Contract Grade- Crisis Management : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread


We like to think of our school as a safe haven for our children where nothing from the outside world will affect them, but this is not the case.

School is where we equip children for life, and loss is a part of life.

Thousands of school age children and school staff die each year. In addition, thousands more experience the expected and unexpected death (s) of loved ones. Our purpose for developing a crisis plan is to create a structure from which to operate when an emergency of this type takes place. The role of the school may be especially important when family members are in a state of shock or grief. Knowing that students and staff will be touched by death, we want to be prepared to offer valuable and meaningful support to our families, students, and staff. Thus, we have created a crisis plan to assist us with this eventuality. ST. THOMAS SCHOOL TELEPHONE TREE 1999 - 2000

Jill Herzig/Michelle Misner Fr. Louis Sondergoth 283-9293 Jackie Glowack 283-4182 Marilyn Berlin 285-7284 Bishop Schwietz 724-9111

(See attached telephone calling list and implement the "A" list with teachers only, unless otherwise indicated by the principal.)

Crisis Management Plan St. Thomas Aquinas School Updated 1/14/00 The following plan outlines guidelines to facilitate managing a death or other tragedy that may affect students and school personnel. Frequent review of the plan will allow the crisis team, support team, and the entire staff to respond effectively in the event that the plan must be employed.

Prevention - Tasks to be completed at the start of each school year:

1. A designated member of St. Thomas School will review the crisis plan, reassess crisis team members and support team members and make necessary changes.

2. The Crisis team will maintain a current listing of community resources for assistance with crisis intervention and on-going support as post-intervention.

3. The school will provide on-going education focusing on crisis intervention.

4. Crisis Management training will be provided for St. Thomas Aquinas School personnel and Parish staff.

5. The principal of St. Thomas School will establish and maintain a phone tree that will include all school personnel, community resources, and crisis support team members.

6. The St. Thomas secretary will update and distribute Crisis Management instructions to all school personnel.

Crisis Plan for an Emergency

Intervention - The following actions should be taken in the event that any St. Thomas Aquinas School student or staff dies or suffers a tragic accident: (The crisis team may elect to perform some similar actions if an immediate family member of a staff or student dies.)

All school staff members are expected to inform the principal or another member of the crisis team upon receiving word of a death or tragedy affecting the school.

1. In the event of a death that occurs outside of school, the principal or designated staff member will initially contact the family to gather factual information and to express condolences. The family should be asked how they want the news presented to the school and be part of this planning process. If the family is unable to express their position, the principal or designated staff member will make the decision on how to relay the information. This individual will be responsible for ongoing contact with the family.

2. In the event of a death that occurs outside of school, the principal or designated staff member will alert all crisis team members. Upon receiving notice, crisis team members will meet immediately to plan a crisis management approach. Crisis team members will then activate the phone-calling tree to inform St. Thomas Aquinas School staff of the incident and to schedule an emergency all staff meeting. The staff will meet at the close of the school day to discuss continuing crisis management and student response.

3. A member of the Crisis team will contact community support team members and request their assistance.

4. A designated member of the crisis team should seek out students and staff who were particularly close to the victim(s) as soon as possible. Siblings, relatives, locker partners, best friends, teammates, etc. of the deceased will be identified at the initial crisis team and all staff meetings and given individual attention immediately.

5. While recognizing the needs of the student body to express their feelings, efforts should be made to maintain a structured school day after initial announcements have been completed. Those teachers able to maintain their classroom schedules should do so. Any teacher who feels they need a substitute should have one provided for them.

6. The principal or a designated member of the crisis team will prepare a statement to inform the student body of the incident in a timely manner. Teachers or crisis support team members should make this announcement in individual classrooms. Students will be informed that counselors are available on site for them. Language should be clear and concise when informing students about death.

7. Crisis team and other support team members will cover the offices or a conference room where students and staff can go to seek grief support services. Support team members or designated individuals should monitor the halls to identify students who are having difficulty and to bring them to a location with counseling support. If counseling support is given to a student, the parents will be notified and informed of steps that can be taken at home to aid the student.

8. A Crisis team member will attend each class to help student's process the death by expressing feelings and asking questions. Efforts will be made throughout the day by the principal to check on the teachers of the deceased student or special friends or relatives of the deceased staff member. Crisis and support team members will check in with each other to ensure that all realize and accommodate their own need for support. The student's chair should be left in place in the classroom while students process the death.

9. The principal and secretary will draft a letter to go home with students briefly informing parents of the crisis intervention that took place that day as well as a telephone list of resources available to all students and families.

10. The principal/priest will act as liaison to the media; all news media inquiries will be referred to this person. The school will request that the media refrain from interviewing staff and students.

11. Office personnel will take the student off the computer immediately so the family does not continue to receive mailings in reference to their child. Any personal belongings and work left at school and in the locker should be returned to the family by a school representative.

13. The principal will represent the school and give the family a memorial gift such as a card and flowers. To aid the school community in the grieving process, the family will be notified that the deceased will be recognized in the next school liturgy.

To be completed following the initial crisis:

1. An announcement will be made in the classrooms to inform students of visitation, funeral, or memorial services.

2. Staff will continue to monitor students struggling with the reality that a classmate or staff person has died. If a student exhibits atypical behavior, the Crisis team and/or support team members will be notified.

3. The crisis and support team will meet two weeks following the crisis to evaluate management and assess on-going needs.

4. The principal should continue periodic contact with the family for several months following the death as part of their support network. If there are siblings or relatives of the deceased in the school, frequent contact should be made.

5. The principal will communicate with individuals who have helped during the crisis to acknowledge their efforts and to gather recommendations regarding the implementation of the crisis plan.


Bishop Roger Schwietz Bishop Diocese of Duluth h w 724-9111 (Honorary)

Jill Herzig Principal St. Thomas School h 283-8655 w 283-3430

Michelle Misner Principal St. Thomas School h 285-7391 w 283-3430

Fr. Louis Sondergoth Priest Pastor h 283-3293 w 283-3553

Marilyn Berlin Secretary St. Thomas School h 285-7284 w 283-3430

Dr. James Berlin Doctor Duluth Clinic h 285-7284 w 283-9431 Liz Eidel Psychologist ISD #361 w 283-3477

Doreen Swendsen Nurse ISD #361 h 286-5750 w 283-3487 (Falls) w 283-2219(Holler)

Jan Derdowski Social Worker Kooch. County h 286-4081 w 283-6138

Brenda Crowe Psychologist

Nancy/Leif Larsen Director Grief Support/ h 283-4117 w 283-2588 Larsen Mortuary

Chris Raboin Police Chief Int'l Falls Police h unlisted w 283-4416 Department

Daryl Waller Juvenile/DARE Int'l Falls Police h 285-7130 w 283-4416 Officer Department

St. Thomas School Emergency Code Response For on-site emergencies (Drafted 1/14/00)

Purpose: To provide guidelines for response in the event of a life threatening or otherwise serious emergency involving students, staff, or visitors to St. Thomas Aquinas School.

E team members for on-site emergencies/E-team members: Principal, Jill Herzig 283-8655 Assistant Principal, Michelle Misner 285-7391 Secretary, Marilyn Berlin 285-7284 Father Louis Sondergoth 283-9293 EMT, Raelynn Harder(if on site) 283-2713 Sharlene Howe, preschool/kind. aide on site School Nurse, Doreen Swensen 283-3487 Police Officer, Daryl Waller 283-4416(w) 285-7130 Custodian, Terry Johnson on site

Procedure: 1. Adults present at the scene of an emergency shall immediately institute First Aid. The victim should not be moved unless in danger. 2. Adult designates an individual to CALL 911 3. Call school offices indicating need for E-CODE Crisis team; be specific about location of the victim. If outside on school grounds, send an adult or two responsible students to request the team and the 911 call. 4. The office will use the public address system to call the on-site support team. Message: "Attention all staff. E-team members report immediately to ________________ (location of victim.)

When you hear an E-team message assume a critical incident is occurring. Teachers and support staff will direct all students to classrooms where they will remain until "All Clear" is announced.

5. E-team members will accept the following responsibilities: A. Administrative Assistant (Marilyn Berlin) 1. Call E-team over Public Address system 2. Ensure that 911 has been called 3. Keep phone lines open 4. Call "All Clear" when so noted by Administrator

B. Principal (Jill Herzig, Michelle Misner) 1. Assess situation and assist with direct aid 2. Call victim's family 3. Implement Crisis Management plan following initial emergency 4. Notify Pastor and the Parish office 5. Coordinate response and deal with media if necessary

C. School Nurse/First Aid Responder 1. Participate in direct First Aid 2. Request 911 call and call for E-Team 3. Communicate with Emergency Responders 4. Provide health records of victim if possible

D. Teacher 1. Cover classroom of any teacher involved in first response 2. Give support to victim 3. Monitor students within the school setting

E. Custodian(s) 1. Direct Ambulance/Emergency vehicles 2. Crowd control

-- Anonymous, April 16, 2000

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