This article originally appeared in the January 2019 issue of School Business Affairs magazine and is reprinted with permission of the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO). The text herein does not necessarily represent the views or policies of ASBO International, and use of this imprint does not imply any endorsement or recognition by ASBO International and its officers or affiliates.

Crisis Care: Helping Students and Staff Recover

Whether a severe weather situation, an active shooter, or a large-scale evacuation, a crisis can occur at any time with little or no warning.

When a school community experiences a crisis, the effects ripple across the campus and beyond. Students, teachers, staff, parents, volunteers, and local community members will feel the impact and each will respond differently. The goal is for school officials to take action to ensure staff and students are safe, families and community members are notified, and help is available for those affected by the incident.

Information Is Key

After a crisis incident, school officials can expect to be bombarded with questions from parents, the media, and the community. As part of a crisis plan, the communications team is tasked with releasing accurate information as soon as it is available and continuously providing updates.

Communication should begin by stating the current impact of the event and the response. Detail the next steps, and explain what is being done to assist those affected. The school community and the public should know where they can find updates and available resources for recovery, such as the school website or social media platforms.

All statements should include coping strategies to soothe the healing process. Keeping the community informed will help control panic and uncertainty as well as guide individuals on how to move forward and stay safe.

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