Fort Dodge Community School District

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Emergency Plan Ok'd for Fort Dodge Schools - from The Messenger

August 27, 2019

The Fort Dodge Community School District Board of Education approved the district's new emergency operations plan during its meeting Monday night.

The EOP is part of a new state requirement signed into law by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds in April 2018. It requires school boards and authorities in charge of accredited nonpublic schools to develop high-quality emergency operations plans for school districts and individual school buildings.

The emergency plan for the Fort Dodge schools took seven months to review and revise, said Jennifer Lane, director of communications and community relations.

"It's been a long process, but it's been a great process," Superintendent Dr. Jesse Ulrich said. "We've been able to collaborate with a lot of our community partners within law enforcement and within Webster County and our local departments to really put together a plan that will keep our students and our staff safe."

"The perspective of law enforcement and first responders was crucial in completing our plan," Lane said.

The school district has also taken steps to train all its staff, Ulrich said.

"What used to be optional training on what to do in crisis situations has been made mandatory so that every single one of our staff have been briefed on what to do in tragic situations," he said. "So we feel we're in a really good spot in order to keep our students and our staff safe."

While the plan lays out the district's response to crises and emergencies, keeping the schools safe is something everyone can help with, Lane said.

"We want students, staff, parents and the community to use the 'see something, say something' mentality," she said. "If a person sees or hears something suspicious, we want them to report it so we can work with law enforcement to look into it. We will be implementing Safe Schools Alert, which is a tip reporting system, to help with this."

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