Emergencies hit schools at the most inopportune times and can take many forms. From severe weather to responding to a behavioral health crisis, being prepared with a plan that has been created by your school’s team and local partners, approved by your trustees, and practiced by your school community is vital to increasing student and staff safety.  Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs) provide guidance and practical solutions on how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergency situations. This planning process helps schools minimize injuries and property damage during an incident, and expedites the recovery process following an incident.

The resources, tools, and professional development opportunities included on the web pages below are designed to help schools prepare for and respond to emergency situations.  

Current Montana law regarding emergency planning in schools: MCA 20-1-401


COVID-19 Guidance

• What Schools Need to Know • 

New School Safety Resources

Creating a Safe and Connected School Climate for American Indian Students 

Creating a Safe and Connected School Climate for American Indian Students: Guidance for Montana Schools Developed with Montana StudentsA positive school climate, where students feel safe and connected, is critically important to academic success as well as emotional wellbeing. However, very little research and literature exists to guide schools on how to create a positive school climate for American Indian students. The recommendations featured in this guide are informed by the research literature that is available as well as the lived experiences of a group of Montana Urban American Indian students.  

Creating School and Community Partnerships

 

To support students, families, and school staff a school may consider developing a partnership with an organization operating within the community. The video below outlines why and how a school can form a partnerships with a community organization and how to create a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formalize the partnership. To support school and community partnerships, we have also created:

  • A sample memorandum of understanding (MOU)
  • memorandum of understanding (MOU) google doc template

 Allowable Uses of ESSER III Funding to Support School Safety: Quick guide of allowable uses of ESSER III funding schools may consider implementing to support the safety of students, families, and school staff  

School Safety Professional Development Grants can provide up to $10,000 for training for Montana school district staff on school safety topics including violence prevention and emergency operations planning. These competitive grants are will open spring/summer 2022 for the 2022-23 school year. Visit the webpage to learn more.

Behavioral Approach to Violence Prevention: This document displays common threating and concerning behaviors and the degree of concern each behavior may indicate. 

Strategies for Promoting Educator and Student Safety and Wellness During Online Learning: Information on available resources and strategies schools can implement to promote safety and wellness during online learning.

Mitigating the Threat of School Violence as the U.S. "Returns to Normal" from the COVID-Pandemic and Beyond: Guidance from the Department of Homeland Security to raise awareness of the risk factors associated with school violence and resources to prevent these incidents from occurring.  


How to Use this Site

The Safety Resource pages below contain additional information and resource to support school safety. Below is a menu to help you navigate quickly to find the information you are looking for:

  • Emergency Operations Planning: Here you will find guidance and resources for developing a school emergency operations plan. It's recommended schools start here and use the plan to inform other school safety measures such as carrying out disaster dills and providing training and professional development. 
  • Responses to Emergency Situations: On this page you will find guidance and resources for responding to an emergency after it has occurred. 
  • Drills and Exercises: Here you will find tools and resources for developing and carrying out disaster drills and other exercises to help prepare for, prevent and mitigate emergency situations. It's recommended that schools use their emergency operations plan to guide decision-making around conducting disaster drills and providing training. 
  • Professional Development: This page was designed to help schools find training and professional development they may need to increase school safety. It's recommended schools use their emergency operations plan to guide decision-making around professional development and training. 
  • Resources: Here you will find an alphabetical list of many school safety resources and other websites to help you get the school safety information your school may be seeking. 
  • School Violence Prevention: This page contains strategies and information specific to preventing acts of violence in a school. 
  • Essential School Safety Actions: Here you will find the top ten recommended actions for Montana schools to take to increase school safety.  

Safety Resources

Click on a box below to visit page


Contact:

Michele Henson, School Safety Program Manager, 406-595-1058

Jamey Petersen, Coordinated School Health Unit Director- 406-437-1760