Readiness & Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Grant

(PR # Q184E080415)

On June 14, 2008 Orange County Schools was awarded the prestigious “Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools” (REMS) Grant for $283,082 from the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools of the U.S. Department of Education. The REMS grant program was established to provide the funding necessary for school districts to develop comprehensive plans for any emergency or crisis, including natural disasters, pandemic influenza, violent incidents, and terrorist acts.

During the period of the grant, a committee composed of community agencies and school district personnel worked closely in an effort to improve the Orange County Schools school safety program in the four areas of emergency preparedness: prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery.

Some of the projects resulting from the 2008 REMS Grant include:

  • Crisis Response Training for substitute teachers as well as district and school staffs;

  • Critical Incident Stress Management training for Guidance Counselors, Nurses, Psychologists and Social Workers;

  • Increased collaboration with community partners in planning and executing drills and exercises;

  • Rapid Responder System - a web-based crisis managment system providing district / school administration and emergency responders with real time images and facility information for crisis/emergency management;

  • Evacuation Chairs for special needs students, staff and visitors in our four schools with two-stories;

  • Directional signs in ALL of the schools assisting the students, the public and emergency responders to navigate throughout;

  • Additional surveillance cameras installed on school buses and at Partnership Academy; and

  • Trauma/Medical carts for Nurses in each school.