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Robert F. Kennedy Community High School
I am writing to provide you with information about the Department of Education’s Emergency
Readiness Initiatives that are in place in all NYC Public Schools.
Every school currently has procedures for emergencies. In 2000, New York State Education Law
Section 2801 was enacted requiring schools to develop safety plans regarding emergency response. In
July of 2001, the law was amended to require that plans include information for evacuation and
sheltering. In accordance with this, “schools need to conduct drills and other exercises to test
components of the emergency response plan.”
School staff members are trained in various procedures that are outlined in the School Safety Plan
and we currently conduct a variety of drills throughout the year to prepare our staff and students.
Section 807 of the New York State Education Law requires all schools to conduct a minimum of 12
fire drills each year. Section 917 of the State Education Law states that schools are required to
provide and maintain automated external defibrillator (AED) equipment, and drills are conducted
during the year to assess the use of AED units in an emergency. In accordance with Section 3623 of
the State Education Law, drills are also conducted at schools that focus on safety on a school bus.
In addition to conducting these types of drills, our school has a Building Response Team that is
trained to activate and respond to different incidents that may occur at our school. Under the new
General Response Protocol (GRP), every school will be conducting specific drills designed to help
prepare all school communities for three different types of response to emergencies that may occur:
evacuation, shelter-in, and lockdown. Opportunities for parent engagement are available at our
school to ensure that families are involved in our school-based emergency readiness program. Parent
versions of the School Safety Plan are available upon request in the main office, and information
explaining the GRP is included with this letter. Many other important resources for families are
also available by visiting http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/OSYD/default.ht
Emergency readiness training in schools takes place in September and continues for staff and
students throughout the school year. Student training is grade appropriate and designed to ensure
that students understand the importance of these drills without causing unnecessary alarm. Please
review the General Response Protocols that have been given to all students, and discuss these
procedures with your child.
All families are reminded to update the Emergency Contact Cards that are on file in our main
office. This includes providing and updating information indicating phone numbers, and the names of
adults to whom the school may release children in an emergency. Families are also encouraged to
register with Notify NYC (https://a858-nycnotify.nyc.gov/notifynyc/) to receive information about
emergency events, and call 311 for additional information about a school during an emergency.