|News & Updates from the REMS TA Center, Fall 2019||
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Topical Resource Feature
This section of our newsletter features resources relevant to seasonal trends, current events, and other timely topics in the field.
Planning for Food Safety Year-Round
Each year, millions of Americans get foodborne illness, resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Food safety is something that impacts all communities—rural, urban, suburban, and insular—and in a September Homeroom blog post, the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Office of Safe and Supportive Schools (OSSS) and its Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance (TA) Center chatted with Frank Brogan, ED’s Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, and Dr. Mindy Brashears, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, about this important topic.
View the full blog post via the ED site here: https://blog.ed.gov/2019/09/supporting-schools-creating-plans-ensure-sustain-food-safety/.
Functional Resource Feature
This section of our newsletter features resources that can support education agencies and their community partners with efforts to strengthen emergency management functions and overall preparedness capacity.
An Overview of the Federal Commission on School Safety’s Letter Recommending an Annual Review of State Emergency Operations Plans
At the start of this year, the Federal Commission on School Safety released a letter that called on states to conduct an annual review of their emergency operations plans (EOPs). (View the letter here.) One of the key recommendations in the Commission’s letter was for state agencies to work in collaboration with local schools, school districts, and institutions of higher education (IHEs) to ensure that state-based EOPs are serving their purpose. When a state-level plan considers the needs and unique characteristics of the local-level agencies and communities it will serve, it can increase collaboration and the ability for all key stakeholders to play their role in support of prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. Schools and IHEs are an important voice in terms of state recovery planning, due to the role they often play in providing and ensuring continuity of mass care through sheltering, food assistance, behavioral health support, and more. Request a copy of any plans that may impact your school or campus in the event of a community-wide emergency and sit down with state partners to confirm any questions about that impact and how it may affect continuity of learning, teaching and operations.
Help Desk Request Snapshot
This section of our newsletter highlights a noteworthy topic among technical assistance inquiries received from the field during the last quarter.
A Focus on State School Safety Centers
ED’s OSSS and its REMS TA Center have been conducting a review of state-level school (public and private) preparedness mandates, including pending legislation. Data are collected from public sources, namely Websites providing state statutes and other legislative information. The information is being used for a variety purposes, such as how ED works with our Federal partners, which initiatives to undertake, their priority, and their design; and to inform updates to our current resources, such as the populated REMS TA Center’s Web page, “State Emergency Management Resources.” This Web page shows an interactive map with each state’s mandates; the state-specific training and technical assistance resources; the state-level partner agencies (e.g., Attorney General, state emergency management agency) with local agency locators, when applicable; and past state and local school preparedness grantees.
We are also in the process of updating the map to feature the latest information on state school safety centers, which are managed using a variety of formats. The majority of centers are administered as a separate entity and done in collaboration with the SEA (e.g., Colorado School Safety Resource Center [CSSR]); housed at a university (e.g., Kentucky Center for School Safety); or administered by a partner state-level agency with roles and responsibilities in school preparedness (e.g., Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety). Alternatively, some states administer requirements, programs, and training and technical assistance within their agency. Regardless of the model, most of the initiatives use an organizational structure that includes additional state education, emergency management, and other state-level partners, works with regional entities and groups, and provides customized support to districts and schools as needed. To support these state-level efforts, OSSS and the
REMS TA Center create a number of tools, trainings, and resources for SEAs to use and customize as they further their efforts to provide training and technical assistance to schools and school districts.
We look forward to hearing from you!
This section of our newsletter features details specific to the REMS TA Center Training by Request (TBR) and #REMSontheRoad Program.
Live Trainings through our #REMSontheRoad Program
Download the REMS TA Center Trainings by Request: At a Glance document for more information on our training topics: https://rems.ed.gov/docs/TBRs_At-a-Glance_508C.pdf.
Virtual Networking Corner
This section of our newsletter features highlights from our interactions with the field via Twitter, the CoP, and other virtual events and networking platforms.
Webinars and Web Chats
Did you miss one of our recent Webinars? You can view these and past Webinars on our Website:
Top @remstacenter Tweets for the Quarter
Are you on Twitter? Follow the REMS TA Center via @remstacenter, plus check out two of our top tweets for the past quarter, below. Keep these youth and resilience-focused messages in mind as we enter the last 2 months of the year.
#FlashbackFriday to our Webinar with @fema on the Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program & on how schools may use the program to engage youth in school emergency management planning and promote student preparedness. View here: https://rems.ed.gov/TeenCertEnhancingSchoolEmergMgrment.aspx #schoolsafety