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School security safety standards created after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School have been updated by state officials to ensure that experts provide feedback on fire and safety drills each year and that plans are in place for recovery from an emergency.

“The feedback is critical to maintaining and enhancing your school’s preparedness,” read the updated standards. They clarify that local police and public safety officials must review a sample of drills, not just the plans.

In addition, the new standards emphasize planning for the aftermath of a crisis, including family reunification and accounting for all persons.

“It is important for the plan to provide guidance on recovery from any emergency incident,” the updated standards say.

Legislation passed in 2013 requires that every school board implement safety and security plans that align with the standards, which are created by the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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