West Burlington, Iowa, School Emergency Procedure Plan OK’d

Included in the 47-page plan is the expansion of one or two fire and tornado drills per year to one of each for each quarter. Per the document, the district also will conduct one emergency operations drill.

by Michaele Niehaus, The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa / June 18, 2019

(TNS) — The West Burlington School Board on Monday approved the district's emergency operations plan, a working document now required for all public school districts and accredited non-public schools in the state by the Iowa Department of Education in response to concerns about school shootings throughout the nation.

Mike Jones, vice principal of West Burlington Junior/Senior High School, has been working with a committee of school and emergency officials — including West Burlington Police Chief Jesse Logan, Fire Chief Shaun Ryan and Des Moines County Emergency Management Coordinator Gina Hardin — on the document for about a year. Per Department of Education requirements, all schools must have a plan in place by July 1.

"I'd say that it is a complete plan, but not complete because it's always a working document," Jones said. "It continues to grow as things change and as strategies change when it comes to building security."

Logan said the committee will meet as needed to review any updates and change policies and procedures to make the document the best of its kind for the district. He also said the committee will examine how other police departments and school districts work together on the document and act accordingly.

The Department of Education provided school districts with the template for the document, but it was up to each school district to tailor it to their specifications according to their location and the specifics of their school buildings.

Included in the 47-page plan is the expansion of one or two fire and tornado drills per year to one of each for each quarter. Per the document, the district also will conduct one emergency operations drill. Which staff members and whether students will be involved in that drill will be decided by the board of education.

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