Rhode Island - 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 include procedures for plan review and update.

Rhode Island General Laws § 16-21-23. School safety teams, school crisis response teams, and school safety assessments.

(a) Each school district of each town, city, and regional school department shall conduct a school safety assessment in conjunction with local police, fire, school safety team pursuant to the provisions of this section and any other expert said school department deems necessary. The assessment shall examine the current status of each school building's safety and shall be performed within thirty (30) days of passage of this act, and every three (3) years thereafter. The assessment shall be completed by November 1 of the year mandated, and by December 31 of that year, the commissioner of elementary and secondary education shall report to the speaker of the house, the senate president, and the governor that such assessments have been completed. Assessments performed within a year of the date of passage of this act shall satisfy this requirement. All meetings regarding the school safety assessment are not subject to the open meetings law pursuant to chapter 46 of title 42, and documents produced including, but not limited to, meeting minutes and the school safety assessment are not subject to the access to public records law pursuant to chapter 2 of title 38.
(b) The school committee of each town, city, and regional school department shall review and adopt in executive session a comprehensive school safety plan regarding crisis intervention, emergency response, and management. The plan shall be developed by a school safety team comprised of representatives of the school committee, representatives of student, teacher, and parent organizations, school safety personnel, school administration, and members of local law enforcement, fire, and emergency personnel. Members of the school safety team shall be appointed by the school committee and/or school superintendent of the town, city, or regional school district. In creating the school safety plan, the school safety team(s) shall consult the model school safety plan developed by the department of elementary and secondary education pursuant to § 16-21-23.1.
(c) The school crisis response team shall be comprised of those selected school personnel willing to serve as members of a psychological response team to address the psychological and emotional needs of the school community, and may seek mental health resources from the department of elementary and secondary education. Members of the school crisis response team may coordinate mental health services for those students and school employees affected by acts of violence in the schools, using resources available through the department of elementary and secondary education.


Rhode Island General Laws § 16-21-24. Requirements of school safety plans, school emergency response plans, and school crisis response plans.

a) School safety plans, as required by this chapter, shall address, but not to be limited to, prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The school safety plans shall include, at a minimum, the following policies and procedures:

  • (1) Appropriate prevention, mitigation, preparedness and intervention strategies which are based on data to target priority needs and which make use of effective actions based on currently accepted best practices and once developed, the appropriate parts of the state model plan pursuant to general laws § 16-21-23.1 that include consistent, plain language and terminology;
  • (2) Formalized collaborative arrangements with state and local law enforcement and fire fighter officials, designed to ensure that school safety officers and other security personnel are adequately trained, including being trained to de-escalate potentially violent situations, and are effectively and fairly recruited;
  • (3) Policies and procedures relating to school building security, including where appropriate the use of school safety officers and/or security devices or procedures;
  • (4) Policies and procedures for annual school safety training and a review of the school crisis response plan for staff and students;
  • (5) Protocols for school personnel and students responding to bomb threats, hostage- takings, intrusions, and kidnappings that include consistent, plain language and terminology that is recommended by the model plan pursuant to general laws § 16-21-23.1;
  • (6) Policies and procedures for responding to violence by students, teachers, other school personnel as well as visitors to the school that include consistent, plain language and terminology that is recommended by the model plan pursuant to general laws § 16-21-23.1;
  • (7) Policies and procedures for responding to acts of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel and visitors to the school that include consistent, plain language and terminology that is recommended by the model plan pursuant to general laws § 16-21-23.1;
  • (8) Policies and procedures for contacting appropriate law enforcement officials and EMS/Fire, in the event of a violent incident and that include consistent, plain language and terminology that is recommended by the model plan pursuant to general laws § 16-21-23.1;
  • (9) Policies and procedures for notification and activation of the school crisis response team that include consistent, plain language and terminology that is recommended by the model plan pursuant to general laws § 16-21-23.1;
  • (10) Policies and procedures for contacting parents, guardians, or persons in parental relation to the students of the city, town, or region in the event of a violent incident;
  • (11) Policies and procedures for the dissemination of informative materials regarding the early detection of potentially violent behaviors, including, but not limited to, the identification of family, community, and environmental factors, to teachers, administrators, school personnel, persons in parental relation to students of the city, town, or region students and other persons deemed appropriate to receive that information;

Rhode Island General Laws § 16-21-25. Review of school safety plans – Exemption from open meetings and public records requirements.

(a) Each city, town, or regional department school safety plan and school emergency response plans shall be reviewed on an annual basis by the school committee and updated annually. These reviews and updates shall be completed by November 1 of any given year, and by December 31 of that year, the commissioner of elementary and secondary education shall report to the speaker of the house, the president of the senate, and the governor that such reviews or updates have been completed.
(b) All meetings of school safety teams shall not be subject to and be exempt from the open meetings law pursuant to chapter 46 of title 42, and documents produced by the school safety teams shall not be subject to the access to public records laws as set forth in chapter 2 of title 38

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