To assist local schools and districts in reviewing and refining plans for responding effectively in a crisis, the Sacramento County Office of Education hosted a Refresher Crisis Response Plan Workshop earlier this week. The goal of the workshop was to help districts "tune up" their crisis response strategies and interventions to reflect current best practices.
Workshop participants reviewed effective strategies for developing a crisis response plan and working with first responders. Experts also reviewed best practices for helping students, families and staff in the event of an incident.
"Threats to school safety make it vital that our schools and districts have up-to-date plans for preventing and responding to on-campus events," County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon said during his opening remarks Tuesday. "We must have a heightened awareness of campus security and safety, and to the emotional impact an incident like this can have on the children and families we serve."
Stephen Sellers, assistant secretary for response at the California Emergency Management Agency, presented the latest planning information available for schools during his presentation, titled "Developing and Refining a Crisis Response Plan." Sellers directed attendees to the Cal EMA website which offers a wealth of School Safety Tips.
Representatives from the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department and Elk Grove Unified School District Police Services co-presented a session titled "Crisis Response: Plan, Prepare, Practice." Presenters included: Chief Thomas Jenkins and Sgt. Richard Lozano, Elk Grove Unified School District; and Lt. John Randazzo, Lt. Michael Jones, Sgt. Randy Winn and Sgt. Chad Lewis, all from the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.
More than 70 public and private school representatives attended.