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Districtwide School Safety Plan


Emergencies in schools must be addressed in an expeditious and effective manner. Schools are at risk of acts of violence, natural, and manmade disasters. To address these threats, the State of New York has enacted the Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) law. Project SAVE is a comprehensive planning effort that addresses prevention, response, and recovery with respect to a variety of emergencies in schools. 

The North Colonie School District supports the SAVE Legislation, and intends to facilitate the planning process. The Superintendent encourages and advocates on-going district-wide cooperation and support of Project SAVE. 

SECTION 1: General Considerations & Planning Guidelines 


The North Colonie District-wide School Safety Plan was developed pursuant to  Commissioner’s Regulation 151.17. At the direction of the North Colonie Central  School District Board of Education, the Superintendent of Schools appointed a  District-wide School Safety Team and charged it with the development and  maintenance of the District-wide School Safety Plan. 


The Superintendent of Schools, or his/her designee, is the District’s chief  emergency officer, and is responsible for coordinating communication between  school staff and law enforcement and first responders, and ensuring staff  understand the district-level safety plan. The chief emergency officer is also  responsible for ensuring the completion and yearly updating of building-level emergency response plans.  

The School Safety Team includes representatives of the school board, teachers, administrators, parent organizations, and school safety personnel.

Safety Team Member Role Telephone 
Samuel JohnsonBoard of Education Representative (518) 785-8591
Sari VanSleet Teacher Representative (518) 785-0222
Kathleen SkealsAdministrator Representative (518) 785-8591
TBDParent Organization Representative (518) 785-8591
Jenna Bongermino School Safety Personnel Representative (518) 785-8591
Brianna Pierce School Safety Personnel Representative (518) 785-5511

District-wide School Safety Team 


The District-wide School Safety Plan provides a high-level overview of District safety procedures, and provides guidance in the development and implementation of individual Building-level Emergency Response Plans. The initial response to all  emergencies at an individual school will be by the Building Emergency Response  Team. 

Upon the activation of the Building Emergency Response Plan, 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. 


Pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation, Section 155.17 (c)(3), a summary of this  plan will be made available for public comment at least thirty (30) days prior to its  adoption. The District-wide plan may be adopted by the Board of Education only  after at least one public hearing that provides for the participation of school  personnel, parents, students and any other interested parties. The plan must be  formally adopted by the Board of Education. 

Building Emergency Response 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 Education Law Section 2801-a.

Full copies of the Building Emergency Response Plans will be supplied to both local and State Police within thirty (30) days of adoption. 

This plan will be reviewed periodically during the year and will be maintained by  the District School Safety Team. The required annual review will be completed on  or before September 1 of each year after its adoption by the Board of Education.

SECTION II: Risk Reductions/Prevention & Intervention


1. Program Initiatives.

A program geared to prevention is designed to not only decrease incidents of violence and bullying but to help students build more supportive relationships with one another by integrating the bullying prevention program into classroom instruction. Staff members and students will be sensitized, through district-wide professional development and instruction, to the warning signs of violence and bullying, as well as to their responsibility to become actively involved in the prevention of violence or bullying before overt acts occur. The components of such an effort involve the following: 

  • Following the principles and practices of “Educating the Whole ChildEngaging the Whole School: Guidelines and Resources for Social and Emotional Development and Learning (SEDL) in New York State –Adopted by the Board of Regents July 18, 2011.District curriculum will emphasize developing empathy, tolerance and respect for others. (References: SEDL Guidelines, NYSED)
  • Learning about and identifying the early warning signs and precursor behaviors that may lead to violence or bullying
  • Gathering information about violence and bullying at school directly from students (through surveys and other mechanisms); analyzing and using the data gathered to assist in decision-making about programming and resource allocation
  • Establishing clear school wide and classroom rules about violence and bullying through a code of conduct developed in accordance with TheDignity Act and the revised regulations of the New York State EducationDepartment, (CR 100.2(l))
  • Training adults in the school community to respond sensitively and consistently to bullying
  • Raising awareness among adults, through training, of the school experiences of marginalized student populations (as enumerated in the Definitions section), social stigma in the school environment, gender norms in the school environment, and strategies for disrupting bullying, intimidation, harassment or other forms of violence
  • Providing adequate supervision, particularly in less structured are as such as in the hallways, cafeteria, school bus and playground
  • Raising parental awareness and involvement in the prevention program and in addressing problems
  • Providing examples of positive behaviors that are age appropriate
  • Instituting policies and practices that create a positive school climate
  • Using educational opportunities or curriculum, including, if applicable, the Individual Educational Program (IEP), to address the underlying causes and impact of bullying

In order to implement this program, the Superintendent has established a District-wide Dignity for All Committee, comprised of teachers, counselors, administrators, students and parents, to work with school-level teams to assist the administration in developing and implementing specific procedures on early identification of bullying and other preventive strategies. In addition, the program will include reporting, investigating, remedying and tracking allegations of bullying. 

2. Building Emergency Response Team Training

All Building Emergency Response Teams will receive annual training from theTown of Colonie Police. Safety and emergency procedures for buildings with school monitors and other personnel are reviewed, and assignments adjusted as needed. A schedule of assignments is maintained in each building.Substitutes for monitors are briefed by the principal or his/her designee and a detailed assignment sheet is provided to substitutes in order to maintain supervision throughout the building and grounds.

3. Coordination with Emergency Officials.

There is a review and practice of all emergency drills throughout the year. Local fire and police agencies are invited to attend and comment on fire and lockdown drills. The Building Emergency Response Team regularly reviews and updates emergency procedures (e.g. fire evacuation routes and procedures, lockdown drill procedures, evacuation procedures and alternate sites.) Emergency resource contact information is provided in each building’s plan.

4. Annual Multi-hazard Training for Staff and Students.

Procedures for fire, shelter, bus, lockout, and lockdown drills are reviewed annually with staff and practiced regularly throughout the year. There will beat least twelve (12) fire and emergency drills held throughout the year. Eight(8)of all such drills shall be evacuation drills. Four (4) of all such required drills shall be lock-down drills. Drills shall be conducted at different times of the school day. Eight (8) of those drills are to be held between September 1 and December 31.


Potential internal and external hazards at each school have been identified in each building plan.


The District will implement policies for the early detection of potentially violent behaviors, as outlined in the Handbook of Students’ Rights and Responsibilities.

SECTION III: Response 

A.NOTIFICATION AND ACTIVATION (Internal & External Communications)

Internal communications are primarily accomplished via the public address system  which can be accessed in the main office of each building or at the high school in  either main or hall offices. In the event no power exists, those buildings with stand  by generators will provide power for PA systems and all other building personnel  are assigned emergency areas and can alert occupants of their area of any  instructions. Faculty members are assigned supervision throughout the building  and can be utilized as needed. At the high school, designated personnel possess  walkie-talkies and are in communication with the main offices or hall offices.  Building principals and designated personnel possess cell telephones which are  linked to all administrators throughout the district. 

In the event of an emergency, the Building Response Team shall be responsible  for notifying the Chief Emergency Officer. If appropriate, the Chief Emergency  Officer will contact law enforcement agencies. The Chief Emergency Officer will  notify all Building Principals within the District of an actual or impending disaster or  act of violence. 

In the event of an emergency, parents, guardians or persons in parental relation  will be contacted as per the protocols set forth in the Building-level Emergency  Response plan. 


Multi-Hazard Response

Each building plan contains procedures for responding to emergencies that include the following situations:

  • Threats/Acts of Violence Against Others
  • Threats/Acts of Violence Against Self (including suicide)
  • Hostage/Kidnapping
  • Intruder
  • Explosive/Bomb Threat
  • And others as determined by the School Safety Team

Each situational response includes procedures describing who will respond, the actions that must be taken, when/if to contact law enforcement, and when to contact parents and/or guardians of students. 

Arrangements & Procedures for Obtaining Advice & Emergency Assistance from Local Government Officials 

The Chief Emergency Officer is responsible for contacting 911 or dispatch to obtain fire or EMS response. The Chief Emergency Officer is responsible for contacting the emergency management coordinator and/or the highest-ranking local-government official for obtaining advice and assistance. 

The District has identified the following community resources for an emergency: 

  • Colonie Police Department
  • Colonie Fire Department
  • Colonie Emergency Medical Services
  • American Red Cross
  • Town of Colonie

District Resources Available for Use in an Emergency 

The District has identified the following resources available for us in an emergency: 

  • School Nurses
  • Additional Facilities
  • Buses
  • School Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Administrators
  • Staff members

Procedures to Coordinate the Use of School District Resources & Manpower During Emergencies 

In the event of an emergency, the Chief Emergency Officer, in consultation with the Building Response Team, shall identify District and Community resources which will be used in response. It shall be the responsibility of the Chief Emergency Officer to make decisions regarding the use of manpower, and the assignment of staff members to provide assistance during an emergency. 

Protective Action Options 

In response to an emergency, the Chief Emergency Officer may take the following protective actions, using the following protocol: 

School Cancellation
  • Monitor any situation that may warrant a school cancellation
  • Make determination
  • Contact local media
  • Monitor situation
  • If conditions warrant, close school
  • Contact Director of Transportation to arrange transportation
  • Contact local media
  • If appropriate, set up an information center so that parents may make inquiries as to the situation
  • Retain appropriate District staff until all students have been returned home
  • Determine the level of threat
  • Contact Director of Transportation to arrange transportation
  • If appropriate, set up an information center so that parents may make inquiries as to the situation
  • Clear all evacuation routes prior to evacuation
  • Evacuate all students and staff to pre-arranged evacuation sites
  • Account for all student and staff members — report any missing persons to the Building Principal or Supervisor
  • Make determination regarding early dismissal
  • If determination was made to dismiss early, contact local media
  • Ensure adult supervision or continued school supervision/security
  • Retain appropriate District staff until all students have been returned home
  • Determine the level of threat
  • Determine the location of sheltering, depending on the nature of the incident
  • Account for all students and staff — report any missing persons to the BuildingPrincipal or Supervisor
  • Determine other occupants in the building
  • Make appropriate arrangements for human needs
  • Take appropriate safety precautions
  • Establish a public information officer to provide information and current status of the situation to parents and other inquiring parties
  • Retain appropriate District staff until all students have been returned home

SECTION IV: Recovery (Post Incident)


Each building has a Crisis Team that will deal with post incident details as outlined in the Procedural Guides for School Crisis manual. The Building or District Emergency Response Team(s) will oversee all post incident activities. 

Depending on the type and scope of the emergency, district resources will be available and dispatched to the emergency site; including but not limited to: psychologists, counselors, nurses, administrators, food, vehicles, clerical support, maintenance/custodial services, buses and other district vehicles, substitute teachers/staff. 


In the event of an emergency, the Superintendent of Schools may determine that the assistance of Disaster Mental Health Resources is appropriate. In that event, the Superintendent shall coordinate with the Post-Incident Response Teams of the affected school(s) to implement such support.

SECTION V: Remote Instruction


To help inform our Emergency Remote Instruction Plan, the North Colonie Central  School District (NCCSD) completes an annual Student Digital Resources report to  better understand the level of access students have to devices (e.g., laptops,  Chromebooks, cell phones) and the Internet. Data for this report is collected  through a survey given to all households within Infinite Campus (Student  Information System). Responses are recorded per student. The purpose of the  survey is to ensure that, to the extent possible, students can access the Internet  and receive remote instruction, if necessary, under emergency conditions. This  survey is conducted on an annual basis. Students and families may update their  access information at any time by contacting their child’s school. It is our goal that  our plan will sufficiently correspond with the information provided by families in the  Student Digital Resources data collection. 

We have also developed a plan for communicating all necessary information  should a school or schools need to close. The district will use existing internal and  external communications channels to notify staff, students, and families/caregivers  about remote learning schedules with as much advance notice as possible. This  communication will include information about how computing devices (e.g.,  computers, hot spots, etc.) are being disseminated to students and families who  need them. We will provide students and their families with multiple ways (i.e.,  email, district website, Parent Square, etc.) to contact schools and teachers during  remote learning. Information communicated through Parent Square will  automatically translate into the parent’s/student’s preferred language. Additionally,  we will complete several mailings and use phone and text messaging services as  additional means of communication. 

To support remote learning, the district will provide computer devices to all  students and families who need them. The district will continually monitor students’  internet accessibility through teachers, counselors, administrators, surveys, and  other forms of reciprocal communication. A WiFi hotspot will be provided to any  student in need of home internet access. We recognize that for some of our  students and families, remote learning through digital technology may not be  appropriate or possible. Therefore, the district will assess their needs and  determine the best course of action. Other methods that may be considered  include instruction by phone, tutoring, and/or the delivery or pick-up of hard-copy  learning materials. 

We will also take intentional steps to ensure that the necessary faculty and staff  have the tools (i.e., computer devices and Internet access), to deliver remote  instruction from their place of residence. If needed, the District will provide WiFi  hotspots to staff. 

A Google Form will be posted on our district website and Parent Square for students, parents or guardians to complete if they have issues with their devices.  Our technicians will check this data daily to ensure all our students have a working device. Our Technology Department will be made accessible to students, parents or guardians remotely to troubleshoot and resolve district-provided hardware  issues. The Office of Educational Services will be available to provide support  about learning platforms/software. 

To ensure high-quality remote learning experiences, we will primarily use Google Classroom as our main online platform for Grades 2-12 and SeeSaw for Grades K  and 1. Faculty and staff also have access to Zoom and Google Meet, if needed.  This will allow pertinent staff to meet individually or with groups of students,  parents/guardians, colleagues, etc. Students will log in to their Google Classroom  (or SeeSaw) to access their teacher’s link to meet live synchronously. Again,  students who are unable to participate in remote learning will be provided with hard-copy materials.


The NCCSD has an emergency remote instruction plan that will support all  students. When a remote learning model is necessary, certain groups of students  may be prioritized for in-person learning to the greatest extent possible,  depending on the nature of the emergency. This includes but is not limited to,  special education students, English language learners, and students with  technology or connectivity needs. 

Acknowledging that the typical content in each grade level or course may need to  be adjusted, content (i.e., literacy and math) will be prioritized to ensure that  students receive instruction for the prioritized learning standards, key  understandings, and skills necessary for future student success. 

Instruction will focus on “core” subject areas; however, elective courses will  continue to be offered in a remote learning environment. All instruction will  continue to be aligned with the New York State Learning Standards. 

Virtual learning schedules have been developed by grade level. If an emergency  requires the district to move to virtual learning, these schedules will be shared  with students and families per the communication strategies outlined earlier in this  plan. Students will be given opportunities to engage with teachers and classmates  through live instruction, question-and-answer periods with teachers, and group  work (i.e., synchronous learning). Teachers will ensure that their students are  directly engaged with them and their class peers in experiential learning regularly.  Supplementing this time will be self-guided projects, readings, and other age appropriate assignments that can be completed by the students remotely (i.e.,  asynchronous learning). Students will also utilize asynchronous learning for  special area teachers.  

Building principals, department supervisors, along with our Communications Department will be responsible for sending guidelines, via Parent Square, and schedules for remote learning for the students in their respective buildings. The guidelines for elementary and secondary are as follows:

  • All elementary students will log in to their Google Classroom (or SeeSaw) to  access their teacher’s Google Meet/Zoom link as well as access their digital  materials and assignments. Teachers will implement a modified schedule of a  typical day. Modifications have been made to limit students’ screen time.  Teachers will balance direct, synchronous instruction in Google Meet/Zoom with  independent and/or asynchronous practice for students when not in Google  Meet/Zoom. However, the majority (3-4 hours) of the instructional day will be  synchronous. Students’ day will mirror the regular day, with encore teachers  meeting with students in Google Meet/Zoom as scheduled. All information will be  available in each classroom teacher’s Google Classroom. 
  • All secondary (middle & high school) students will follow an abbreviated period-by period schedule, except for study halls and lunch periods. The majority (4 hours)  of the instructional day will be synchronous. Students will log in to their course via Google Classrooms to access the Google Meet/Zoom links as well as access  their digital materials and assignments and rotate through the daily schedule.  Students will be able to access varied instructional materials in Google Classroom. 

Tiered (2 & 3) instruction and auxiliary services (i.e., English Language Learner  and Special Education services) will be implemented during breakout sessions  and the Independent work instructional block. 

English Language Learners/Multi-Language (ELL/ML) supports and services will  be integrated into our remote program. ELL teachers will be responsible for  providing stand-alone and integrated instruction across grade levels. They will co plan with grade-level teachers to ensure that materials are appropriately  scaffolded to meet students’ English proficiency levels. Adaptive technology will  be utilized to ensure that the curriculum is accessible to students (i.e., read/write  extension, speech-to-text, recordings with subtitles, audio recordings of text to  accompany the print version, visual supports, etc.) Each ELL teacher will have  their own Google Classroom where assignments and messages can be posted.  Anything posted through a Google platform can be translated if/when needed. 

For students whose remote instruction via digital technology may not be  accessible or appropriate for, we will employ our Multi-Tiered System of Support  (MTSS) and Child Study Team (CST) processes to review and assist with making  any determinations. We will carefully consider the learning and social-emotional  needs of all learners, especially our most vulnerable. 

In an emergency, as the district is assessing which students need devices or  access to the Internet, the district will also assess which students could be in need  of some emergent additional support. Depending on the nature of the emergency,  this may involve some level of in-person instruction for these students either at a  school building within the district or at a community location, as appropriate.  These decisions will be made in partnership with local health officials and  emergency personnel, as applicable.


Based on the learning model we have developed, students with disabilities and/or Individualized Education Plans (IEP) will continue to receive support services in  accordance with their individualized education plans should remote learning become  necessary. It is the expectation that all service providers (e.g., teachers,  paraprofessionals, and related service providers) will sign on to the remote learning  platform to support students as needed. This will include large classroom settings in  the remote learning environment, as well as the use of breakout rooms or one-on one virtual meetings as necessary.  

North Colonie Central School District (NCCSD) Department of Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) will follow its existing engagement and communication protocols with  parents regarding the provision of special education services for their child(ren). 

To address the unique needs of students with disabilities, staff will continue the work with families to collaboratively identify the services for each student that can be  provided. NCCSD will provide training, resources, and tools to support IEP teams in  determining the needed services. 

  • General education, special education teachers, and related service providers will collaborate with families to discuss students’ individual needs and access to the  curriculum and progress toward IEP goals, as needed. 
  • General education and/or special education teachers will meet with students virtually using online platforms through synchronous (Google Meet/Zoom)  methods and asynchronous (Google Classroom) methods. 
  • Paraprofessionals will provide remote instructional assistance. They will maintain open communication with the teachers/administrators/students and families on assigned days, support students, and consistently provide support for assigned students via email when needed. 
  • All remote special education programs will continue to follow age and size  requirements outlined by the New York State Education Department (NYSED).
  • The district will continue to identify, locate, and evaluate students suspected of  having a disability and needing special education services per state guidelines.
  • The district will complete initial and re-evaluation assessments remotely per public  health guidelines to ensure mandated timelines are met.
  • IEP meetings, if permissible, will be held in person. However, if that is not possible,  they will occur remotely through Google Meet/Zoom or by telephone. The district  will continue to meet the mandated timelines for IEP meetings and ensure  mandated participants are in attendance at IEP meetings.
  • PPS staff will continually contact parents via email, telephone, and mail to monitor  special education services and progress toward a student’s IEP goals.
  • PPS staff will provide weekly check-ins to families and students, individualize  access to online learning tools, and individualize materials to meet the needs of  the students.
  • In collaboration with the Office of Educational Services, the PPS Department  provides opportunities for parents of special education students to receive valuable  information and courses in various languages.
  • Related services (speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and counseling)  will be conducted remotely using Google Meet/Zoom. However, assessment and considerations for each student must occur to determine the appropriateness for  virtual/remote instruction.
  • Documentation of IEP-mandated services will be noted by each individual service  provider on a weekly basis with service and/or tracking logs for each student.  Student progress will be noted in report cards and parents will receive quarterly  progress reports from the teacher and related service provider. 
  • All accommodations and modifications will be implemented remotely by the  classroom teacher and paraprofessional, if appropriate. The district will have  access to accessibility tools to support the needs of students.  
  • Family outreach and education will be provided to support families’ understanding of remote learning and how to support their children during the emergency. Meetings will be held on a monthly basis to monitor students’ and families’ needs. 

Additional Special Education Programs

Special Class Program 

Activities will support functional academics, independent living, and vocational activities that students can practice at home with materials typically found in the  home: money, time, measuring, menus, newspapers, magazines, grocery lists, etc. Teachers and related service providers may provide synchronous virtual  meetings in small groups or individually to check in with students, reinforce  concepts and skills, and provide re-teaching and pre-teaching. They may also  provide pre-recorded videos to support the learning of new skills as well as  opportunities for students to conference with them for assistance. Related service  providers will work collaboratively with their special class teachers to ensure that  communication, virtual learning, and educational materials are accessible, adapted, modified and appropriate in accordance with students’ IEPs. 

Out-of-District Programs 

If your child attends an out-of-district program, your program providers will continue  to share information, activities, and resources to support the continuity of learning within their programs.