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Task 2: Develop Goals and Objectives for Selected Threats and Hazards
To ensure consistency and promote efficiency, the district can have the primary role in this step by developing a master list of goals and objectives for each of the threats and hazards included on the district’s master list.
Goals are broad, general statements that indicate the desired outcome in response to a threat or hazard (e.g., prevent a fire from occurring on school grounds). Goals identify what personnel and other resources are supposed to achieve. They also help identify when major activities are complete and what defines a successful outcome. The district plays a primary role in developing districtwide goals for the threats and hazards facing schools for two key reasons:
- It has a broader view about how schools should address threats and hazards — before, during, and after an emergency; and
- The district will likely mandate the inclusion of specific threats and hazards into each school plan.
The district should develop at least three goals for a threat or hazard — one for before, one for during, and one for after a threat or hazard has ended. For gang violence, for instance, three possible goals include the following:
- Threat Goal Example 1 (before) — Prevent gang violence from occurring on school grounds.
- Threat Goal Example 2 (during) — Protect all persons from injury and property from damage by gang violence.
- Threat Goal Example 3 (after) — Restore the learning environment to its pre-incident state following gang violence.
Objectives are specific, measurable actions required to achieve the goals; they are specific strategies or procedures designed to reach the goal. Objectives are often informed by Federal, state, and local emergency management requirements, recommendations, and guidance, as well as lessons learned. Because the development of objectives is based on a broad understanding of their context, the district should play a large role in developing districtwide objectives for all the possible threats and hazards faced by any district school. District planners will likely need to identify multiple objectives that support each goal.
Using the goal in example 1 of preventing gang violence on or near school grounds, possible objectives include the following:
- Objective 1.1 — Institute student anti-gang prevention programs.
- Objective 1.2 — Provide gang awareness training to all staff so that they recognize signs of gang behavior (e.g., graffiti, colors, tattoos, hand signs).
Using the goal in example 2 of protecting all persons from injury and property from damage by gang violence, possible objectives include the following:
- Objective 2.1 — Initiate lockdown procedures at the school.
- Objective 2.2 — Initiate security protocols with law enforcement partners.
Using the goal in example 3 of restoring the learning environment following gang violence, possible objectives include the following:
- Objective 3.1 — Provide counseling to students who were traumatized by the violence.
- Objective 3.2 — Conduct student conflict mediation if there are any outstanding conflicts.
If a school identifies a unique threat or hazard not on the district’s master list (see Step 2), it should be reported to the district for incorporation into the master list so the district can write relevant goals and objectives.
The district should consider the following when creating policies and procedures:
- What Federal, state, and local laws should be considered in developing goals or objectives for different threats and hazards (for example, county fire codes may have requirements related to how to store combustible materials, which should be reflected in the objective(s) related to storing those materials; or states may have mandated policies and procedures for earthquake response, which should be reflected in the objective(s) related to response protocols)
- What Federal, state, and local guidance, recommendations, and lessons learned the district will utilize when developing districtwide goals and objectives
- To what degree the district will work with representatives from school core planning teams in developing districtwide goals and objectives
After the district has developed districtwide goals and objectives for the threats and hazards, it should share them with school core planning teams for inclusion in their respective school EOPs. These will serve as a foundation to each school core planning team’s efforts in Step 4, while facilitating continuity and consistency. Additionally, this can be a meaningful exercise for the district, as it will help to illustrate the common needs for resources at schools throughout the district.
Based on the policies and procedures established by the district and selections from the district’s master list, each school core planning team will select the goals and objectives corresponding to its selected threats and hazards for inclusion in its school EOP.