Are You Prepared?
Emergency Plans Highlight NTAASB Meeting
by Anthony Hill
Emergency preparedness was the key topic of the North Texas Area Association of School Boards meeting November 6,
2019, at Coppell ISD’s Coppell Middle
School West. Trustees, superintendents,
and staff gathered to listen to Janina
Flores, division director of TASB Risk
Solutions, and Melanie Moss, emergency
management and school security consultant for TASB Risk Management.
The presentation, titled “Is Your
District Prepared to Respond to a
Crisis,” centered on understanding the
“why” of emergency preparedness: relevant statutes, elements of an effective
emergency operation plan, how to assess
the plan, and how to implement the
Texas Education Code Chapter 37
(Safe Schools) authorizes the Texas School
Safety Center to oversee the development
of emergency operation plans, presenters
noted, adding that each school district
is required to have a safety and security
program in place.
Additionally, Texas Education Code
Chapter 418 relates to emergency management plans that complement Chapter
37. Both codes are required to be included
in local school district policies.
The presenters further identified five
phases of an emergency management
plan: (1) preparedness; ( 2) prevention; ( 3)
response; ( 4) recovery; and ( 5) mitigation.
The first phase, preparedness, includes
four parts: planning, training, exercising,
Every district is required to have a
safety and security committee composed
of specific members: county/city emergency management, local police or sheriff,
school district police (if applicable), board
president, board member, superintendent
or designee, teacher, and parent.
Each campus is required to have a
threat assessment team that consists of
representatives from the fields of mental
health, safety, law enforcement, special
education, and classroom management.
Presenters noted that under Senate
Bill 11, new emergency operations plans
require the following features:
• Adding prevention to the phases of
• Including substitute teachers in
• Including communication drills
with substitutes and other faculty
• Instituting a chain of command
and lines of succession
• Emphasizing physical and psycho-
• Emphasizing special needs
• Including emergency notification
Members of the North Texas Area Association of School Boards listen to a presentation on emergency preparedness at the group’s November
2019 meeting in Coppell ISD.