In light of the recent school shooting in Parkland, FL, Beaver Area School District would like to reassure parents that our District remains proactive in the protection of students, faculty and staff members.
It might help you to know that the Beaver Area School District has an excellent relationship with our local police departments and other first responders. As recently as this summer, with the help of our SRO, all administrators participated in a district-wide safety meeting on our secondary campus with representatives from:
The Beaver Police Department
The Brighton Township Police Department
The State Police
The Beaver County Emergency Management Authority
The Beaver Valley Power Plant
The Beaver County Emergency Services
The Beaver County Sheriff
The American Red Cross
These individuals brought a wealth of information and experience to the table. They both affirmed aspects of our Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) and gave us items to consider moving forward. One practical step that was suggested was to link our camera system to Beaver County’s 911 system for monitoring during emergency situations. I am pleased to report that our cameras are now able to be viewed at the 911 Center if we were to experience a crisis situation.
You should also know that all Beaver Area teachers and staff receive training on how to respond to active shooter situations. This year, we offered the training to our substitute teachers as well. Three Beaver Area administrators and our SRO are trained as instructors of the ALICE method, which is considered the number one civilian response training for active shooter situations or terrorist attacks. This method is not a checklist or a step-by-step program, rather it teaches participants how to consider the information they know in a crisis situation, which is often imperfect, and make the best decisions possible. The acronym ALICE stands for:
In any crisis situation, there are three human reactions: fight, flight, or freeze. Beaver Area administration understands that regular training is one of the keys to remaining calm in a crisis. For this reason, during our fall professional development, activities were planned for faculty related to safety, including ALICE refresher training, full ALICE training, basic first aid, CPR, safe operation of AED machines, and a review of our Emergency Operations Plan flip chart. We are also preparing for a county-wide emergency drill this spring.
When situations like this arise, it is often helpful to have the opportunity to gather and hear from those directly involved. To that end, two community informational meetings are currently being planned. Details for these events will be forthcoming. Additionally, a “tip-line” or similar App for anonymous reporting of concerns is also being considered.