School staff attend safety training

By Tucker Henderson


As school safety often finds itself the topic of national news, the New York Mills School Board has a plan in place for all types of emergency situations that may present themselves at the school on Hayes Avenue.

Superintendent Blaine Novak explained that there are numerous  training sessions throughout the year to teach both students and staff the proper protocols for each emergency situation. He also said that the emergency plan that was adopted by the School Board is a large and detailed document, ready for any scenario.

“It’s one of those things that we review each year,” said Novak. “Jason Perala is our safety coordinator and we review that plan each year though the annual policy review.” 

As Minnesota is a state of many extremes, several types of natural weather emergencies are prepared for, as well as plans for those rare situations when someone might be endangering the safety of students and staff.

“We do five fire drills,” said Novak. “We plan five lock down drills, one tornado drill and a bus evacuation drill. Students need to know what door they need to go to and practice evacuating.” 

These drills make up a large part of preparing students for any type of unforeseeable situation. The school safety plan is in place to keep everyone on campus safe from any number of scenarios.

“It’s our emergency management plan,” said Novak. “It’s a school board adopted emergency procedures plan.” 

Novak mentioned other staff training that takes place as well.

“We have table top exercises where you sit down as a safety committee and say ‘what does this (scenario) look like? Then you teach staff training and conduct drills with the students,” he said. 

Teachers are also trained in ALICE protocols. ALICE Training provides the necessary instruction to businesses, healthcare organizations, houses of worship, and especially schools to prepare staff members to prevent and respond to any potential violent critical incidents that might befall them. 

Novak explained that staff members at the NY Mills School District have been trained in ALICE and that there are refreshers scheduled periodically for staying on top of the training.

As NY Mills area students prepare for another academic year at school, parents and family members can rest assured that their students are in capable and well-trained hands.