District Administration August 2016 - 39

about an inch thick, a concrete slab above a suspended ceiling, and protective metal doors, with pins that pop into place when the doors lock down for storm readiness. All safe rooms are rated for an EF5 tornado with 250-mph winds, he says. And they are wired for technology and used for classes. Strengthening the system, staff When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast in 2012, Long Beach Public Schools in New York already had off-site backup for its on-site data center, says Superintendent David Weiss. More than 1,000 full- and part-time employees were able to get paychecks in the wake of the storm, while district leaders had access to data and software, he adds. But staff had to retrieve an electronic signature stick for signing checks from a flooded administrative office. (Those sticks have since been replaced by passwords, he says.) Districts should also have "continuity of operations" plans that ensure business and teaching can resume as soon as possible after a disaster, says Michael Dorn, executive director of Safe Havens International, a nonprofit school safety consultant organization. "Not even 10 percent of school districts we assess have a continuity of operations plan, and when they do it's usually focused on IT," Dorn says. FEMA helps state and local governments develop such plans, which can also cover evacuation procedures, setting up warning systems and maintaining communications. "We were out of school just about a week, but only half our buildings were operational, so we doubled up" with students in fewer school buildings, says Weiss of Long Beach schools. Though much of the district was back to normal by January 2013, Weiss still sent students and staff to an elementary school for the rest of the year as other buildings were being repaired. As classes resumed, the district provided breakfast for students "on a mass scale" since families were diswww.DistrictAdministration.com placed from their homes by hurricane damage and flooding, he adds. Some districts also develop policies for reuniting parents with students in a storm's aftermath or permitting parents to fetch children from a shelter when a storm is forecast and on the way. O'Brien, in Newcastle, Oklahoma, prohibits parents from picking up students if a tornado is imminent, citing the Tsunami zone vote in Oregon The earthquake-susceptible Seaside School District in Oregon-which covers the communities of Gearhart, Cannon Beach and Seaside-faces an estimated $99.7 million bond referendum November 8 to move its schools out of a tsunami zone on the Pacific Ocean. Seaside has three schools with 1,500 students in the tsunami inundation zone, says Douglas C. Dougherty, former schools superintendent. Sheila Roley, who became new superintendent as of July, says she choses every day not to think about the risk involved, but hopes the November vote will approve moving the schools out of harm's way. The buildings are not retrofitted to sustain damages from a large earthquake. In the past, a $129 million measure failed under Dougherty's watch. But he felt so passionate about the project that he left the district so he could advocate for the latest plan to build a consolidated campus outside the zone. The "big one" is long overdue to hit the West Coast, but it's unknown how large it would be or when it might strike. "The real problem for Seaside is they're going to get hammered by this earthquake," says Yumei Wang, geotechnical engineer for Oregon's Department of Geology and Mineral Industries. "Then 50 minutes later, this big wall of water is going to wash ashore, kind of like what happened to Japan." The state's seismic rehabilitation grant program, launched in 2009, awards millions of dollars to help districts with construction disaster planning, particularly to school systems that can't afford it, Wang says. School with a view-beautiful but dangerous? Seaside High School is the only building in Seaside School District in Oregon with ocean views, above. Broadway Middle School is in the tsunami inundation zone, but without a view. August 2016 39 http://www.DistrictAdministration.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration August 2016

District Administration August 2016 - Cover1
District Administration August 2016 - Cover2
District Administration August 2016 - 1
District Administration August 2016 - 2
District Administration August 2016 - 3
District Administration August 2016 - 4
District Administration August 2016 - 5
District Administration August 2016 - 6
District Administration August 2016 - 7
District Administration August 2016 - 8
District Administration August 2016 - 9
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District Administration August 2016 - Cover3
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