

We could have more security at the main entrance now that all other entrances are locked.

We do very well with what we have to work with.

We need more drills to practice these kinds of emergencies.

We need to have more drills and follow-up after the drill to know what needs to be worked on.

We need to have more drills.

We seem to be doing very well so far, but since we are still learning new things, and trying to
figure out what we did right or wrong in previous drills, it will be a while before we became totally,
adequately prepared for any emergencies and crisis.

With all our windows both outside and inside, it is almost virtually impossible to find a safe place
in our classrooms to put the students, especially the older and bigger ones.

You can never predict everything, but we have gone over as many as possible that we could
come up with.

You can not know if the school is prepared for any kind of disaster or attack until one occurs.

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