Las Vegas CBS KXNT- You may not have heard of the Student Threat Crisis Response department, but it’s a standard apparatus of the post-Columbine public school district. In Clark County, the department interprets Nevada statute for school administrators, preparing them to translate the law into action when disaster strikes.

“How do we evacuate, how do we do shelter-in-place, how do we reverse-evacuate when the kids are outside and they need to get inside as quickly as possible? Do the kids understand the procedures?” department coordinator Rosemary Virtuoso ticked off the list on Friday.

“Our job is to help adults figure out what is the best method in dealing with the kids’ safety,” Virtuoso said. “What we try to do is look at what the requirements are, and interpret them into basic behavioral plans, keeping in mind that our administrators are educators, and our children are children.”

In the wake of an “active shooter” situation at an elementary school in Connecticut on Friday morning, CCSD was reassuring the community that there are plans in place here to respond to such an emergency.

“This district has been extremely proactive,” Virtuoso said.

A crisis response plan is put together every school year. It includes required drills for teachers and other school personnel. The skill teachers display in managing kids during an emergency is key to crisis response, Virtuoso said.

“We have to keep our kids calm by keeping them prepared,” she said. Routine exercises like fire drills instill students with a serious attitude toward safety and help them understand that following instructions is critical.

The district plan also includes a feature called Parent Link, an automated messaging system that allows school officials to get information to parents quickly.


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