Emergency Preparedness

Beulah Stand, a sixth grade math teacher at John Hopkins, carries her pillow and a suitcase into the Pinellas County special needs shelter at John Hopkins Middle School, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022 in St. Petersburg, Fla., as Florida's west coast prepares for Hurricane Ian. Stand will be staying at the center to work during the storm. The evacuation center, which is only for people with special needs, has a capacity of over 700 people.
Beulah Stand, a 6th grade math teacher at John Hopkins, carries her pillow and a suitcase into the Pinellas County special needs shelter at John Hopkins Middle School in St. Petersburg, Fla., as Florida's west coast prepares for Hurricane Ian. Stand will be staying at the center to work during the storm. The evacuation center, which is only for people with special needs, has a capacity of over 700 people.
Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times via AP
School & District Management Will Schools Reopen Quickly After Hurricane Ian Passes? It Depends
Even before district leaders started shelter operations, they were getting asked when kids could return.
Jeffrey S. Solochek, Tampa Bay Times, September 29, 2022
3 min read
A Black man in jeans and a tan, short-sleeve shirt and navy pants holds a cell phone to his ear with one hand while he uses his other hand to drag a large grey trash can filled with water from a nearby tanker truck across a school parking lot.
Santonia Matthews, a custodian at Forest Hill High School in Jackson, Miss., hauls away a trash can filled with water from a tanker in the school's parking lot Wednesday. A recent flood worsened Jackson's longstanding water system problems, forcing schools to switch to remote learning.
Rogelio V. Solis/AP
School & District Management Emergency Readiness Lessons From a District's Water Crisis
District leaders in Jackson, Miss., relied on "muscle memory" to get kids back in remote learning when the city's water system failed.
Evie Blad, September 2, 2022
7 min read
Daylight pours in through the damaged roof of a classroom at Springfield Elementary School which has remained closed since Hurricane Michael hit Panama City, Fla, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. Bay District Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt said the county's student population has decreased by 14 percent since the storm, with some individual schools down by more than 40 percent.
Daylight pours in through the damaged roof of a classroom at Springfield Elementary School which has remained closed since Hurricane Michael hit Panama City, Fla, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. Bay District Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt said the county's student population has decreased by 14 percent since the storm, with some individual schools down by more than 40 percent.
David Goldman/AP
School & District Management Video Climate Disasters: Hear From School Leaders Who Lived Through Them
Climate disasters continue to impact schools and their communities. Here is advice from school leaders on how to prepare for, and recover from, the destruction and disruption.
Lilia Geho, September 1, 2022
5:06
Image of an evacuation plan.
cheyennezj/iStock/Getty
School Climate & Safety Protecting Students With Disabilities in an Emergency: 5 Key Strategies
Students with disabilities are often left out of discussions about school safety. Here are five ways to ensure their needs are being met.
Libby Stanford, July 21, 2022
5 min read
Image of a student in a wheelchair in a hallway.
vm/iStock/Getty
School Climate & Safety In a School Emergency, Special Educators Feel the 'Weight of the World'
As society debates safety practices in the wake of school shootings, protecting students with disabilities poses particular challenges.
Libby Stanford, July 20, 2022
8 min read
A student helps block the classroom door with furniture during a mock lockdown drill at Moody High School in Corpus Christi, Texas on Jan. 22, 2013.
A student helps block the classroom door with furniture during a mock lockdown drill at Moody High School in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Rachel Denny Clow/Corpus Christi Caller-Times via AP
School Climate & Safety School Shooter Drills: Is There a Right Way to Do Them?
Can schools use drills to prepare students for a crisis like shootings without traumatizing them?
Evie Blad, June 9, 2022
10 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Climate & Safety Opinion What Might Prevent Yet Another Tragedy Like Uvalde?
Many proposed policies have downsides, as well as political opposition, but there is one that could help.
Rick Hess, May 31, 2022
4 min read
Two Texas Troopers light a candle at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Wednesday. Desperation turned to heart-wrenching sorrow for families of grade schoolers killed after an 18-year-old gunman barricaded himself in their Texas classroom and began shooting, killing several fourth-graders and their teachers.
Two Texas Troopers light a candle at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, a day after 19 children and two teachers were killed by a gunman in their school.
Jae C. Hong/AP
School Climate & Safety After Texas School Shooting, a Familiar Fight About How to Make Schools Safe
Lawmakers, advocates, and the public once again debate how to make "never again" a reality.
Evie Blad, May 25, 2022
7 min read
The archbishop of San Antonio, Gustavo Garcia-Siller, comforts families outside the Civic Center following a deadly school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
The archbishop of San Antonio, Gustavo Garcia-Siller, comforts families following a deadly school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
Dario Lopez-Mills/AP
School Climate & Safety Opinion A Devastated Teacher's Plea for Gun Reform
I spent my whole teaching career preparing for a school shooting. I don’t want my newborn son to start school with the same threat.
Mary M. McConnaha, May 25, 2022
4 min read
Global warming illustration, environment pollution, global warming heating impact concept. Change climate concept.
Collage by Gina Tomko/Education Week and iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management From Our Research Center Nearly Half of Educators Say Climate Change Is Affecting Their Schools—or Will Soon
Most educators said their school districts have not taken any action to prepare for more severe weather, a new survey finds.
Arianna Prothero, May 23, 2022
6 min read
Haley Williams, left, and Amiya Cox hold a sign together and chant while participating in a "Global Climate Strike" at the Experiential School of Greensboro in Greensboro, N.C., on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. Across the globe hundreds of thousands of young people took the streets Friday to demand that leaders tackle climate change in the run-up to a U.N. summit.
Haley Williams, left, and Amiya Cox participate in a Global Climate Strike at the Experiential School of Greensboro in Greensboro, N.C., in September 2019.
Khadejeh Nikouyeh/News & Record via AP
School & District Management What Schools Can Do to Tackle Climate Change (Hint: More Than You Think)
For starters, don't assume change is too difficult.
Mark Lieberman, May 18, 2022
7 min read
Helina Thorp, right, 14, expresses frustration while unsuccessfully trying to log in to her school distance-learning classes in Placerville, Calif., after Pacific Gas & Electric intentionally shut off power to prevent wildfires amid high winds in September 2020.
Helina Thorp, right, 14, expresses frustration while unsuccessfully trying to log in to her school distance-learning classes in Placerville, Calif., after Pacific Gas & Electric shut off power to prevent wildfires amid high winds in September 2020.
Daniel Kim/The Sacramento Bee via AP
School & District Management Vulnerable Students, Districts at Greater Risk as Natural Disasters Grow More Frequent
New federal research indicates the harm from fires and storms to school facilities, learning, and mental health is disproportionate.
Andrew Ujifusa, January 19, 2022
4 min read
Burned playground equipment stands in front of a flattened structure at Walt Tyler Elementary School after the school was destroyed by the Caldor Fire on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021, in the in the Grizzly Flats community of El Dorado County, Calif. Winds spawned by the arrival of a new weather system Monday afternoon pushed the monstrous Dixie Fire to within about 8 miles (12.8 kilometers) of Susanville, population about 18,000, while to the southeast a small blaze called the Caldor Fire exploded through through Grizzly Flats, a town of about 1,200.
Walt Tyler Elementary School in El Dorado County, Calif., was destroyed by wildfire this August.
Sara Nevis/The Sacramento Bee via AP
Student Well-Being Opinion Climate Change Is an Education Emergency
Extreme weather events and rising temperatures take a toll on students that cannot be ignored even during a pandemic, writes Adam Brumer.
Adam Brumer, September 28, 2021
5 min read
Children try to protect themselves from the rain at the end of the school day as residents prepare for Hurricane Ida on Aug. 27, 2021, in New Orleans.
Children try to protect themselves from the rain at the end of the school day as residents prepare for Hurricane Ida on Aug. 27, 2021, in New Orleans.
Max Becherer/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP
School & District Management Quarter of a Million Students Face New Hurdles in Wake of Hurricane Ida
After months of classroom turmoil sparked by the pandemic, up to 250,000 students now face new struggles triggered by Hurricane Ida.
Will Sentell, The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La., September 1, 2021
2 min read