Category Archive: Schools

Are you prepared? 5 steps to make your facility safer and more secure

Posted on August 30, 2017

(Click here to download a PDF of this webpage)

Organizational leaders should work to strike a balance: to offer a warm and welcoming facility, while at the same time ensuring that their members, students, staffs, clients and building are safe and secure. Leaders concerned with everybody’s safety and security should prepare to deal with emergencies, because “on the fly” reflexes might not be as effective as a pre-determined and rehearsed plan. While your “to-do” list at the beginning of the academic and program year is long, consider these tips to help you prepare for emergencies and ensure you can protect your constituencies.

1.  Control access to your facility

No unauthorized person should be allowed to enter your facility. Every person entering your facility should be screened by security (or other) staff.

  • Limit entrances and exits. Limit access to your facility to monitored entrances.
  • Don’t slow down regular users. Create a system to identify regulars (e.g., staff, members).
  • Screen irregular visitors. g., people with appointments, contractors, etc. See more at Sample Building Access Policies & Procedures.
  • Divide your building into sectors. Should people authorized to use one part of the building be able to wander into another? If you have an access control system, take advantage of its capabilities to allow specific access. Alternatively, use color-coded badges, wristbands or ID cards as a low-tech solution.

2. Plan your emergency response

Stuff happens. Emergencies are not events that you can handle on the fly. Consider having plans, procedures and designated teams empowered to make decisions during emergencies, and trained and prepared to respond to events.

  • Develop and train an emergency response team. Designate someone to be in charge during an emergency and someone else as backup. Build a support team. Have the team work together on your response plans.
  • Build a relationship with your local police.Work with your local police throughout the year and give them the opportunity to get to know your programs, your rhythms, your people and your building. Ask them for suggestions as to how to make your people safer.
  • Know what to do if you receive a threat. Get some ideas about preparing for phone, email or social media threats and evacuations and sheltering at: http://www.jcrcny.org/2017/02/to-evacuate-or-not-to-evacuate-that-is-the-question/.
  • Have an “active shooter” Do the people in your facility know what to do if a person with a gun or sharp-edged weapon shows up? Find more information at: www.jcrcny.org/activeshooter.
  • Be ready to tell people what’s happening. Don’t let your stakeholders learn about an emergency at your facility from the media. Be prepared to communicate. Have some pre-written messages: be first; be right; be credible. Consider options including hardware and web-based emergency notification systems that will simultaneously email, text and phone pre-prepared lists, dedicated social media groups or free apps such as WhatsApp or GroupMe that will send texts (including a link to your website with more info and updates). Now is the time to collect the cell numbers of your stakeholders.
  • Involve your board in the security and preparedness process.

3. Develop a routine

Security, done well, must be done daily and involve everybody.

  • Create a culture of security. Everyone should feel responsible to report suspicious activity. “If you see something, say something” should be part of your culture of security.
  • Be aware of hostile surveillance. If you see something, say something. If it is not an emergency, call the NYPD at (888) NYC-SAFE, outside NYC (866) SAFE-NYS. For more information download Indicators of Terrorist Activity from the NYPD, Guide to Detecting Surveillance of Jewish Institutions from the ADL at adl.org/security and Security Awarenessby Paul DeMatties at Global Security Risk Management,  LLC.
  • Schedule regular walkarounds. Designate an employee to complete a “walkaround” of your building and your perimeter on a daily basis, if not more often. They should be looking for suspicious objects, items blocking evacuation routes and anything else that “Just Doesn’t Look Right.”
  • Make sure you’re getting the right information. Sign up for alerts to learn when the local and/or global security threats conditions change. Sources: JCRC-NY Security Alerts at jcrcny.org/security, https://www.nypdshield.org/public/signup.aspx, emergency alerts from Notify NYC or your local emergency management office and have a weather app on your smartphone to warn you about severe weather.
  • Work with your security provider and your staff to write, “post orders”. Your guards should not merely decorate your entrance. They should know what you expect them to do daily and in emergencies.

4. Don’t forget to train

Major leaguers take batting practice before every game. True, they started batting in the Little Leagues, but drills help people to know, instinctively, what to do. Emergencies that turn to chaos become crises. People know what to do during a fire drill, because they have participated in fire drills since grade school.

Use tabletop exercises involving a wide swath of stakeholders to help you to determine policies and procedures. Once you have determined your plans and procedures, schedule evacuation and lockdown drills. And remember … once is not enough.

5. Explore your security hardware options

Your security hardware should support your security procedures. There are federal and New York State grants available for many organizations (see: www.jcrcny.org/securitygrants for more details). Consider obtaining the funding for:

  • Your main and secondary doors should lock securely and be able to withstand an attack by a determined intruder.
  • Do your windows lock securely? Reduce the risk of break-ins, vandalism and even mitigate the extent of injuries from bomb blasts by properly installing security/blast-mitigation film on your current windows or replacing them with windows with those properties built-in.
  • Access control systems. The electronic possibilities are endless: access cards, biometrics, alarms and more. Get professional advice (see JCRC-NY’s guidance on Security vendors), figure out a hardware plan that is expandable and adaptable.
  • Video monitoring. Deploy CCTV systems in various ways. First, as part of a video intercom system to identify people seeking to enter your facility. Second, to monitor secondary entrances (you can add alarms that warn you that a door was opened, alerting someone to check the monitor), and finally, to help to detect hostile surveillance.
 David Pollock and Paul DeMatteis
security@jcrcny.org | August 30, 2017

School security guards: How to register

Posted on July 20, 2016

Security Guard Reimbursement for Nonpublic Schools

Local Law 2 of 2016 authorizes the City of New York to reimburse qualifying nonpublic elementary and secondary schools for the cost of certain security guard services. New York City released its Final Adopted Rules for the program. Each nonpublic school with an enrollment of more than 300 will receive a letter directing them to “prequalify” online using the HHS Accelerator. If you need assistance using HHS Accelerator, you can register for training or contact the HHS Accelerator Helpdesk once you have logged into the system.

Do not delay. After completing the HHS Accelerator you will be contacted about signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). A qualified nonpublic school will not be eligible to apply for reimbursement for any security services until an MOU has been signed by the school and registered with the Comptroller. Only expenses incurred after the signing of the MOU will be reimburseable.

If you are currently using a security guard provider they will have to register with the city in order to be an approved company. Click to the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

 Training: AcceleratorAssist

To sign up for training, select a date below based on the status of your organization’s account with HHS Accelerator. Registration is required to attend trainings.

If you can’t make a training, you can watch a video or read a guide. Or if you would like individualized assistance, contact us.

Upcoming Trainings

Getting Prequalified in HHS Accelerator (webinar)
This session is designed for organizations that are getting started in HHS Accelerator.

The session covers an overview of the system, how to upload and share documents, guidance on completing the HHS Accelerator Application to become prequalified.

Friday, August 12, 2016 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Friday, August 26, 2016 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Getting Prequalified in HHS Accelerator with On Site Support
AcceleratorAssist creates a space for providers to receive individual attention on the HHS Accelerator System and the process to get prequalified.

The session begins with an overview of the Prequalification Application and then providers are allotted a generous amount of time to work in the system with guidance from Accelerator staff. Registration is required.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Wednesday, August 3, 206 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Wednesday, August 17, 2016 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Competing for Funding Using HHS Accelerator System (webinar)

This session is primarily designed for pre-qualified organizations. Users whose organizations have applications which are nearly complete and are interested in specific upcoming procurements may also participate.

The session covers how to find Request for Proposals and submit proposals.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Managing Financials, Budgets, Invoices and Payments in HHS Accelerator (on site)
This training is only for organizations that use HHS Accelerator Financials.

The HHS Accelerator Financials module allows you to electronically submit budgets and invoices for review, start budget modifications, request advances and assignments, and track payments. This comprehensive session will provide you with an overview of each of the system’s capabilities. Please note this training is only for Providers who have been selected by their Agency to use HHS Accelerator Financials. Registration is required.

Thursday, July 28, 2016 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Submitting Budgets in HHS Accelerator (webinar)
This training is only for organizations that use HHS Accelerator Financials.

This shorter session is designed for organizations who will be submitting budgets in HHS Accelerator for fiscal year 2017. This session covers how to submit budgets, advances and budget modifications in HHS Accelerator.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Submitting Invoices in HHS Accelerator (webinar)
This training is only for organizations that use HHS Accelerator Financials.

This shorter session is designed for organizations with Approved budgets in HHS Accelerator that are ready to use HHS Accelerator Financials to invoice. This session covers how to submit invoices in HHS Accelerator and track payments.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

  • Prevailing wage. People have inquired how to determine the “prevailing wage” in the HHS Accelerator. Prevailing wages are set by the New York City Comptroller and can be found on p. 19 in this document. For those who want the 2016-2017 answer instantly:

SECURITY GUARD (UNARMED)

For the period: 7/1/2016 – 12/31/2016: $14.30 (hourly wages) + $5.04 (supplemental benefit rate per hour)
For the period: 1/1/2017 – 6/30/2017:   $14.40 (hourly wages) + $5.22 (supplemental benefit rate per hour)

  • Guidelines for hiring a security contractor. This ADL publication raises a number of important issues. Remember, security guard companies on the NYC approved list are required to submit information on their financial resources, technical qualifications,experience, record of performance and record of business integrity. They also must comply with NYS requirements such as licensing and background checks.

 

Security Guards in NYC Nonpublic Schools

Posted on June 02, 2016

Click here to read JCRC-NY’s comments on the proposed rules.

Intro 65, the nonpublic school security guards bill authored by CM David Greenfield, passed by the New York City Council in December, 2015 and signed by Mayor de Blasio in January, will fund security guards in private and parochial schools with more than 300 registered students. New York City is moving ahead with implementation, with the hope of having the program in place by the start of school in September.

If you anticipate that your nonpublic school will have an enrollment exceeding 299 students we strongly urge you to follow this link to the HHS Accelerator and complete the submissions before the end of June.  After completing the HHS Accelerator, schools will be eligible to apply to participate in the reimbursement program.

The New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) drafted proposed rules and will hold a public hearing on June 27, 2016 at 3:00 PM in the Auditorium at 125 Worth Street, New York, New York 10013. You must register if you wish to submit comments on the proposed rules. You can view the proposed rules here. Several organizations, including the JCRC-NY, are reviewing the rules and will make comments. If you’ve read the FAQ’s and still have questions contact us here.

DCAS’ FAQ’s follow. Of course, the rules, which will be finalized after the hearings, will be definitive. Here are the FAQ’s (slightly edited for clarity):


Who is administering the program?

  • The Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) was designated as the administering agency by Mayor de Blasio on March 10, 2016.

When does the program begin?

  • Reimbursement will be available for the 2016-2017 school year, starting from the date that an MOU (i.e., a contract) is signed. At this time, we anticipate that the contractual agreement will take the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and that it will require registration with the Comptroller.

Do I need to sign a contract with the City to receive reimbursement?

  • Yes, each school must enter into a signed MOU (i.e., a contract) with DCAS before any reimbursements will be provided. Upon registration of each school’s MOU, qualified nonpublic schools will be able to submit reimbursement requests on a quarterly basis.

Who is eligible to participate?

  • A qualified nonpublic school is a nonprofit elementary or secondary school in New York City, other than a public school, that provides instruction in accordance with the education law, has been assigned a Basic Educational Data System (BEDS) code by the New York State Department of Education, or similar successor identifier, and is serving students in any combination of grades from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Will the program reimburse schools for an unlimited number of security guards? 

  • No. The program will provide reimbursement to qualified nonpublic schools for the allowable costs 0f retaining certain security guards based on the number of students enrolled at such school.
    • Approved schools that enroll between 300 and 499 students shall be reimbursed for the cost of one (1) security guard;
    • approved schools that enroll between 500 and 999 students shall be reimbursed for the cost of two (2) security guards; and
    • approved schools shall be reimbursed for the cost of an additional security guard for each additional 500 students enrolled in such school.

How does a school apply?

  • If a nonpublic school wants to participate in the program during the 2016-17 school year, the school will be required to complete an application. The forthcoming application will be administered by DCAS through the HHS Accelerator system. In order to access the application, a nonpublic school must first be prequalified in HHS Accelerator.

What is HHS Accelerator?

  • HHS Accelerator is the City’s online system for health and human service procurements and financial management, which was launched to simplify and speed the contract process for Client and Community based Services providers. HHS Accelerator will reduce paper-based submissions in the financial management of the reimbursement program.

Does being prequalified in HHS Accelerator ensure participation in the program?

  • No. Prequalification only ensures that your school meets the standards set forth by HHS Accelerator to utilize their system for this program and also apply to other relevant procurements in HHS Accelerator that your school may be interested in pursuing.  A school will still need to complete an application for reimbursement at a later date. Once the application is available, those schools that have been prequalified to use HHS Accelerator will receive an email notification.

When will an application be available?

  • DCAS is working to finalize the application as well as rules that offer participants further guidance. Once completed, schools will be notified by DCAS and HHS Accelerator that an application is available for completion. In response to such applications, DCAS will inform schools if they meet the definition of “qualifying nonpublic school” and the number of guards for which they are eligible to receive reimbursements.

How often can a school submit for reimbursement?

  • Schools will submit their requests for reimbursements on a quarterly basis. DCAS will provide additional information on the reimbursement schedule prior to the start of the program.

How does a school submit invoices?

  • All payments will be processed using HHS Accelerator. DCAS will provide additional information on payment processing prior to the start of the program.

What activities are eligible for reimbursement?

  • A qualified nonpublic school may be reimbursed for allowable costs of a security guard used to provide security services when the school is open for school-related instruction or school-related events. Reimbursements shall be given for security guards who provide security services and no other services.
  • Forthcoming rules will be promulgated by DCAS that will provide additional guidance on allowable costs and what activities are eligible for reimbursement.

What qualifies as a student for purposes of determining how many security guards a school is eligible to claim reimbursement?

  • A student is deemed to refer only to full time students meaning they attend school for six hours and twenty minutes a day. Students to whom the city separately provides assistances that includes funding for security are not included in the reimbursement determination. Schools will be required, upon application to the program, to provide the total number of students enrolled in the school. Schools must revise their application if the total enrollment changes as of the date the school provides this information to the New York State Education Department Basic Educational Data System (BEDS) Report of Nonpublic Schools.

Can a school use any security guard vendor?

  • No. DCAS will establish a list of qualified vendors. In order to receive reimbursements, schools will only be able to utilize firms that are on the qualified provider list. Once a list is available, DCAS will notify schools of its availability via email or letter.

What salary is expected to be paid to security guards under this program?

  • Security guard wages equal to the prevailing wage and supplements are allowable costs for qualified nonpublic schools under this program. “Prevailing wage and supplements” means the rate of wage and supplemental benefits per hour paid in the City of New York to unarmed security guards as determined by the Comptroller of the City of New York in accordance with section 234 of the labor law. For more information on prevailing wage, visit the New York City Comptroller’s website at: http://comptroller.nyc.gov/prevailing-wage/wage-schedules/.

Emergency Planning for schools | Tuesday, May 3

Posted on April 15, 2016

EP-for-Private-Schools-Header

Emergency Planning for Private Schools Workshop

Date:
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Time:
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
(Registration begins at 8:30AM)
Location:
Manhattan Municipal Building
North Mezzanine
1 Centre St, New York, NY 10007

Description:
This workshop is intended to provide guidance on emergency planning for private schools. Participants will receive training in the basic fundamentals of emergency planning and how to develop their school’s Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs). They will hear from subject matter experts from the NYPD, FDNY, New York State Police and the US Department of Education on available tools to support school emergency planning efforts.

The first half of the workshop will be a presentation from the US Department of Education Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Team (REMS). This portion of the program will provide an overview of the recommended six step planning process to create a high-quality school emergency operations plan.

The second half of the day will feature presentations by:

  • NYPD: They will discuss the Shield Program and other NYPD services available to schools.
  • New York State Police: They will demonstrate their school emergency operations planning template.
  • FDNY: They will cover fire safety and school evacuation plans.

Intended Audience:
Private school administrators and security personnel interested in creating, revising, or enhancing school emergency operations plans.

Registration: http://www.remstacenter.org/TBR/TrainingRegistration.aspx?trainingsid=222
Registration for this event closes on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.

Cancellations:
Cancellations must be received no later than three business days in advance.

NYCEM Academy provides reasonable accommodations. If you are in need of a disability accommodation, please send your request to nycemacademy@oem.nyc.gov.

Terror attack at school in France

Posted on March 19, 2012

Jerusalem Post: Gunman opens fire outside Ozar Hatorah school before fleeing the scene on scooter; teacher and two of his children among dead, several wounded; Jewish official: This was an anti-Semitic attack.

JTA: A man riding a motorbike reportedly opened fire outside the Ozar Hatorah School, where students were waiting to enter the building at the start of the school day. The shooter then entered the building shooting at students and teachers. He then fled on his motorbike.

Haaretz: French prosecutor Michel Valet said Monday that those killed were a 30-year-old man and his 3-year-old and 6-year-old sons. He said another child, between 8 and 10 years old, was also killed, and a 17-year-old seriously wounded.

See also Jerusalem Post“… a coalition of jihadist organizations have made a decision to attack Israeli and Jewish targets wherever they may be without distinction. “They attack whoever they can and wherever security is lax”.

Initial recommendations. Reports are that the gunman opened fire on students outside the school as they began their school day and then entered the school. Students and staff are especially vulnerable during arrivals and dismissals. Try to make sure that students go to a safe area as quickly as possible.
  1. Access control. Until we know more, schools should consider asking students and staff to come inside the building rather than assembling outside. Our standard recommendation that no unauthorized person should be allowed to enter a Jewish institution (see our sample access control procedures here).
  2. Secure doors. Many organizations are thinking about their Nonprofit Security Grant applications. This tragic attack reminds us about the importance of high impact doors that can withstand an attack from a determined intruder.
  3. Lockdowns. Do you have a plan to “lockdown” your building and its occupants to keep them safe in the event on an active shooter? See the JCRC Active Shooter Page.
  4. Security awareness. Although there is no indication of any threat here in New York, it is a time for heightened awareness. Trust your instincts. If you see something…say something. Terrorist acts and other attacks are often preceded by active surveillance of a target location; learn how to detect hostile surveillance before an incident occurs. See tips from our partners at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
For more information visit www.jcrcny.org/securityresources.