School Access and Functional Needs/Complex Medical Needs

Desert Willow Conference Center

June 5, 2023 | 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM

Breakfast will be served from 8:00AM to 9:00AM

The purpose of the Targeted Event Readiness Forum (TERF) is to provide an environment for exploring opportunities along the disaster response continuum. The TERF is not a disaster preparedness exercise, but instead is a facilitated discussion to foster the sharing of information.

Travel stipends for participants outside of Maricopa County may be available. Please contact Ivonne Garber at

By the end of the event, participants will:

  1. Have a better understanding of strategies that can ensure necessary resources, including staff, supplies, and equipment that are able to support students and staff with Access and Functional Needs (AFN)/complex medical needs during an emergency, including an active shooter incident.
  2. Have a better understanding of the importance of a) why students and staff with Access and Functional Needs (AFN)/complex medical needs should participate in emergency response drills and b) the tools and methodologies that may enable these students and staff to participate in emergency response drills more successfully.
  3. Have a better understanding of current laws impacting emergency planning for students and staff with Access and Functional Needs (AFN)/complex medical needs.


  • Private, Public, and Tribal Special Education Teachers,
  • Private, Public, and Tribal Special Education Administrators,
  • Private, Public, and Tribal School Nurses,
  • District and School Administrators,
  • Local Fire Departments,
  • Local Law Enforcement,
  • State Agencies, and
  • State Associations.

SCENARIO 1 (Evacuation)

It is a partly cloudy day in April. The temperature is 35 degrees, and the wind is blowing at 10 miles per hour from the northwest. At 1:30 p.m., the campus is rocked by an explosion. You are unsure of where the explosion has occurred and whether it is on campus.

A staff member contacts you to let you know that the explosion occurred in a maintenance storage room located near the northwest corner of the building. There is fire activity in the area.

The extreme cold has forced the boilers running the heat system to stress. A spark in the boiler room ignited some leaves and paper that had not been cleaned up. Pallets stored nearby added fuel to the smaller fire and the fire began to gain momentum. The fire alarm goes off, and the smell of smoke ensures that everyone has a sense of urgency in evacuating all students.

SCENARIO 2 (Extended Lockdown)

As students arrive at school on the first day after spring break, a woman enters the school through the bus entrance with the student population. Because the teachers on bus duty recognize the woman as a parent and the spouse of a special education teacher, no one stops her from entering the building. The woman does not report to the office goes directly to her husband’s classroom, where her husband (the teacher), students and staff are inside.

The woman enters her husband’s classroom, pulls a handgun from her purse, and screams at her husband. She shoots her husband three times in the stomach and runs out of the classroom. Popping sounds have been heard in the school. The school principal has placed the school on lockdown.

As law enforcement arrives, the shooter is neutralized in the first few minutes. The school remains in lockdown for three hours, while law enforcement searches for a second shooter. No school buses, school vans, or parental vehicles have been permitted access to the school.