Assessment of School Security
- County Emergency Management Agency (CEMA). Your local CEMA is the first contact for school districts when developing School Emergency Operations Plans. Agencies can also guide districts on assessment of school security. Contact one of the 16 local agencies for more information.
- Maine School Security Guide: Twenty Simple Strategies to Safer and More Effective Maine Schools. This guide provides school officials with practical and no-cost and low-cost security evidence-based and research-based strategies.
- Maine School Security Report Excerpts. This report was directed by the Maine Legislature and presents results of a statewide school security assessment that was conducted by the Maine Department of Education during 2013 and 2014.
- Seven Important Building Design Features to Enhance School Safety and Security. (PDF, 2MB) This document provides general guidance on safer school building design, renovation and front entry concepts to enhance school safety, security, climate, culture and emergency preparedness.
- Threat Assessment. Enhancing School Safety Using a Threat Assessment Model: An Operational Guide for Preventing Targeted School Violence. This U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center operational guide provides actionable steps that schools and law enforcement can take to develop comprehensive targeted violence prevention plans for conducting threat assessments in schools. This is a public document. This publication is in the public domain. However, the U.S. Secret Service star insignia may not be used in any other manner without advance written permission from the agency.
- Threat Assessment in Schools: A Guide to Managing Threatening Situations and to Creating Safe School Climates (PDF). This 99-page guide focuses on the use of the threat-assessment process pioneered by the Secret Service as one component of the U.S. Department of Education’s efforts to help schools across the nation reduce school violence and create safe climates.
- Threat Assessment in Virginia Public Schools: Model Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines. This second edition provides an example of model policies, procedures, and guidelines from Virginia. While the Virginia laws are not the same as Maine, the information may be useful for local schools to discuss. This publication is in the public domain.
- Bomb Threat Guidelines. This free interactive planning guide was developed by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug Free School and the U.S. Department of Of Justice's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
- Online Bomb Threat Reporting. Maine schools must report all bomb threats to the Maine Department of Education. Learn more about the laws and reporting requirements associated with responding to bomb threats against Maine schools.
Buildings & Grounds
- Buildings and Infrastructure Protection Series: Primer to Design Safe School Projects in Case of Terrorist Attacks and School Shootings (PDF). Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) prepared this manual for infrastructure protection and disaster management. The manual provides the design community and school administrators with the basic principles and techniques to make a school safe from terrorist attacks and school shootings while ensuring it is functional and aesthetically pleasing.
- Design Guide for Improving School Safety in Earthquakes, Floods and High Winds. FEMA offers this manual to provide guidance for the protection of school buildings from natural disasters.
- Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance (TA) Center. The TA Center disseminates information about school emergency management to help schools, districts and institutions of higher education learn more about a developing, implementing and evaluating comprehensive, all-hazards school emergency management plans.
- Risk and Resilience Screening for Buildings. This tool evaluates risk and resilience of buildings for potential threats. It helps you identify, inventory and rank your buildings. Integrated Rapid Visual Screening (IRVS) is a quick and simple tool designed to determine initial or relative risk and resilience for buildings based on visual inspection only. The IRVS software is available free of charge by U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security The Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign focuses on raising awareness about how to be safer and more secure online.
Grant Funding Opportunities
Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) provides grants to states, units of local government, and Indian tribes. BJA supports the Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing School Violence Act of 2018 (STOP School Violence Act of 2018). The STOP School Violence Act of 2018 seeks to improve school security by providing students and teachers with the tools they need to recognize, respond quickly to, and prevent acts of violence. Grant funding opportunities may be available at different times. Schools are encourage to check the site for details and often to learn when grants open.
The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) is responsible for advancing the practice of community policing by the nation’s state, local, territorial, and tribal law enforcement agencies through information and grant resources. The COPS Office awards grants to hire community policing professionals, develop and test innovative policing straggles, and provide training and technical assistance to community members, local government leaders, and all levels of law enforcement. School are encouraged to check the site for details and often to learn when grants open.
Maine School Emergency Preparedness Planning
- Creating Emergency Operations Plans. Emergency management planning tools for K-12 schools and school districts and institutions of higher education. Resources provided free by U.S. Department of Education Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS). Overview.
Many federal resources are available to guide schools in emergency management. Please refer to the following federal agencies for guidance on school emergency preparedness:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Transportation Safety Administration
- U.S. DOE
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- U.S. Department of Justice
- U. S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration
Reports, Research and Papers
- Report of Relative Risks of Death in U.S. K-12 Schools (PDF, 2MB) This report presents data on all-hazards. This information is designed to help school and public safety officials address all school safety risks in an efficient and logical manner. It is an observational study of open-source material.
- The School Climate Challenge: Narrowing the Gap Between School Climate Research and School Climate Policy, Practice Guidelines and Teacher Education Policy (PDF). This white paper is a collaboration between National School Climate Center, Center for Social and Emotional Education and National Center for Learning and Citizenship at Education Commission of the States.
- National Protection Framework. (PDF) This framework describes what the whole community should do to safeguard against acts of natural disasters, terrorism, and other threats or hazards. It describes the core capabilities; roles and responsibilities; and coordinating structures that facilitate the protection of individuals, communities, and the Nation.
- Bullying Prevention on School Buses. These training modules help foster a safe and respectful environment on our nation’s school buses. Learn how to build a supportive bus climate, courtesy of U.S. DOE and National Association of Pupil Transportation.
- Emergency Management Institute. Supports FEMA's goals by improving the competencies of the U.S. officials in emergency management at all levels of government to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate the potential effects of all types of disasters and emergencies.
- Introduction to the Incident Command System (ICS) for Schools. This online training promotes school safety by familiarizing school personnel with how ICS principles can be applied in school-based incidents and preparing them to interface with community response personnel. FEMA provides this training at no cost.
- National Training and Education. A variety of resources provided by FEMA.
- Practice Sessions. The director of your CEMA will make appointments to schedule emergency management practice sessions and collaborate with local first responders. You will need to call your CEMA to schedule an appointment.
- Preparing for Mass Casualty Incidents: A Guide for School, Higher Education and Houses of Worship. This online training provides leading practices and resources to assist schools and higher education. FEMA provides this training at no cost.
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security National Incident Management (NIMS). School key personnel , including transportation staff, are required to complete four courses in order for an individual or organization to be considered U.S. Department of Homeland Security National Incident Management (NIMS) compliant. NIMS courses are available free online. Contact your County Emergency Management Agency Director if you have questions. Here are the course links and the courses should be completed in the following order:
- First Observer Program. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Administration provides transportation and school bus professionals with free video training.
- If You See Something, Say Something national campaign. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security raises public awareness on suspicious activities, behaviors or situations that may suggest acts of terrorism or terrorism-related crimes. School bus drivers are the eyes and ears of the community and may see something that is important to security.
- National School Transportation Specifications and Procedures. School transportation security and emergency preparedness procedures are in included in this publication. The manual is adopted by the fifteenth National Congress on School Transportation. This national standard is the best practice for areas not addressed by law or rule. The 2015 copy is current and updates occur every 5 years.
- Transportation Operations Program. During a school emergency school buses may be called on for evacuation or to provide a safe refuge. The transportation operations program, called Transfinder, provides tools that are useful to schools during emergency response.