• Crisis Communications

    During an emergency or crisis situation at a school, it is imperative that City Schools speaks with one voice as a district. All communications related to such situations must therefore be coordinated with the Engagement Office.

    Following are the district-approved communications protocols you must follow during an emergency or crisis. 

    Staff Action

    • School staff should direct all media personnel or media inquiries to the school leader or his/her designee.
    • The school leader will contact his/her network executive director and network facilitator, and also Edie House Foster in the district Engagement Office at the following phone numbers or e-mail addresses:

         Office 410-545-7296
         Direct line 410-545-7298
         Mobile 410-852-5637
         Email ehouse@bcps.k12.md.us

    • Network facilitators should be on site to assist in handling media during an emergency.

    Coordination of Communications

    • During an emergency, media will not have access to the City Schools facility without prior approval from the Engagement Office. Media will remain in a designated area on or near school property.
    • The Engagement Office, in collaboration with the CEO or the CEO's designee, will determine the spokesperson who will address the media.
    • All information given to the media must be coordinated with the Engagement Office, which will provide media with periodic updates regarding the situation.

    Communicating with Parents/Guardians

    Clear, timely communication with parents/guardians about crisis situations or incidents affecting school climate is essential, both to reassure parents/guardians of the top priority placed on student safety and well-being and to head off misinformation and rumor. Network facilitators can assist school leaders in drafting a phone message script for disseminating via Parent Link and/or a letter to be sent home with students. Once the drafts are complete, these steps should be followed:

    • As early as possible in the day, the school leader should email the draft(s) to Edie House on the communications team
    • Communications staff will revise the text as necessary and, depending on the circumstances, secure review of the text by appropriate district office staff
    • Communications staff will return the approved text to the school leader, again as early as possible in the school day, so that it can be prepared for dissemination
    • If assistance is required in placing a Parent Link call, communications staff can provide support. In the case of letters, school staff should copy the text onto school or district letterhead for distribution.