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Task 3: Identify Cross-Cutting Functions
After the district has completed objectives for all the district’s possible threats and hazards, it will find that certain critical cross-cutting functions or emergency-related activities apply to more than one threat or hazard. Cross-cutting functions include evacuating; sheltering in place; providing medical care; accounting for all students, staff, and visitors; and communicating with school staff, students, families, and the general public. For example, whether the threat is an active shooter/aggressor or a bomb threat, schools need to develop communications plans that address alerts and notifications.
The district should compile a list of the cross-cutting functions that appear in the goals and objectives contained in the district’s master list of threats and hazards, and add to the list, as needed, according to Federal, state, and local policies. These will become functional annexes, which are sections of the plan that detail goals, objectives, and courses of action to protect the school community before, during, and after a possible incident.
The district should consider the following when developing policies and procedures related to identifying cross-cutting functions:
- How often the list should be updated based on Federal, state, and local recommendations, priorities, and lessons learned
- What functions are the most likely to support more than one type of emergency incident
- What functions should be addressed, at a minimum, by school core planning teams
Note, for example, that the School Guide recommends that school EOPs should address, at a minimum, the functions listed below:
- Accounting for all persons
- Communications and warning
- Family reunification
- Continuity of operations (COOP)
- Public health, medical, and mental health
- Behavioral threat assessment
After the district has developed a list of districtwide functions, such as those listed above, it should share them with schools for inclusion in their respective school EOPs.
The goals, objectives, and courses of action for functions will become functional annexes that are placed within each school EOP in the district. Using communications as an example, the goals, objectives, and courses of action designed to help ensure information sharing will become a portion of the outline for the Communications and Warning Annex. The goals and objectives that are developed during Task 4 will serve as the starting point for creation of those functional annexes, as the school core planning team begins developing customized, site-specific courses of action for enacting each function.