Colorado - Emergency Operations Plans: Policy or Plan Requirements

Area: 
Policy Or Plan Requirements
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

State law requires districts to develop school emergency operations plans (EOPs) that do not include procedures for plan review and update.

C.R.S. 22-32-109.1. Board of education - specific powers and duties - safe school plan - conduct and discipline code - safe school reporting requirements - school response framework - school resource officers - definitions - repeal

(4) School response framework - school safety, readiness, and incident management plan. Each board of education shall establish a school response framework that shall consist of policies described in this subsection (4). By satisfying the requirements of this subsection (4), a school or school district shall be in compliance with the national incident management system, referred to in this subsection (4) as "NIMS", developed by the federal emergency management agency. At a minimum, the policies shall require:

  • (a)

    • (I) Each school district, on or before July 1, 2009, to establish a date by which each school of the school district shall be in compliance with the requirements of this subsection (4); except that the date may be changed by the school board for cause.

    • (II) Each school district shall make the dates established pursuant to subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (a) available to the public upon request.

  • (b) Each school district to adopt the national response framework released by the federal department of homeland security and NIMS formally through orders or resolutions;

  • (c) Each school district to institutionalize the incident command system as taught by the emergency management institute of the federal emergency management agency;

  • (d) Each school district, on or before July 1, 2009, to start to develop a school safety, readiness, and incident management plan, including, to the extent possible, emergency communications, that coordinates with any statewide or local emergency operation plans. In developing the plan, a school district may collaborate with community partners. The school safety, readiness, and incident management plan shall, at a minimum, identify for each public school in the school district:

    • (I) Safety teams and backups who are responsible for interacting with community partners and assuming key incident command positions; and

    • (II) Potential locations for various types of operational locations and support functions or facilities;

  • (e) To the extent possible, each school district to enter into memoranda of understanding with the community partners specifying responsibilities for responding to incidents;

  • (f) To the extent possible, each public school to create an all-hazard exercise program based on NIMS and to conduct tabletop exercises and other exercises in collaboration with community partners from multiple disciplines and, if possible, multiple jurisdictions to practice and assess preparedness and communications interoperability with community partners;

  • (g) To the extent possible, each public school, in collaboration with its school district, to hold coordinated exercises among school employees and community partners, including at a minimum:

    • (I) Orientation meetings to inform all parties about emergency operation plans and procedures;

    • (II) All-hazard drills, in addition to fire drills, to improve individual and student emergency procedures and to test communications interoperability; and

    • (III) Tabletop exercises to discuss and identify roles and responsibilities in different scenarios;

  • (h) Each public school to conduct a written evaluation following the exercises and certain incidents as identified by the school or school district and identify and address lessons learned and corrective actions in updating response plans and procedures;

  • (i) Each public school, at least every academic term, to inventory emergency equipment and test communications equipment and its interoperability with affected state and local agencies;

  • (j) Each school district to adopt written procedures for taking action and communicating with local law enforcement agencies, community emergency services, parents, students, and the media in the event of certain incidents as identified by the school or school district;

  • (k) Key emergency school personnel, including but not limited to safety teams and backups, to complete courses provided by the federal emergency management agency's emergency management institute or by institutions of higher education in the state system of community and technical colleges;

  • (l) School district employee safety and incident management training, including provisions stating that completion of any courses identified by the department of public safety pursuant to section 24-33.5-1606.5 (3), C.R.S., as related to NIMS count toward the professional development requirements of a person licensed pursuant to article 60.5 of this title;

  • (m) Each school district to work with community partners to update and revise all standard operating procedures, ensuring that all aspects of NIMS are incorporated, including but not limited to policies and principles, planning, procedures, training, response, exercises, equipment, evaluation, and corrective actions;

  • (n) Each school district to coordinate with community partners to assess overall alignment and compliance with NIMS; identify requirements already met; establish a baseline for NIMS compliance; and determine action steps, including developing a plan and timeline, to achieve and maintain all NIMS goals;

  • (o) Each school district to develop a timeline and strategy for compliance with the requirements of this subsection (4) and to strategically plan, schedule, and conduct all activities with community partners; and

  • (p) School resource officers to be familiar with the school response framework outlined in this subsection (4), the all-hazard exercise program, and the interoperable communications of the school to which he or she is assigned.


C.R.S. 24-33.5-1213.4. School all-hazard emergency planning and response

(1) The school response framework created in section 22-32-109.1 (4), C.R.S., sets forth the framework for school emergency incident response and emergency preparedness, including emergency communications and the responsibilities of school resource officers. Pursuant to the school response framework, emergency response personnel are community partners with schools. As part of its duty to regularly inspect school buildings to ensure compliance with the fire code, the division, local fire departments, and certified fire inspectors may partner with schools in assessing each school's implementation of NIMS, the interoperability of the school's emergency communications equipment with state and local emergency response agencies, and the implementation of a school resource officer program.

(2) (a) As part of the division's duty, as set forth in section 24-33.5-1213, to enforce the provisions of section 22-32-124 (2), C.R.S., and section 24-33.5-1213.3, the division:

  • (I) Shall inquire of each school as to the number and type of any all-hazard drills conducted by the school, in addition to regular fire drills; and

  • (II) May inquire concerning:

    • (A) The school safety, readiness, and incident management plan developed pursuant to section 22-32-109.1 (4)(d), C.R.S.;

    • (B) The school's progress toward implementing NIMS and the incident command system pursuant to section 22-32-109.1, C.R.S., and in achieving communications interoperability with state and local emergency personnel;

    • (C) The nature and location of the school's emergency equipment, including communications equipment, and whether the communications equipment's interoperability with state and local emergency personnel has been tested separately or as part of an all-hazard drill; and

    • (D) Any other issues related to the school response framework, including but not limited to NIMS implementation, incident management, and communications interoperability with state and local emergency personnel.

(b) Inquiries made by the division pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) that do not relate to the fire code shall not be the basis for a notice of deficiency or enforcement action.

(3) (a) Pursuant to its role as a community partner with schools, the division may, as part of its regular correspondence with schools, provide information to school safety personnel in school districts and schools, including but not limited to information related to NIMS and interoperable communications, courses and training on NIMS and interoperable communications, representation of schools at meetings held by community partners, best practices in incident management, and funding or grant opportunities related to emergency preparedness.

(b) The division shall collaborate with the office of information technology, created in section 24-37.5-103, the school safety resource center created in section 24-33.5-1803, and any other government entities and community partners as determined by the division to collect and disseminate information to school districts and schools as described in paragraph (a) of this subsection (3).


C.R.S. 24-33.5-1801. Legislative declaration

(1) The general assembly hereby finds that:

  • (a) A safe and healthy learning environment for all students in Colorado is an important priority for the state;

  • (b) Research into evidence-based practices continues to demonstrate that academic achievement improves as the level of safety and security in a school increases;

  • (c) Studies of recent school attacks have established that school violence may be prevented with appropriate information sharing;

  • (d) Suicide, which remains one of the leading causes of death for Colorado's youth, may also be prevented with appropriate intervention;

  • (e) Both the physical and psychological well-being of students and school personnel is critically important; and

  • (f) Improving student engagement, including reducing dropout rates and truancy levels, is an important factor for ensuring that schools are safe and successful.

(2) The general assembly further finds that:

  • (a) The most appropriate way to prevent and prepare for acts of violence and other emergencies that may occur on school campuses is to foster a cooperative effort by schools, school resource officers, law enforcement agencies, emergency responders, behavioral health experts, parents, and community members to identify, gather, and apply the necessary resources; and

  • (b) Emergency response and crisis management measures should be implemented in all communities within the state to protect students and school personnel.

(3) Now, therefore, the general assembly declares that:

  • (a) Safe schools are a matter of statewide concern;

  • (b) All schools have common needs and goals to ensure a safe environment;

  • (c) Resources are needed to fully develop safety plans and practices in Colorado's schools, colleges, and universities; and

  • (d) A school safety resource center dedicated to providing evidence-based practices and expertise to all schools is a cost-effective means to improve school safety.


C.R.S. 24-33.5-1803. School safety resource center - created - duties

(1) There is hereby created within the department the school safety resource center to assist schools in preventing, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from emergencies and crisis situations and to foster positive learning environments. The director of the center shall be appointed by the executive director pursuant to section 13 of article XII of the state constitution.

(2) The center and the director shall exercise their powers and perform their duties and functions under the department and the executive director as if the same were transferred to the department by a type 2 transfer, as such transfer is defined in the "Administrative Organization Act of 1968", article 1 of this title.

(3) The center has the following duties:

  • (a) To assist schools in developing and implementing safety and preparedness plans, including but not limited to any such plans that are required by state law or applicable rules of accreditation;

  • (b) To assist schools in establishing practices and strategies for use in responding to an emergency or crisis situation;

  • (c) To assist schools in developing and establishing prevention and intervention efforts to ensure safe and secure learning environments;

  • (d) To conduct regular research and assessment projects to determine the efficacy of statewide and local policies and programming;

  • (e) To make information and other resources available to all schools and school officials;

  • (f)

    • (I) To select at least one but not more than five school districts or regions, with the consent of the affected school district boards of education, to serve as pilot sites during the first year of the center's operation. The center shall evaluate and develop enhanced school safety services to be provided by the center to the pilot sites.

    • (II) In selecting the school districts or regions that shall serve as pilot sites pursuant to subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (f), the center shall designate at least one but not more than three schools within each of the pilot sites to participate in a cooperative effort by all such designated schools within the pilot sites to create a first responder school mapping system to provide first responders immediate electronic or digital access to maps of, and other schematic information about, school buildings at such designated schools in the event of an emergency at the designated schools. In creating the first responder school mapping system, the pilot sites may contract with one or more public or private entities with experience in creating first responder school mapping systems. Before entering into any such contract or otherwise proceeding with plans for the creation of the first responder school mapping system, the pilot sites shall submit the contract or plans to the center to approve or disapprove. The department shall reimburse the pilot sites for the direct and indirect costs of creating the first responder school mapping system pursuant to this subparagraph (II).

    • (III) The general assembly hereby finds and declares that, for purposes of section 17 of article IX of the state constitution, the development and creation of a first responder school mapping system, pursuant to subparagraph (II) of this paragraph (f), is an important element of improving student safety and may therefore receive funding from the state education fund created in section 17 (4) of article IX of the state constitution.

  • (g) To provide information and resources relating to school safety, school emergency response planning and training, and interoperable communications in schools, as determined by the center, to the division of fire prevention and control in the department of public safety to be distributed to school districts and schools pursuant to section 24-33.5-1213.4;

  • (h)

    • (I) To consult with school districts, schools, and charter schools concerning evidence-based best practices for bullying prevention and education;
    • (II) To consult with the department of education concerning its administration of the school bullying prevention and education grant program created in section 22-93-102, C.R.S.; and
    • (III) To submit evidence-based best practices for bullying prevention and education to the department of education for the purposes of section 22-93-106, C.R.S.
  • (i) Repealed.

  • (j) To provide information and resources relating to the development and maintenance of school resource officer programs, as determined by the center, to the division of fire prevention and control in the department of public safety for distribution to school districts and schools pursuant to section 24-33.5-1213.4 and to law enforcement agencies and other community partners, as described in section 22-32-109.1, C.R.S.;

  • (k) To provide suggestions for school resource officer training to the peace officers standards and training board, pursuant to section 24-31-312;

  • (l) To provide materials and training as described in section 24-33.5-1809 to personnel in school districts and charter schools, parents, and students regarding the awareness and prevention of child sexual abuse and assault;

  • (m) By June 1, 2018, to make available a model program that conforms with section 22-1-128, regarding the risks and consequences of sexting for school districts to use, which curriculum must include information informing students of the provisions of section 18-7-109, including that, if a student receives a sexually explicit image in violation of section 18-7-109, the student can avoid adjudication as a juvenile delinquent by taking reasonable steps to either destroy or delete or report the initial viewing of the image within seventy-two hours after receiving the image; and

  • (n)

    • (I) To act as a resource for school districts, public schools, charter schools, and institute charter schools concerning crisis and suicide prevention training; and
    • (II) To work collaboratively with the office of suicide prevention in the department of public health and environment concerning the crisis and suicide prevention training grant program created in section 25-1.5-113.

(4) Subject to the provisions of section 13 of article XII of the state constitution, the director shall appoint employees necessary to conduct an efficient center.

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