This paper will outline the context of Murrell Taylor Elementary School, and evaluate it based on its breadth, specificity, clarity regarding roles, communications, and routine (including both exercises or drills and training requirements).
It is important, before reviewing any emergency or crisis response plan, to ensure that one is properly aware of the context of the institution creating it. A school in a major urban area will have many different resources and challenges than a school in a rural area, for example. Murrell Taylor Elementary School is placed on the furthest west corner of Jacksonville, a distant suburb of Little Rock, Arkansas. The town of Jacksonville is quite small, with a population of only 22,000, but the school is none-the-less only a dozen and a half miles from the centre of Little Rock, which has a metro population nearing 700,000. Thus Murrell Taylor is strongly a suburban school, almost bordering on a rural school, with ready access to the resources (and sometimes problems) related to a major metropolitan area. In terms of micro-geography, the school is located on a mostly-empty lot, which abuts onto a small subdivision of houses on one side, and a shopping centre on the other. The school features one central building and no outbuildings, with a large field to its front and several small recreational areas surrounding it.
Murrell Taylor Elementary School’s crisis response plan has a fairly good deal of breadth. The plan opens with a description of generalized emergency procedures, including who can declare an emergency (the principal or designate) and who the next calls and decisions would need to be made by (in most cases district officers/ the office of the superintendent). This allows for a highly flexible, if somewhat broad and vague, framework for which any emergency can be used. The strength of this opening is that it can apply to