District Plans

Asbestos Management Plan

The Watervliet School District  submitted on Oct. 12, 1988 to the New York State Education Department the School District’s Asbestos Management Plan. In accordance with the EPA Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1987 (40CFR Part 763), the Asbestos Management Plan for both schools is available and kept on file at the business office (Watervliet Jr.-Sr. High School). These records may be reviewed between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. For more information, call Keith Heid, LEA Designee, at 629-3200, Ext. 5.

District Safety Plan

Watervliet City School District District-Level Safe Schools Against Violence in Education)
Commissioner’s Regulation 8 NYCRR §155.17

Introduction

Emergencies and violent incidents in school districts are critical issues that require comprehensive planning and training. The New York State Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) law requires school districts to develop a school safety plan to prevent or minimize the effects of serious violent incidents and natural/man-made disasters and to facilitate the coordination of state, local and county resources in the event of such incidents or emergencies. The district wide plan is responsive to the needs of all schools within the district and is consistent with the more detailed building-level safety plans required at the school building-level. Project SAVE is a comprehensive planning effort that addresses prevention, response, and recovery with respect to a variety of emergencies in each school district and its schools.

District Chief Emergency Officer

The Watervliet City School District has designated Kirsten DeMento, Director of Educational Programs & Accountability, as the district’s chief emergency officer (CEO). The CEO is responsible for coordinating communication between staff and law enforcement and first responders and for ensuring staff understanding of the district level safety plan. Additionally, the CEO ensures that building level safety plans are annually updated.

Section I: General Considerations and Planning Guidelines

A. Purpose

The Watervliet City School District District-Wide School Safety Plan was developed pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation 8 NYCRR §155.17(e)(3). At the direction of the Board of Education, the Superintendent appoints the District Wide School Safety Team and charges it with making recommendations regarding the development, maintenance, and implementation of the district-wide school safety plan. The finalization of the plan ultimately rests with the Superintendent, with adoption by the Board of Education by July 1st of each school year.

B. Identification of School Teams

The Watervliet City School District has created a district-wide school safety team and building-level safety teams for every school building. Both consist of, but are not limited to, representatives of the school board, students, teachers, staff, administrators, parent organizations, school safety personnel, law enforcement and other first responders.

C. Coordination of District and School Plans and Teams

The district-wide school safety plan is directly linked to the individual building-level safety plans for each school. The protocols reflected in the district-wide school safety plan guide the development and implementation of each building-level safety plan.

In the event of an emergency or violent incident, the initial response to all emergencies at an individual school will be by that building’s safety team. Upon the activation of this team, the Superintendent, or his/her designee, will be notified and, where appropriate, local emergency officials will also be notified. Efforts may be supplemented by county and state resources through existing protocols when needed.

D. Plan Review and Public Comment

Pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation 8 NYCRR §155.17(e)(3), this plan was adopted by the school board on June 20, 2001. Full copies of the district-wide school safety plan and any amendments were submitted to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) within 30 days of this adoption. The plan was re-submitted to the NYSED on June 22, 2006. The latest revision of this plan were approved by the school board on May 17, 2016 and submitted to the NYSED on May 23, 2016.

The commissioner’s regulation also requires that this plan shall be reviewed by the District Wide School Safety Team on an annual basis on or before July 1st of each year, and recommendations for updates provided to the Superintendent. Herein after, all updates made by the District Wide School Safety Team shall be presented to the Board of Education for adoption pursuant to the aforementioned regulations. In most cases, recommendations are specific and included in building-level plans.

A copy of the district-wide plan is available at the Watervliet City School District Superintendent’s Office located at 1245 Hillside Drive, Watervliet, New York and online. While linked to the district-wide school safety plan, building-level safety plans shall be confidential and shall not be subject to disclosure under Article 6 of the Public Officers Law or any other provision of law, in accordance with New York State Education Law §2801-a.

Building-level safety plans and all updates are given to the New York State Police, Watervliet Police Department and Albany County Sheriff’s Department Emergency Preparedness Coordinator within 30 days of adoption.

Section II: General Emergency Response Planning

The district wide school safety plan provides the framework for the building-level safety plans. The purpose of a uniform plan is to ensure district-wide continuity for emergency responses. These general emergency responses will provide one consistent response system that will be used by all school employees, students, parents and emergency responders. This is particularly beneficial as students move from elementary to middle school and then to high school, and as full-time, part-time and substitute employees travel among the schools.

The District Wide School Safety Team has identified many factors that could cause an emergency in our schools and facilities within the district as well as factors that need to be considered when responding to an emergency. The detailed list of potential internal and external hazards or emergency situations is included in the confidential building-level safety plans.

A. Identification of Potential Emergency Situations (on and off school property):

Lists of areas on school property that have the potential to create an emergency situation have been identified. This list and floor/site plans have been created for reference and awareness. This list is not all-inclusive for every emergency. However, these areas have been identified as having the most probable impact on district facilities or district boundaries should they have or create an emergency, such as natural gas lines, fuel tanks and chemical storage. The detailed list and floor plans are included in the confidential building-level safety plans and are updated on an annual basis.
The District Wide School Safety Team in conjunction with the New York State Police, Albany County Sheriff’s Department, Watervliet Police Department, Watervliet Fire Department and city officials have identified potential emergency situations off of school property that could have an impact on the district. Factors that were considered include population, presence of hazardous materials, potential for emergency based on geographical potential and/or national trends and proximity to district property, such as airports, bridges, dams, major intersections, primary routes of hazardous cartage and SARA Title III locations of hazardous materials. The detailed list is included in the confidential building-level safety plans and is updated on an annual basis.

B. Multi-Hazard Response Guidelines

1. Actions: Included in the building-level safety plans are actions for handling multi-hazard emergencies that are in compliance with the Incident Command System (ICS). These guidelines include but not limited to:

  • Initial actions
  • Command post location (primary and secondary)
  • Before, during and after school evacuation including evacuation routes and relocations sites (internal and external)
  • Shelter in place
  • Lockdown/lockout
  • Duck and cover
  • Emergency school cancellations, closing, early dismissal and delays including after-school, evening activities and weekends.

2. Emergencies:These include, but are not limited to the following multi-hazard response guidelines:

  • Active shooter
  • Energy supply loss (electrical, heating or water system failure)
  • Air pollution
  • Epidemic
  • Mass casualty
  • Anthrax/biological
  • Explosion
  • Medical emergency
  • Aviation crash
  • Fire alarm activation
  • Natural gas leak
  • Building structural failure
  • Flood
  • Radiological
  • Bomb threat
  • HAZMAT on & off-site
  • School bus accident
  • Civil disturbance
  • Severe weather emergency
  • Crimes against people
  • Hostage situation
  • Threats of violence
  • Earthquake
  • Intruder situation
  • Toxic exposure

3. Resources: The district has identified various resources that may be available for use during an emergency, including: the identification of personnel via school building teams; use of Incident Command System (ICS); a list of volunteer faculty/staff trained in first aid, CPR and AED use; master list of all vehicles in the bus garage; building floor plans/maps with shut-offs and potential hazards noted; American Red Cross sheltering agreements; and designated shelter sites with backup shelter sites. The district has agreements with any shelters that are used within the community. The specific, detailed information is included in the confidential building-level safety plans.

4. Incident Command System (ICS): The district has identified school personnel authorized to make decisions during an emergency. Through ICS the procedures to coordinate the use of school district resources and manpower during emergencies are clearly defined. ICS identifies the staff members and their backups assigned to provide assistance during emergencies. Each school building has a safety team that works under the Incident Command System. Each team is documented in detail.
This document is given only to the building-level safety team, district administration, the New York State Police, Watervliet Police department and the Albany County Sheriff’s Department. The safety team details are located in the confidential building-level safety plans. Each safety team has been given an overview of the ICS, an ICS flow chart, ICS training and specific ICS roles and responsibilities.

5. Policies and Procedures for Training: The district has developed policies and procedures for National Incident Management System (NIMS) Compliant annual refresher school safety training for staff and school safety training and drills for students including scenarios based upon the multi-hazard response guides. Procedures have been established to provide this training on an annual basis to include but not limited to: early dismissal/go home drill, fire drills, lockdown drills and table top exercises. Individual schools use various faculty/staff surveys and forms, in order to obtain feedback on the drill practiced. School administrators then address any concerns or questions noted and share them either in written form or in faculty/staff meetings. District administrators and principals will meet to discuss any reports of multi-hazard training, actual and potential hazards and/or violence (implied threats, direct threats and/or actual acts of violence). The discussions are the key to debriefing as a district. Actions and procedures that are carried out successfully are verified and areas in need of improvement are noted as needed. This level of district awareness assists each principal and administrator in responding to future training, actual emergency responses and implied threat, direct threats and/or actual acts of violence.

The district conducts drills and other training exercises to test components of the safety plan, including the use of tabletop exercises, in coordination with local and county emergency responders and preparedness officials. The district administrators and building-level teams participate in tabletop exercises with local responders. Schools that have multiple floor levels also prepare and practice a non-ambulatory emergency evacuation plan.

Section III: Responding to Threats and Acts of Violence

A. Policies and Procedures 
  • Schools will activate their building-level safety team and will refer to their building-level safety plan and the multi-hazard response guide. The multi-hazard response guides are reviewed by the district-wide school safety team to ensure content and consistency throughout the district. These policies and procedures are for responding to implied or direct threats of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel and visitors to the school, including consideration of zero tolerance policies for school violence. The following types of procedures are addressed in the confidential building-level safety plans:
  • Contacting appropriate law enforcement agency, if necessary.
  • Inform the building principal and Superintendent.
  • The use of staff trained in de-escalation or other strategies to diffuse the situation. Informing the building principal of implied or direct threats.
  • Determine the level of threat with principal and Superintendent/designee.
  • Monitoring the situation, adjusting the district’s response as appropriate to include possible implementation of the safety team.
  • If the situation warrants, isolate the immediate area and evacuate if appropriate.
  • If necessary, initiate lockdown procedure and contact appropriate law enforcement agency.
  • Monitor the situation; adjust the level of response as appropriate; if necessary, initiate early dismissal, sheltering or evacuation procedures.
  • Communication with parent/legal guardian, and general public, as needed.
    NOTE: The Watervliet City School District Code of Conduct also describes policies and procedures for responding to acts of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel and visitors to the school. The district’s code of conduct also supports school safety and security. The code of conduct is pursuant to the district’s safe and drug-free schools policy and the no weapons policy.
B. Response Protocols

These are identified in the district-wide school safety plan, along with definitions of ICS roles and responsibilities. The multi-hazard emergency response guides address specific procedures and protocols for responding to bomb threat, intruders, hostage takings and kidnapping including:

  • Identification of decision-makers.
  • Notification of administrators/agencies – All district administrators, principals, their secretaries and building custodians have a confidential emergency reference card. This card specifically outlines which agency and which administrator(s) need to be contacted under which emergency circumstances. This document is updated on an annual basis and designed to be kept near the phones at work and at home if needed during “off” hours.
  • Plans to safeguard students and staff.
  • System for student release (reunification)
  • Procedures to provide the Capital District Transportation Authority, if necessary.
  • Debriefing procedures.
C. Communications Protocols

The district has established policies and procedures to contact parents, legal guardians or persons in parental relation to the students in the event of a violent incident or an early dismissal. In the Watervliet City School District, the following communication methods will be taken:

  • For small-scale incidents, schools may activate their Crisis Team and will refer their crisis intervention plan. Depending on the incident, school personnel may directly call the parents/legal guardians of all students directly impacted. All other parents/legal guardians will receive an informational notification via the district website or One Call Now system. Meetings may be scheduled in a timely manner for further discussion if necessary.
  • For any major incident, the building-level safety team will be activated. The district will be working with the media (TV, radio, newspaper), website, social media and the One Call Now system to relay pertinent school related information (i.e. how and where parents can be reunited with children, etc.). Community meetings and/or press conferences may be scheduled in a timely manner to discuss the particulars of the incidents and the district’s response.

Section IV: Communication with Other Agencies

The district-wide school safety plan provides the framework for the building-level safety plan with regard to communication with other agencies.

A. The Watervliet City School District is fortunate to have substantial ties to the City of Watervliet. In case of an emergency within any one of our facilities, that facility would dial 911 for emergency assistance. If involvement were needed from other local government agencies, then the Superintendent or their designee would act as that contact person. Additional procedures for communications can be found in the building-level safety plans and the Capital Region BOCES Emergency Communications Network Flowchart.

The following examples are the types of arrangements that could be used by the District:

  • Principal (building-level IC or backup IC) or Superintendent (district wide IC or backup IC) in an emergency would contact the county dispatch center for fire, EMS, or police by calling 911.
  • Principal (building-level IC or backup IC) or Superintendent (district wide IC or backup IC) contacts the highest-ranking local government official for notification and/or assistance.

B. Arrangements for obtaining advice and assistance from local government officials responsible for implementation of Article 2-B of the Executive Law will be carried out through the protocols established in Capital Region BOCES Communication Flowchart. The following are examples of the types of arrangements that could be used by the district during countywide emergencies:

  • Superintendent (district wide IC or backup IC) in an emergency will contact the Albany County Emergency Management Coordinator and/or the highest-ranking local government official for obtaining advice and assistance.
  • The District has identified resources for an emergency from the following agencies: Albany County Emergency Management Office, Watervliet Police Department, Albany County Department of Health, American Red Cross, New York State Police, Albany County Sheriff’s Office, Albany County Department of Mental Health and Capital Region BOCES Health/Safety/Risk Management Office.
  • If the emergency is within the school district boundaries and has the potential to impact the surrounding community, the Superintendent or designee will notify the appropriate city officials (ex: highway dept., city mayor, and/or public safety).

C. Along with the phone tree, the district has access to the following information about each educational agency located in the school district, including information on:

  • School population.
  • Number of staff.
  • Transportation needs.
  • Business and home telephone numbers of key officials of each such educational agency.

The details are considered confidential, due to the school specific information and administrator home phone numbers, and are located in the confidential building-level safety plan.

Section V: Prevention and Intervention Strategies

Security Measures and Procedures: The district procedures require the following: visitor sign-in and visitor badges (during regular school hours), single point of entry, buzz-in door surveillance systems, fingerprinting of employees, volunteer screening and employee badges. The district also employs school monitors that are routinely present on campus. Video surveillance and security intrusion systems are also used to improve security.

Security Policies: To further enhance school security and student, faculty and staff safety, the district has the following policies in place:

  • Suspected Child Abuse in a Domestic Setting – 7530
  • Code of Conduct – 7311
    • Covers Anti-Harassment in the School District, Dignity for All Students, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon on School Grounds, Weapons in School and the Gun-Free Schools Act – 7550, 7551, 7552
  • School District Officer & Employee Code of Ethics – 611
  • Drug-Free Workplace – 6151
  • Drug-Free Workplace Act – 6150
  • Emergency Closings – 3510
  • Recruiting and Hiring (covers fingerprinting of prospective school employees ) – 6170, 6210
  • School Building Safety – 5680, 5681, 5682, 5683
  • School Safety Plans and Teams – 5681
  • Child Abuse in an Educational Setting – 8211
  • Violent or Disruptive Incident reporting – 3430
  • Anti-Harassment in the School District – 3420, 6121, 7550, 7551

Identification of Warning Signs: The Watervliet City School District has implemented procedures for the dissemination of materials regarding the early detection of potentially violent behaviors (threat assessment) when deemed appropriate. The district employs school social workers, counselors and psychologists/behavioral specialists who assist the district in identifying early warning signs in students and early intervention/prevention strategies. Designated personnel also play a key role in suicide prevention programs.

Appropriate Prevention and Intervention Strategies:

  • Collaborative efforts with state and local law enforcement officials
  • Training of hall monitors and other security personnel
  • Compliance with DASA regulations
  • Non-violent conflict resolution training programs
  • OCIP – Off campus Intervention Program
  • Extended day school programs

Prevention and Intervention Programs: Strategies for improving communication among students, between students and staff and the reporting of potentially violent incidents. Highlights of the major programs are noted below (not all inclusive):

Watervliet Junior/Senior High School (Grades 7-12)

  • Counseling center – All students are assigned a school counselor who works with the students and parents.
  • Pupil Studies Team (PST) – Members (principal, assistant principal, psychologist, school counselors and school nurse) meet monthly to discuss students who are referred by members of the committee or teachers. Specific interventions are developed and staff are assigned to monitor progress.
  • Progressive discipline process – Teachers discuss behavior with students, communication with parents/legal guardians and use classroom behavior consequences. Teachers write referrals to document behavior that continues after teacher intervention. The student meets with the assistant principal or principal to discuss the behavior and its consequences.
  • Extracurricular activities – There are extensive opportunities for students to become involved in productive, fun activities before and after school.
  • Gay, Lesbian, Straight Educational Network (GLSEN) – To foster mutual respect in the high school.
  • Operation Graduation – To improve school performance and/or social interactions.

Watervliet Elementary School (K-6)

  • Character education/bullying assemblies 
  • Response to complaints protocol.
  • Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) – Comprehensive approach to work toward an atmosphere of tolerance school-wide.
  • Conflict resolution and social skill in classroom training by school counselor and social worker.
  • Social skills training.
  • Bully box (anonymous reporting).
  • Feeling: Counselor works with all students on the four basic feelings; happy, sad, mad, scared.
  • Problem solving strategies.
  • School wide approach to appropriate behavior – Three rules.
  • Peaceful School Bus behavioral protocols.

Prevention and Intervention Training: The district has developed descriptions of job duties, the hiring process and the screening process. As required by the SAVE legislation, all employees are fingerprinted and have a criminal background check via the NYS Education Department.

Section VI: Recovery

A. District Support for Buildings

The district realizes that some emergencies may require external support for an individual school since it may require additional expertise or personnel requirements. If/when a building-level safety team or crisis team is faced with threats of violence or actual violent incidents, the district-wide safety team will assist as follows:

  • Acting as a sounding board for the building principal/supervisor of implied or direct threats and/or violent acts.
  • Assisting in determining the level of threat and appropriate responses.
  • Sending a district-wide team member to support the building-level safety team.
  • Monitoring the situation and adjusting the District’s response as appropriate.
  • Assisting with parent/legal guardian, faculty/staff, and media communication.
  • Assisting with coordinating building and grounds security.
  • Assisting with offering a “backup” crisis team (another school team and/or an outside group) if the affected team needs assistance.
  • At the monthly administration team meetings, threats and/or violent acts are shared and discussed with administrators.
B. Disaster Mental Health Services

The district realizes that some emergencies may require external support for an individual school since it may require additional expertise or personnel requirements. If/when the building–level safety team is faced with threats of violence or actual violent incidents, the district-wide safety team will assist as follows:

  • Sending a district-wide team member to each affected school building as a liaison between the school building and the district office.
  • The team may involve the school physicians, school nurse coordinator, school psychologists or district office administrative staff as needed. If necessary, additional Albany County or city resources can be called upon.
  • Continued feedback from those directly impacted is sought. Building and district support is offered during the incident with projected plans to assist if needed during heightened stressful times such as a re-occurrence of a similar event and anniversaries of the original incident.
  • Assisting with parent/legal guardian, student, and faculty/staff debriefing and/or post-incident crisis intervention. If needed, assisting in contacting additional outside mental health resources.
  • Assisting the schools with the creation of written statements being distributed to faculty/staff, parents/legal guardians; press releases and media requests through the district’s public information officer and communications office. The district has a large resource of letters, press releases and media procedures that take the burden of off the individual school building team. 

Pesticide Application Notification

New York State Education Law Section 409-H, effective July 1, 2001, requires all public and non public elementary and secondary schools to provide written notification to all persons in parental relation, faculty and staff regarding the potential use of pesticides periodically throughout the school year.

The Watervliet City School District is required to maintain a list of persons in parental relation, faculty and staff who wish to receive 48-hour prior written notification of certain pesticide applications. The following pesticide applications are not subject to prior notification requirements:

  • a school remains unoccupied for a continuous 72 hours following an application
  • anti-microbial products
  • nonvolatile rodenticides in tamper-resistant bait stations in areas inaccessible to children
  • nonvolatile insecticidal baits in tamper-resistant bait stations in areas inaccessible to children
  • silica gels and other nonvolatile ready-to-use pastes, foams or gels in areas inaccessible to children
  • boric acid and disodium octaborate tetrahydrate
  • the application of EPA designated biopesticides
  •  the application of EPA designated exempt materials under 40CFR152.25
  •  the use of aerosol products with a directed spray in containers of 18 fluid ounces or less when used to protect individuals from an imminent threat from stinging or biting insects including venomous spiders, bees, wasps and hornets.

In the event of an emergency application necessary to protect against an imminent threat to human health, a good-faith effort will be made to supply written notification to those on the 48-hour prior notification list.

Residents who would like to receive 48-hour prior notification of pesticide applications must notify the district in writing. Please send your written request to:

Keith Heid, Pesticide Representative
Watervliet City School District,
1245 Hillside Drive, Watervliet, NY 12189.
Phone: (518) 629-3200, Ext. 5.
Fax: (518) 629-3268