Comprehensive School Safety Program (CSSP)
The purpose of the Act is to enhance public safety in all of Delaware's public schools through the development and maintenance of comprehensive, site-specific, National Incident Management System (NIMS)-compliant safety and emergency preparedness plans.
The Act is intended to promote a cohesive and coordinated approach between state and local emergency responders, education professionals, and other supporting agencies and disciplines during a critical incident within a school setting.
The administration of these legislative requirements is overseen by CSSP, which is housed within the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, a division of the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security. The CSSP team consists of two former law enforcement officers with a vast amount of expertise to include mental health components who monitor and provide support to over 220 public and Charter schools consisting of more than 140,800 students for Omnibus compliance and best practices for school safety.
School Safety Plans
CSSP works to ensure each school has a safety plan that addresses numerous hazards or emergency incidents including violent intruders and natural hazards. CSSP staff offer technical assistance and support to school administrators to ensure annual plan updates fully reflect the scope of hazards and events for which schools should be prepared.
Additional Support for Schools
In addition to planning support, CSSP offers regular training on all aspects of emergency management as it pertains to school safety including preparation, preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery.
They also offer trainings to include active assailant, mental health components or aspects, family reunification, severe weather response, and more. In addition, CSSP supports a wide range of exercise options to include templates for drills and tabletops, as well as after action reports. Finally, the CSSP team conducts and provides technical assistance for physical building infrastructure assessments to ensure schools are properly identifying and mitigating against vulnerabilities.
House Bill 49
Learn more about House Bill 49
CSSP works in conjunction with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Division of Facilities Management (DFM) to review and approve House Bill 49 requirements for all new school construction, and all major capital renovations exceeding $750,000.00, and post January 1, 2019 Certificates of Necessity. The House Bill requires construction that falls into any of the above listed categories to include the following requirements:
- A secured vestibule serving as the primary entrance to screen visitors, equipped with an intercom or voice call box and electronically released doors;
- Ballistic resistant glass or other ballistic resistant material in all vestibules, lobby, and office areas used to screen visitors;
- Classroom doors that can be locked from the outside using a key or magnetic card locking system. Classroom doors with double-sided locks must comply with State or national fire safety regulations; and
- Installation of a panic button or intruder alert system capable of being activated from the school office and a handheld device.
School Approval Process
For schools seeking approval for HB 49 requirements, CSSP approval is required before submitting to DFM.
Department of Education (DOE) Process
Visit the DOE website for procedures to be followed by accessing the School Construction Technical Assistance Manual.
CSSP Review Process
To begin the review process, review the HB 49 checklist for schools.
Frequently Asked Questions
Each year, Delaware’s Comprehensive School Safety Program (CSSP) works with public and charter schools statewide to help administrators update their individual school safety plans. The CSSP certifies schools after completion of two lockdown drills and one table top exercise as required by Delaware law. Many districts and schools arrange drills in coordination with CSSP, law enforcement, school personnel and first responders to ensure staff and students are ready to respond appropriately in a coordinated effort in the event of an emergency.
CSSP offers regular training on all aspects of emergency management as it pertains to school safety including preparation, preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery. Examples of regular trainings offered include but are not limited to violent intruders, bomb threats, severe weather responses, mental health awareness and tools, behavioral threat assessments, crime prevention through environmental design and family reunification.
All public and charter schools are required by the Omnibus School Safety act to have a school safety plan that addresses numerous hazards or emergency incidents including violent intruders, and natural hazards.
With the assistance of CSSP, the plans are developed by school safety teams which should be comprised of administrators, teachers, staff, law enforcement, various other first responders and contain detailed information specific to each school.
Schools are required to review, update and test plans annually through drills and tabletop exercises.
The CSSP works with schools to conduct active assailant training and drills. Schools must complete two lockdown drills and one table top exercise annually. The CSSP also assists with table top exercises with school personnel and offers online training as well.
CSSP offers educational materials for students providing a safe and effective forum for teachers to talk with students about emergency response. Districts and Charter Schools should partner with law enforcement agencies in drills teaching students how to best respond. Question and answer sessions should be held immediately after the drill to give students an opportunity to ask questions and share concerns. The drills and discussions help build confidence in the student’s ability to respond in an emergency.
Many school districts have School Resource Officers (SROs), constables, or school safety personnel. Schools should have a strong partnership with their local law enforcement agencies and first responders. The decision to have on site security or law enforcement is determined by the school district.
In addition to the online training available to school personnel, the CSSP hosts a variety of training seminars for SROs, constables, safety personnel and school staff. The CSSP team works with schools to determine areas of necessity through need’s assessments, and couples findings with best practices to determine trainings and initiatives.
The CSSP team also offers community information sessions, and upon request will conduct active assailant training to facilities that offer child care