Dover, DE – With legislators, police, firefighters and educators watching, Laurel School Superintendent John Ewald showed Governor Jack A. Markell how schools in his district are using a new web-based portal to build its school safety plans.
Laurel School District is one of several in the State to complete the initial phase of the Comprehensive School Safety Planning process. School officials have used the Emergency Response Information Portal (ERIP)—a central repository for all Delaware public and charter school safety plans— to outline safety protocols for various emergency incidents, identify school safety teams and store building plans, site maps and interior photos.
“This new portal provides the tools and technology to help our schools expedite a more comprehensive school safety planning process,” said Governor Markell. “Laurel School District is to be commended for its progress. We all want to provide a safe and secure learning environment for our children and to be ready to respond when anything threatens it.”
The Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security (DSHS), charged with overseeing statewide comprehensive school safety planning, selected Laurel School District and Polytech School District as its ERIP beta districts. In the spring, school district employees received the required training and began building their school safety plans in ERIP.
“Utilizing ERIP significantly simplified the school planning process for our district. It provided easy to follow templates for our school officials and at a glance status boards that enable us to monitor our progress,” Ewald said. “The ERIP technology is not only a central repository for our vital safety information but it makes it easily accessible on our laptops and iPads.”
“Our teachers, principals and others who work in our schools are our true first responders. Laurel Intermediate now has crucial and detailed information stored in ERIP including building photos, floor plans, local hazards, emergency contacts and best practices. This vital information is accessible to school officials and their safety teams as well as our emergency response community, said Lewis D. Schiliro, Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security. All public and charter schools are now utilizing ERIP and we are working with them to complete the initial safety planning phase by the end of the year.”
Statewide district tabletop exercises will begin early next year. Tabletop exercises within each district will ensure schools are familiar with and able to execute their plans and use the ERIP system. Additional training will be offered by SafePlans throughout the school year to include Assessment, Mapping & Intruderology—specific instruction focused on intruder threats.