Crisis Management

The Brockton Public Schools
Crisis Management Teams
Brockton, Massachusetts
The Crisis Management Team of the Brockton Public Schools is a joint
effort of the Guidance Department and the Wellness Department.

Crisis Management Team Steering Committee:

Mary Ellen Kirrane, Co-Chair
John Snelgrove, Co-Chair


Brockton School personnel are concerned about how our students and staff would fare emotionally in the event of a suicide or other major trauma, including natural or man-made incidents.


The general intent of the Crisis Management Team (CMT)'s policy is to form a trained team within each Brockton school, as well as a system-wide management team designed to be called upon in the event of a catastrophe which affects the whole school system.

The CMT members... The Crisis Management Team members have been trained to intervene as a team in a crisis, and to provide guidance to the staff and administration according to accepted suicide and critical incident management techniques. Our Crisis Management Team advances concepts by: school professionals who work with grieving students.
...educating administrators about the needs of grieving students, faculty and staff.
...providing resource materials to each school, supplementing the CMT manual.
...providing training workshops and materials for the CMT's.

Preparation for Critical Incidents:

Suicide Management: An atmosphere of awareness regarding suicide causation and prevention is mandated by this policy. A flip chart entitled Suicide Issues in Our Schools is available in the Principal's office. This chart lists warning signs of potential suicide as well as some reasonable interventions that staff can make. Postvention guidelines, to be implemented by the In-School Crisis Management Team, are developed in the training/resource manual.

Critical Incident Management: Crisis management strategies are also developed in the training/resource manual. They include preplanning tasks, a sequence of actions to be followed in mobilizing resources, and debriefing skills. A flip chart entitled Grief in the Classroom is available in the Principal's office and through your CMT.

The Suicide/Crisis Management Policy as well as the training/resource manual is available for your review in your Principal or Housemaster's office.

September, 2004

The Brockton Public Schools has had a functioning Crisis Management Team since 1990. The purpose of the Crisis Management Team is to provide emotional support to our students and staff in the event of a critical incident, and to prevent "second injury" caused by inappropriate or uncaring practices. The Crisis Management Team (CMT) was funded originally by the Health Department's Drug Free Schools grant. Under that grant, a policy was developed for the management of critical incidents, and the Brockton School Committee accepted this policy in August, 1991. Our manual was extensively revised in March 2000, and our training is continually updated to keep pace with this rapidly growing area of concern. We clearly were ahead of the movement when we started to codify our work in 1989. Since its inception, the Crisis Management Policy has been implemented countless times throughout every level of our school system.

The CMT checklist has twenty seven points of intervention to be considered in a critical incident. CMT members in each school are trained to cover each point and design a response based on the individual circumstance. Crisis Management Teams are in place throughout the Brockton Public School system. School nurses, adjustment counselors, teachers and administrators have been trained in CMT procedures. Our group usually includes about 45-50 trained members every year. Our policy and manual have been organized on the Jeffrey Mitchell Model of critical incident management, and staff trainings have been ongoing since 1991. Primary among our training resources is the Good Grief Program of Boston, the nationally recognized expert in this field. CMT trainings have also been conducted by a representative of NOVA (the National Office for Victim Assistance), the Samaritans and others.

The Brockton CMT has developed a brief sample letter for parents that contains a statement of known facts. The CMT also has created a kit for every school which includes specific articles for parents and staff. These articles offer appropriate advice to parents regarding death and childhood anxieties, coaching for staff regarding how to handle death in a classroom and developmental stages of grief. There is a library of resources available with curricula guides, and bibliographies on the issues of death and trauma. These are made available through the CMT to every school.

The current CMT manual also covers other areas including nurse/medical involvement, use of a school and system-wide telephone tree, development of a 'who needs to know" list, recommendations for memorializations, and care for the caretakers.

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