AASA Central | AASA Releases New School Safety & Crisis Planning Toolkit
There is no greater need in our communities than to ensure that our public school children have a safe environment to learn and grow in. AASA in partnership with CrisisGo and several other national organizations have released School Safety & Crisis Planning, an online set of resources to assist school district leaders before, during and after a crisis.
safe environment, school safety, crisis planning, safety toolkit
page-template,page-template-full_width,page-template-full_width-php,page,page-id-837,page-parent,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-theme-ver-3.2.1,smooth_scroll,wpbdp-with-button-styles,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.12,vc_responsive


AASA, The School Superintendents Association, is pleased to present its revised School Safety and Crisis Planning toolkit, comprised of online resources to assist school district leaders during these very challenging times. Originally launched in 2018, added features include information addressing the critical issues of mental health, cybersecurity and physical safety, while our 24-hour hotline service is still available for the benefit of AASA members. Once again, we are grateful for the continued support provided by our partners in this important initiative.

School/Community Crisis Checklist
Necessary procedures before, during and after a crisis

Resources and Guidance
Physical Safety | Mental Health | Cybersecurity

Contact the Hotline
Get advice from a colleague who has experienced your safety concern

Developed in partnership with:

Immediate and Aftermath of a School / Community Crisis

The intent and design of this toolkit is to provide a checklist of necessary procedures before, during and after a crisis that is easily accessible by school leaders and designed specifically for school superintendents. School superintendents are encouraged to share their findings with key stakeholders in their districts. In addition, school superintendents are further encouraged to share their opinions on this toolkit with the AASA Executive Leadership Team as this toolkit will always be presented as a work in progress.

What I need to know and do as the district’s superintendent pertaining to security and safety best practice:

  1. Have I cultivated a strong relationship built on mutual respect with the local safety officials (police chief) and do we meet regularly to discuss safety?
  2. Do I have in place a detailed safety and security plan that is easily understood by all stakeholders?
  3. Do I have in place an identified staff member or a technology platform which will broadcast all needed information to the school community and the community-at-large pertaining to a crisis?
  4. Do I attend district safety committee meetings to show my unyielding support for the work?
  5. Am I comfortable with the safety and security plan if my district was in a crisis?
  6. Can I assure the local school board that every staff member (including new staff) understands our safety plan before they are with children?
  7. If I was out-of-district during a school emergency have I mentored or met with the key staff member who would represent my work in the midst of a tragedy?
  8. As needed, do I meet with my school board (minimum three times per year) in executive session to address school safety and security?
  9. Have I examined existing resources to reallocate assignments to meet the needs of today’s safety and security most complex issues?
  10. Do I meet with district mental health providers to collaborate and to have strategies in place for our most complex students who bring with them safety concerns to the district?

What I need to do in the midst of chaos:

  1. Proximity – Where is the best place for me to be to lead?
  2. Messaging – Can I use my already prepared messages from our district’s messaging bank to be proactive with communication?
  3. Empowerment – Have I scanned the crisis for gaps in our plan, and if need be, fill those gaps with staff members embedded within my trust circle?
  4. Composure – Do I have the ability to remain composed or do I delegate the point person to a designee?
  5. Duration – Am I able to stay at point for the duration of the crisis, and if not, how do I need to prepare and transition information to my designee?
  6. Reunification – Do all stakeholders have the same understanding for the parent reconnect?  If I am not at the site have I designated a point person?
  7. Student and Staff Most Impacted by the Tragedy – Are my messages a balance of compassion and filled only with accurate information?
  8. School Board – Have I or my designee sent a message to the school board chair that there is a highly complex situation evolving in the district and information will be forthcoming as soon as the issue settles?
  9. Incident Command Center – Do I have all that I need from the ICC, and if not, how do I ascertain the information as quickly as possible?
  10. Personal – Have I kept my immediate family informed of the crisis and have I been able to honestly assure them of my own personal safety?

What I need to do in the aftermath of a tragedy:

  1. Self-Regulating – If you are taking care of everyone, who is taking care of you?
  2. Press Conference and Communication – Who should attend, and should there be a joint message from police and school?
  3. Families of Loss (If applicable) – Have I designated a point person to serve as a direct connect to the most impacted families and my office?
  4. Return to School – Have I consulted union presidents before finalizing my return-to-school broadcast?
  5. Debrief – Have I sat with all who were in the front line of the tragedy to better understand the “why” and to fully understand lessons learned?
  6. Support – Am I able to be present on site (out of my office) to appropriately support staff?
  7. Tragedy Roll-out – Do I take full ownership of the issue and if so, how?
  8. Human Resources – Have I met with the Human Resource department to fully understand the appropriate message to all impacted staff pertaining to need and return-to-work?
  9. Daily District Ritual – As the superintendent, I am spending nearly every minute of the work day navigating the tragedy; therefore, have I appropriately assigned and empowered a school leader to run the teaching and learning aspects of the school day?
  10. Sustainability and Recovery – Have I begun to think about who needs to be around the table when we address the inherent recovery and rebuild of the district?

Resources and Guidance

for Administrators and Crisis Teams

Physical Safety

Mental Health


School Safety and Crisis Planning Toolkit Hotline

School leaders can have an immediate direct connect to their safety concerns by dialing 520-565-4111.

Janet Robinson is a former member of the AASA Governing Board and retired superintendent who led Newtown Public School District during the Sandy Hook crisis.