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IMPORTANT NOTICE: School Emergency Preparedness Review
INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO.: 35
TO: Superintendents, School Board Chairs, and Heads of Private Schools
As you are aware, there was an incident involving a gunman entering Stockton Springs Elementary School this morning. I am extremely relieved to report that no one was injured. It appears, based on initial reports, that school staff followed their emergency management plan and acted appropriately by immediately locking down the building. The Maine State Police, local law enforcement, and other first responders were on scene within minutes and were able to bring the situation to a safe outcome. This incident is a sobering reminder of how important our task is to remain vigilant and committed to reviewing and practicing all the components of our individual school and school administrative unit all-hazards emergency management plan. We must continue to focus on school safety and security, including regulating access to our schools.
I am asking every school administrative unit in the state to examine its all-hazards plans to ensure that they are up-to-date, to make sure that all checklists and forms regarding emergency planning and response are filed appropriately, and to consider what efforts may be necessary locally to update plans, train, or otherwise enhance preparedness and planning.
The following informational letters will provide you with additional information to assist you in preparing for, mitigating, responding to, and following up on all-hazards disasters that involve our schools. It is equally important that you coordinate and communicate with your county emergency management directors and other first responders in your regions and municipalities. It is now state law that each SAU must have an all-hazards, comprehensive emergency management plan that is approved by the school board annually (20-A MRSA §1001, sub-§16). You can find additional information about the statute in:
I applaud and thank the staff and students at Stockton Springs Elementary School, the Maine State Police, local law enforcement, and all first responders who were involved with this incident for their readiness and successful response. This incident underscores the need for each of us to remain vigilant, and the significance of our collective efforts to prepare, including practice drills.
If you have any questions or would like assistance with emergency management planning for your school unit do not hesitate to contact Edwin N. Kastuck, Ph.D., School Approval Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 624-6776, or Rick Soules at email@example.com or by phone 624-6884.
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