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Maria Montessori Charter Academy was the first K-8 School in U.S. to be Certified for Teen CERT Disaster Response!

Each year Seventh and Eighth grade students at Maria Montessori Charter Academy will be trained to respond to natural disasters and other emergencies in their school.  The Teen Community Emergency Response Team (Teen CERT) educates students in disaster preparedness for hazards that could affect their school and trains them in basic response skills including fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, triage and first aid. 




CERT students learn how to be first responders at a school disaster scene, and then transfer command over to better-trained authorities when they arrive. The program will culminate in a student exercise of a mock disaster during the Spring.

The CERT program was developed in 1985 by the Los Angeles City Fire Department to develop trained volunteer response teams to improve survival in disasters until professional assistance arrives.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency made the program nationwide in 1994 and in 2004 the CERT program became a part of the Department of Homeland Security.  CERT is a primary program of the federal Citizen Corps project.

Maria Montessori Charter Academy was the first K-8 elementary school in the United States to pilot the program in the 2008-2009 school year.  The Teen CERT program is typically run in high schools and some ninth grade middle school programs.  There are several high schools in Sacramento County currently running the Teen CERT program and MMCA is the first and only school to run the program in Placer County. 

If you would like more information about this topic, would like to photograph/video the mock disaster, or to schedule an interview with our Teen CERT Instructor Laura Crouch, please call 916-630-1510 or e-mail Laura at

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