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Surviving the Storm. Lessons Learned and Implemented in a Post-Katrina World Paul McLarty - Chief Financial Officer Ron McPherson – Associate Superintendent of Support Services Clear Creek Independent School District. Where We’re Located. Academics

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surviving the storm

Surviving the Storm

Lessons Learned and Implemented in a Post-Katrina World

Paul McLarty - Chief Financial Officer

Ron McPherson – Associate Superintendent of Support Services

Clear Creek Independent School District

slide3
Academics

Largest “Recognized” school district in Texas!

“Recognized” for 10 of the last 11 years

15 of 37 campuses (41%) are Exemplary

60% of Elementary campuses are Exemplary

Stewart Elementary named a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence

One of only 23 schools in Texas and 287 schools nationwide

Students

36,200 students

Projected enrollment of 47,500 within 12 years

66 different languages spoken

The District

slide4
Finances

$249 million General Fund Budget

$44 million Debt Service budget

$12 million Food Service Budget

Completing a $264 million bond program

Beginning a $183 million bond program

District Challenges

Managing student growth

Managing facility growth

Special programs

Special Ed program growth

Workforce

More than 4,800 employees

More than 2,600 teachers, librarians & nurses

The District

plans reviewed options discussed
Plans Reviewed/Options Discussed
  • Post Katrina
    • CCISD enrollment grew by 1,500.
    • CCISD reviewed & revised its emergency plans.
  • Learn from mistakes made by New Orleans
    • Evacuation decision should be made early – not 24 hours before landfall.
    • Our Decisions Must:
      • Protect children and staff.
      • Protect the Fleet
      • Protect District Assets.
      • Protect Technology & Systems
      • Protect Business Systems.
rita makes an entrance monday september 19 2005
Rita Makes an EntranceMonday September 19, 2005
  • Emergency Communication Procedures Implemented
    • Galveston County superintendents
    • Galveston County Emergency Management
  • Reviewed District emergency plans.
  • Held departmental meetings.
  • Communicated with all staff.
  • Watched & Waited.
clear creek takes action tuesday september 20 2005
Clear Creek Takes ActionTuesday September 20, 2005
  • Early Morning - Call for Voluntary Evacuation
    • Galveston Island and low areas
  • Cabinet Planning Meeting at 10am.
    • Decision to cancel classes Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Activated District Emergency Response Plan.
  • Communicated our decision to families.
  • Began securing the District.
  • Late Afternoon - Call for Mandatory Evacuation
    • Galveston Island and low areas
clear creek takes action tuesday september 20 2005 protecting children staff
Clear Creek Takes ActionTuesday September 20, 2005Protecting Children & Staff
  • Protecting Children
    • Decision to dismiss classes was made early.
    • This gave parents time to evacuate.
  • Protecting Staff
    • Mission Critical Employees
      • Released early to evacuate families.
      • Expected to returned to help District.
      • Issued re-entry passes.
    • Remaining Employees
      • Released indefinitely.
      • 1-800 number to call for reunification.
  • Katrina Families
    • Forced to evacuate a second time.
clear creek takes action tuesday september 20 2005 protecting the fleet
Clear Creek Takes ActionTuesday September 20, 2005Protecting the Fleet
  • Relocated the fleet to higher ground
    • Buses relocated Tuesday to get them out of the storm path.
    • 186 Route buses were moved northwest to Katy ISD.
    • Newer maintenance vehicles relocated to Katy ISD.
    • CCISD Police escort - Multiple trips! All done after dark!
  • Transportation Phone Tree Enacted
clear creek takes action tuesday september 20 2005 protecting district assets
Clear Creek Takes ActionTuesday September 20, 2005Protecting District Assets
  • Secured loose objects at all facilities that could become airborne.
  • Boarded up windows in the Technology Learning Center.
  • Fueled 1st response vehicles & relocated to higher ground.
  • Prepared 1st response trailers and trucks, with chain saws, power tools, and generators.
  • Determined the final intended location for staff members
clear creek takes action tuesday september 20 2005 protecting technology systems
Clear Creek Takes ActionTuesday September 20, 2005Protecting Technology & Systems
  • Continuity of Operations Plan
    • Protecting vital operating systems.
  • Utilized a Pre-established Priority System to Protect Systems for Business Continuity
    • Priority “0” – Systems that must be available at all times.
      • Communications systems
        • Phone, email, web page
    • Priority “1” – Systems and Hardware needed for continued operations.
      • People, Vendors and Reporting
        • Payroll processing, vendor payments, student system
clear creek takes action tuesday september 20 2005 protecting technology systems1
Clear Creek Takes ActionTuesday September 20, 2005Protecting Technology & Systems
  • Server & Software Backups
    • Priority “0” & “1” systems first.
    • Began backups early Tuesday.
    • Unable to complete all backups due to time constraints.
  • Stopped backups at 10:00pm
    • Packed equipment for evacuation.
    • Loaded hardware and software for transport to three locations.
  • Moved remaining hardware to second floor of the Technology Learning Center
clear creek takes action tuesday september 20 2005 protecting business operations
Clear Creek Takes ActionTuesday September 20, 2005Protecting Business Operations
  • Communication Plan
    • Parents & employees provided a 1-800 phone line for information in addition to our regular line
    • Web site availability.
    • Email availability.
      • NOTE: We were unable to maintain functionality.
  • Tax Department Operations
    • Armored car service to pick up cash and checks.
    • Completed a tax system backup and sent it to Dallas.
    • Moved paper documents to second floor.
  • Employee Benefits Operations
    • Authorized Humana to pay employee medical claims as in-network rather than out of network for a short period of time.
clear creek takes action tuesday september 20 2005 protecting business operations1
Clear Creek Takes ActionTuesday September 20, 2005Protecting Business Operations
  • Finance Department Operations
    • Finalized payroll & accounts payable.
    • Scheduled armored car service to all campuses.
    • Allocate funds for a worst case scenario.
      • Cash was moved to Katy branch of our bank for easy access by district staff
    • Packed and moved check printer.
    • Moved $10,000 in cash to a branch bank for emergency purposes
  • Purchasing Operations
    • Researched “emergency” powers of the Superintendent for purchasing.
    • Communicated the District’s emergency purchasing procedures and contractor information to key employees.
    • Contacted grounds maintenance contractor for debris removal firms.
rita continues her charge wednesday september 21 2005 category 3 120 mph winds
Rita Continues Her ChargeWednesday September 21, 2005Category 3 – 120 MPH Winds
rita continues her charge wednesday september 21 2005 category 3 120 mph winds1
Rita Continues Her ChargeWednesday September 21, 2005Category 3 – 120 MPH Winds
clear creek takes action wednesday september 21 2005 protecting district assets
Clear Creek Takes ActionWednesday September 21, 2005Protecting District Assets
  • Relocated vital systems and hardware
    • Shipped out at 6:00am Wednesday.
    • Moved hardware and software to Katy ISD.
    • Two copies of software to remote sites.
  • Moved remaining vehicles to higher ground
  • Evacuated the District
  • Set up a local District Command Center
    • Local Agencies used District facilities
  • If you left after noon on Wednesday – this is what you saw!
clear creek takes action thursday september 22 2005 management during the event
Clear Creek Takes ActionThursday September 22, 2005Management During the Event
  • Established a remote command center
    • Moved command and control to Katy ISD
    • Established technology command center
  • Kept in constant communication with the superintendent
  • Moved command center!
    • Original storm track changed and took aim at Katy
    • Moved command center to Spring Branch ISD
  • If you left Thursday this is what you saw!
clear creek takes action friday september 23 2005 management during the event
Clear Creek Takes ActionFriday September 23, 2005Management During the Event
  • Maintained command center at Spring Branch ISD
  • Monitored the storm track
    • Storm makes a turn away from Houston
  • Continued routine communication with the superintendent & cabinet
    • Provided updates on web site
  • If you left Friday this is what you saw!
rita s aftermath reunification plan saturday september 24 th and sunday september 25 th
Rita’s AftermathReunification PlanSaturday September 24th and Sunday September 25th
  • The storm passed with minimal damage to CCISD assets and the community.
  • We contacted staff members to determine welfare and estimated date of return.
  • We established teams to survey damages.
  • Established a list of key personnel needed to prepare for school opening.
  • Contacted key staff who began to return on Saturday September 24, 2005.
  • Technology staff began to re-assemble the Technology Learning Center.
rita s aftermath reunification plan saturday september 24 th and sunday september 25 th1
Rita’s AftermathReunification PlanSaturday September 24th and Sunday September 25th
  • We returned service vehicles to duty.
  • We returned buses from Katy ISD.
  • We began debris removal and cleanup.
  • Cabinet meeting Wednesday, September 28th
  • Communicated with Galveston Superintendents and Region IV on school openings
    • Thursday September 29, 2005.
  • We began formulating damage estimates for FEMA funding opportunities.
lessons learned decision making
Lessons LearnedDecision Making
  • Unified approach and unified command.
  • Teamwork among all regional superintendents and districts.
    • Uniform school closures/openings.
    • Reunification plans.
  • Collaboration between all municipal emergency planners.
lessons learned personnel
Lessons LearnedPersonnel
  • Balancing district evacuation and family evacuation.
  • Identify key personnel for hurricane preparedness/recovery.
  • Establishing emergency contact list of key personnel.
  • Community & municipal requests for help.
lessons learned communication
Lessons LearnedCommunication
  • Determine all possible communication mediums for staff & parents.
    • Website/E-mail.
    • 1-800 & local phones with a message recording.
  • Employee contact information vital for reunification purposes.
  • Communication limitations and identifying new needs.
    • Cell phones, Nextel radios, 800 systems, etc.
  • Constant communication with the superintendent and cabinet members was essential during and after the storm.
  • Need to communicate well with county & city emergency operations staff
lessons learned general
Lessons LearnedGeneral
  • Transportation issues & coordination
    • Fuel Shortage – District needed additional fuel capacity post Rita.
    • Ensure you have drivers identified to move the fleet.
    • Mutual aid agreements.
  • Financial needs
    • Consider mandating direct deposit of paychecks with the option of a Pay Card.
    • Make sure you have sufficient cash on hand.
    • District issue credit cards for key staff
      • Only issue in an emergency situation
  • Things happen fast!
    • Make sure you have prioritized needs appropriately – some things will not get done!
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Clear Creek dodged a bullet
  • Events moved extremely fast
  • Plans are essential but be ready to improvise
  • Plans worked in most instances – but the time frame was extremely short
  • Practice, Practice, Practice Emergency Drills
  • You will not think of everything!
surviving the storm1

Surviving the Storm

QUESTIONS?

Contact Information

Paul McLarty Ron McPherson

pmclarty@ccisd.netrmcphers@ccisd.net

(281) 284-0181 (281) 284-0040