To ensure appropriate social distancing, OSDE staff members are available by appointment only. Please reach out to any staff or department for help.

School Safety and Security FAQs


The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) global pandemic is significantly impacting communities, schools, families and workplaces. During this incredibly challenging time, we would like to thank you for your continued patience as we navigate through this unchartered territory. We encourage you to stay safe, remain abreast of information provided by the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) and other reputable sources. Below are frequently asked questions we have received regarding School Safety and Security. Please note that we will continue to update our FAQ’s as more information is made available from the United States Department of Education (USDE). For official information from the Oklahoma State Department of Education, please visit the OSDE website designated to COVID-19 resources here. 
  1. Can districts access The Office of School Safety and Security for resources and technical assistance?
  2. Will schools that are designated as storm shelters in the community be open in the event of a weather emergency?
  3. How can administrators, teachers and counselors navigate help for both social and emotional challenges when schools open again?
  4. How do I apply for FEMA’s Public Disaster Assistance Program?
  5. How can districts prepare for a potential spike in violence upon returning to school?
  6. How can School Resource Officers be utilized during the distant learning period?
  7. Are there any resources for students who feel they need to report cyberbullying, depression, suicide thoughts and abuse?
  8. Can I reuse my Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?
  9. How do I prepare for reconstitution/reentry to our buildings?

Can districts access The Office of School Safety and Security for resources and technical assistance?

  • Yes. Please do not hesitate to reach out to a school safety specialist with questions, concerns, or a training request.  

Cindy Swearingen

Assistant Executive Director

Cindy.swearingen@sde.ok.gov

405-306-9724

 

Steven Lynch

Specialist

Steven.lynch@sde.ok.gov

405-308-3176

 

Michelann Ooten

Specialist

Michelann.ooten@sde.ok.gov

405-205-1879

 

Jason Gray

Specialist

Jason.gray@sde.ok.gov

405-291-0888

 

We understand and support the need for Professional Development during this time of school closure and as you continue to plan for the future.  The Office of School Safety and Security will be offering virtual in-person professional development via Zoom, Facebook live and other platforms. A list of Virtual Professional Development opportunities are listed HERE.

  

Will schools that are designated as storm shelters in the community be open in the event of a weather emergency? 

  • In the event of an imminent threat, such as an issued call to shelter under a tornado/severe storm warning, communication between district/school leaders and local emergency managers should be well established. Existing CDC protocol should be exercised including family units maintaining distance from other families.
  • Good common sense and an attempt to maintain CDC protocol under these stressful situations will result in best practices. Oklahoma Emergency Management, National Weather Service, and the Oklahoma State Department of Education do not recommend closing community storm shelters because of COVID-19, including those located on school property.

 

How can administrators, teachers and counselors navigate help for both social and emotional challenges when schools open again? 

 

How do I apply for FEMA’s Public Disaster Assistance Program?

  • Oklahoma Public Schools should first contact their LOCAL EMERGENCY MANAGER for information and assistance.   

  • As your school prepares to manage its COVID-19 response, you should begin tracking costs by setting up cost centers to capture disaster-related charges such as:

*Labor

 

*Supplies

 

*Equipment  

  • Even if your organization never encounters a COVID-19 case, the costs you incurred to prepare may be eligible for reimbursement. 

  • Oklahoma Emergency Management offers great assistance with their "FEMA Public Assistance" webinar HERE. PowerPoint slides from this webinar are also available HERE.

  • For additional assistance you may contact School Safety Specialist Micheleann Ooten at (405) 205-1879 or michelann.ooten@sde.ok.gov

 

 

How can districts prepare for a potential spike in violence upon returning to school?  

  • According to the US Secret Service Analysis of Targeted School Violence, incidents occurred most frequently after a break in school.  You can prepare your school community for potential violent acts by establishing a Behavioral Threat Assessment Team at your district. To learn more please contact Cindy Swearingen at (918) 830-7705 or cindy.swearingen@sde.ok.gov

  • The Secret Service offers more detailed information about School Security & Prevention Measures. See full article HERE.

 

How can School Resource Officers be utilized during the distant learning period?

  • If your local school resource officer is not able to revert back to the local police department then now is a great time for the SRO to review the School’s EOP and conduct site assessments (as allowed during school closures). This may be a drive around and photo catalog developed.

 

 

Are there any resources for students who feel they need to report cyberbullying, depression, suicide thoughts and abuse?

 
 

Can I reuse my Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

 How do I prepare for reconstitution/reentry to our buildings?

 

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Last updated on May 27, 2020