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TO:             Superintendents, Heads of Private Schools and School Board Chairs

FROM:         Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner of Education
                   General John W. Libby, Commissioner of Public Safety

DATE:          June 7, 2007

RE:              Ensuring Safety in Our Schools: Disaster Response and School Readiness Checklist

As noted in other earlier Information Letters [ Informational Letter #77), (January 27, 2004) and Informational Letter #30 (October 3, 2006], it is important for SAUs and private schools to remain vigilant and committed to reviewing all the components of your All Hazards Emergency Management Plans.  Accordingly, we are attaching for your use the POP QUIZ: IS YOUR SCHOOL READY?  Please share the checklist with your school governance boards, principals, school counselors, facilities directors, chemical hygiene officers, directors of transportation, custodians, school nurses, crisis team members, food services directors, coaches, athletic directors and other staff members who would be involved in planning for and managing all hazards emergency situations at schools.  In addition, your community first responders and county emergency management officials should also be involved in the plan review and improvement process.

The checklist was developed as a collaborative effort between the Department of Education (DOE) and the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) in consultation with the Maine School Management Association. It is intended to serve as a self-assessment tool for conducting an emergency preparedness audit and to utilize as an adjunct tool for emergency drills and practice.  The checklist is also intended to serve as a catalyst for communicating with the Department of Education and the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) for technical assistance needs regarding all hazards emergency management planning and for conducting practice drills.

If you have questions concerning the checklist and technical assistance  needs for subsequent plan upgrading and improvement, the contact people are  Harvey Boatman, Department of Education, Construction/Transportation Specialist, or 624- 6848, Dr. Edwin N. Kastuck, Department of Education, School Approval Services, or 624-6776, and Eugene A. Maxim, MEMA School Preparedness Coordinator, or 624-4434.

Thank you.

Attachment: Disaster Response and School Readiness Checklist