The most efficient approach to crisis intervention is the district-wide Crisis Assistance Team (CAT). The role of the team is to provide assistance to building administration, faculty, and students in the event of a crisis situation. The team works at the invitation of and under the direction of the building administrator. A crisis means a situation which is unusual or abnormal, and in which circumstances are such that the individual(s) is/are highly stressed and in need of assistance. Crises may include, but are not limited to, the following: natural disasters, hazardous material spills, national or regional emergencies, bomb threats, fires, kidnapping, threats or violence against student(s) or employee(s), death or injury of a student or employee by accident, illness, or suicide.
Teams have been trained to follow a planned procedure in working cooperatively with other agencies, the news media, emergency services, and community members to minimize crisis situations. The District Crisis Assistance Team membership is comprised of two teams, one of which is on call each month.
Purpose: Upon the request of a school principal or other appropriate administrator, the CAT will:
- formulate and organize a team response for each affected building;
- work with staff members and students to ensure their safety
- provide outlets for emotional release;
- when necessary, use established community resources to effectively aid our response;
- support staff and students in their return to normal school activities;
- prepare letters and provide materials to be sent home to students’ families;
- provide family contact and support;
- provide follow-up support and care for students, staff members, and families;
- when necessary, make referrals for additional counseling and support.
Meetings: The Crisis Assistance Team meets monthly at the District Office for business and mock crises practice. Training sessions and updates occur at irregular intervals throughout the school year. (Members are on call year round.)
Membership: The Team is composed of Moscow School District employees who have been trained in Crisis Response and are willing to volunteer their time. Roles of the team members are as follows:
Team Leader – works directly with the school administration to develop a response plan and oversees the team members’ actions during the response. This contact person notifies the team members and assigns team tasks.
System Support – works closely with the team leader to keep everyone apprised of what is happening; records the actions of the team members, and helps compile information gathered by the response; works closely with the building secretarial staff and support staff to maintain communications; keeps anniversary follow-up data. Community Liaison – uses pre-established contacts within the community to aid the Team’s response (fire/police departments, physicians and hospital, funeral homes).
Student Support – provides support and short-term crisis counseling support to students in the school. Helps maintain documentation regarding students supported and provides for follow-up for students needing additional support.
Reports To: Superintendent and individual school administrators