State law requires districts to develop school emergency operations plans (EOPs) that include procedures for plan review and update.
Revised Code of Washington 28A.300.630 School safety center.
(1) Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose, the superintendent of public instruction shall establish a school safety center as provided in this section. (2) The center, working in conjunction with the regional school safety centers established in RCW 28A.310.510, forms a statewide network for school safety. (3) The center, in collaboration with staff in the office of the superintendent of public instruction, must:
- (a) Serve as a clearinghouse for information regarding comprehensive school safety planning and practice;
- (b) Disseminate information regarding school safety incidents in Washington and across the country;
- (c) Develop and maintain a public web site to increase the availability of information, research, and other materials related to school safety;
- (d) Serve as the lead school safety center, and work in conjunction with the regional school safety centers, to support school districts efforts to meet state requirements regarding school safety including the development and implementation of:
- (i) Comprehensive safe school plans as required by RCW 28A.320.125; and
- (ii) Plans for recognition, initial screening, and response to emotional or behavioral distress in students as required by RCW 28A.320.127;
- (e) Develop model school safety policies and procedures and identify best practices in school safety;
- (f) Work in conjunction with the regional school safety centers to plan for the provision of school safety trainings and to provide technical assistance;
- (g) Hold an annual school safety summit as required by RCW 28A.300.273;
- (h) Support the required activities of the regional school safety centers, established in RCW 28A.310.510; and
- (i) Perform other functions consistent with the purpose of the center, as described in this section.
Revised Code of Washington 28A.320.125 Safe school plans—Requirements—Duties of school districts, schools, and educational service districts—Reports—Drills—Rules.
(1) The legislature considers it to be a matter of public safety for public schools and staff to have current safe school plans and procedures in place, fully consistent with federal law. The legislature further finds and intends, by requiring safe school plans to be in place, that school districts will become eligible for federal assistance. The legislature further finds that schools are in a position to serve the community in the event of an emergency resulting from natural disasters or man-made disasters.
(2) Schools and school districts shall consider the guidance and resources provided by the state school safety center, established under RCW 28A.300.630, and the regional school safety centers, established under RCW 28A.310.510, when developing their own individual comprehensive safe school plans. Each school district shall adopt and implement a safe school plan consistent with the school mapping information system pursuant to RCW 36.28A.060. The plan shall:
- (a) Include required school safety policies and procedures;
- (b) Address emergency mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery;
- (c) Include provisions for assisting and communicating with students and staff, including those with special needs or disabilities;
- (d) Include a family-student reunification plan, including procedures for communicating the reunification plan to staff, students, families, and emergency responders;
- (e) Use the training guidance provided by the Washington emergency management division of the state military department in collaboration with the state school safety center in the office of the superintendent of public instruction, established under RCW 28A.300.630, and the school safety and student well-being advisory committee, established under RCW 28A.300.635;
- (f) Require the building principal to be certified on the incident command system;
- (g) Take into account the manner in which the school facilities may be used as a community asset in the event of a community-wide emergency; and
- (h) Set guidelines for requesting city or county law enforcement agencies, local fire departments, emergency service providers, and county emergency management agencies to meet with school districts and participate in safety-related drills.
(3) To the extent funds are available, school districts shall annually:
- (a) Review and update safe school plans in collaboration with local emergency response agencies;
- (b) Conduct an inventory of all hazardous materials;
- (c) Update information on the school mapping information system to reflect current staffing and updated plans, including:
- (i) Identifying all staff members who are trained on the national incident management system, trained on the incident command system, or are certified on the incident command system; and
- (ii) Identifying school transportation procedures for evacuation, to include bus staging areas, evacuation routes, communication systems, parent-student reunification sites, and secondary transportation agreements consistent with the school mapping information system; and
- (d) Provide information to all staff on the use of emergency supplies and notification and alert procedures.
(4) To the extent funds are available, school districts shall annually record and report on the information and activities required in subsection (3) of this section to the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs.
(5) School districts are encouraged to work with local emergency management agencies and other emergency responders to conduct one tabletop exercise, one functional exercise, and two full-scale exercises within a four-year period.
- (a) Due to geographic location, schools have unique safety challenges. It is the responsibility of school principals and administrators to assess the threats and hazards most likely to impact their school, and to practice three basic functional drills, shelter-in-place, lockdown, and evacuation, as these drills relate to those threats and hazards. Some threats or hazards may require the use of more than one basic functional drill.
- (b) Schools shall conduct at least one safety-related drill per month, including summer months when school is in session with students. These drills must teach students three basic functional drill responses:
- (i) “Shelter-in-place,” used to limit the exposure of students and staff to hazardous materials, such as chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants, released into the environment by isolating the inside environment from the outside;
- (ii) “Lockdown,” used to isolate students and staff from threats of violence, such as suspicious trespassers or armed intruders, that may occur in a school or in the vicinity of a school; and
- (iii) “Evacuation,” used to move students and staff away from threats, such as fires, oil train spills, lahars, or tsunamis.
- (c) The drills described in (b) of this subsection must incorporate the following requirements:
- (i) Use of the school mapping information system in at least one of the safety-related drills;
- (ii) A pedestrian evacuation drill for schools in mapped lahars or tsunami hazard zones; and
- (iii) An earthquake drill using the state-approved earthquake safety technique “drop, cover, and hold.”
- (d) Schools shall document the date, time, and type (shelter-in-place, lockdown, or evacuate) of each drill required under this subsection (6), and maintain the documentation in the school office.
- (e) This subsection (6) is intended to satisfy all federal requirements for comprehensive school emergency drills and evacuations.
(7) Educational service districts are encouraged to apply for federal emergency response and crisis management grants with the assistance of the superintendent of public instruction and the Washington emergency management division of the state military department.
(8) The superintendent of public instruction may adopt rules to implement provisions of this section. These rules may include, but are not limited to, provisions for evacuations, lockdowns, or other components of a comprehensive safe school plan.
- (a) Whenever a first responder agency notifies a school of a situation that may necessitate an evacuation or lockdown, the agency must determine if other known schools in the vicinity are similarly threatened. The first responder agency must notify every other known school in the vicinity for which an evacuation or lockdown appears reasonably necessary to the agency’s incident commander unless the agency is unable to notify schools due to duties directly tied to responding to the incident occurring. For purposes of this subsection, “school” includes a private school under chapter 28A.195 RCW.
- (b) A first responder agency and its officers, agents, and employees are not liable for any act, or failure to act, under this subsection unless a first responder agency and its officers, agents, and employees acted with willful disregard.
Revised Code of Washington 28A.320.126 Emergency response system.
School districts must work collaboratively with local law enforcement agencies and school security personnel to develop an emergency response system using evolving technology to expedite the response and arrival of law enforcement in the event of a threat or emergency at a school. School districts are encouraged to use the model policies developed by the school safety center in the office of the superintendent of public instruction as a resource. Each school district must submit a progress report on its implementation of an emergency response system as required under this section to the office of the superintendent of public instruction by December 1, 2014.
School Safety Center
This page addresses emergency operations plans