It’s time that licensure requirements for K-12 leaders include a 1 credit course (15 hours) of crisis preparedness and response training. While this topic might be grazed upon within some post-secondary school leader (principal) coursework, it’s certainly not provided the depth of dedicated focus warranted in consideration of the evolution of school crisis needs over the past twenty needs – including terrorism and cyber threats.
In 2004, Johns Hopkins General Preventive Medicine Residency program identified an emergency preparedness training gap both in literature and in review of their training curriculum. By 2006, a roughly 20-hour curriculum was in place (see chart below) that addressed weapons of mass destruction, risk communication and personal preparedness, aspects of local emergency response planning, and mental health and psychological aspects of terrorism. Hmmm, those topics ALSO seem remarkably appropriate for K-12 school leaders.
Kudos to the folks at Johns Hopkins for bridging their residency training gap 7 years ago! K-12 principal licensure programs (colleges / universities) should examine the Johns Hopkins blueprint and act with a sense of urgency to mend the principal training gap for crisis preparedness and response.
Uddin, S. G., Barnett, D. J., Parker, C. L., Links, J. M., & Alexander, M. (2008). Emergency preparedness: addressing a residency training gap. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 83(3), 298–304. doi:10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181637edc