State law requires districts to implement multi-hazard practice drills (e.g., fire, lockdown, active shooter, or evacuation drills) without requiring inter-agency coordination.
5 California Code of Regulations 550. Fire Drills.
A fire drill shall be conducted in each elementary and intermediate school at least once each month and in each secondary school not less than twice every school year. The fire drill shall be conducted in accordance with either (a) or (b). (a) The governing board may arrange for a fire department to conduct fire drills for the school. (b) The principal of each school shall conduct the fire drills. In this case, all pupils, teachers, and other employees shall be required to leave the building.
California Education Code 32001. Provision for and use of fire alarm system
Every public, private, or parochial school building having an occupant capacity of 50 or more pupils or students or more than one classroom shall be provided with a dependable and operative fire alarm system. Every person and public officer managing, controlling, or in charge of any public, private, or parochial school shall cause the fire alarm signal to be sounded upon the discovery of fire, unless the school is equipped with an automatic fire detection, and alarm system, which may include, but for the purposes of this section is not required to include, a sprinkler system, as described in Section 17074.52. Every person and public officer managing, controlling, or in charge of any public, private, or parochial school, other than a two–year community college, shall cause the fire alarm signal to be sounded not less than once every calendar month and shall conduct a fire drill at least once every calendar month at the elementary level and at least four times every school year at the intermediate levels. A fire drill shall be held at the secondary level not less than twice every school year.
California Education Code 32282 School Safety Plans
(a) The comprehensive school safety plan shall include, but not be limited to, both of the following:
- (1) Assessing the current status of school crime committed on school campuses and at school-related functions.
- (2) Identifying appropriate strategies and programs that will provide or maintain a high level of school safety and address the school’s procedures for complying with existing laws related to school safety, which shall include the development of all of the following:
- (A) Child abuse reporting procedures consistent with Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 11164) of Chapter 2 of Title 1 of Part 4 of the Penal Code.
- (B) Disaster procedures, routine and emergency, including adaptations for pupils with disabilities in accordance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq.). The disaster procedures shall also include, but not be limited to, both of the following:
- (i) Establishing an earthquake emergency procedure system in every public school building having an occupant capacity of 50 or more pupils or more than one classroom. A school district or county office of education may work with the Office of Emergency Services and the Alfred E. Alquist Seismic Safety Commission to develop and establish the earthquake emergency procedure system. The system shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
- (I) A school building disaster plan, ready for implementation at any time, for maintaining the safety and care of pupils and staff. The department shall provide general direction to school districts and county offices of education on what to include in the school building disaster plan.
- (II) A drop procedure whereby each pupil and staff member takes cover under a table or desk, dropping to his or her knees, with the head protected by the arms, and the back to the windows. A drop procedure practice shall be held at least once each school quarter in elementary schools and at least once a semester in secondary schools.
- (III) Protective measures to be taken before, during, and following an earthquake.
- (IV) A program to ensure that pupils and both the certificated and classified staff are aware of, and properly trained in, the earthquake emergency procedure system.
- (ii) Establishing a procedure to allow a public agency, including the American Red Cross, to use school buildings, grounds, and equipment for mass care and welfare shelters during disasters or other emergencies affecting the public health and welfare. The school district or county office of education shall cooperate with the public agency in furnishing and maintaining the services as the school district or county office of education may deem necessary to meet the needs of the community.
- (C) Policies pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 48915 for pupils who committed an act listed in subdivision (c) of Section 48915 and other school-designated serious acts that would lead to suspension, expulsion, or mandatory expulsion recommendations pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 48900) of Chapter 6 of Part 27 of Division 4 of Title 2.
- (D) Procedures to notify teachers of dangerous pupils pursuant to Section 49079.
- (E) A discrimination and harassment policy consistent with the prohibition against discrimination contained in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 200) of Part 1.
- (F) The provisions of any schoolwide dress code, pursuant to Section 35183, that prohibits pupils from wearing “gang-related apparel,” if the school has adopted that type of a dress code. For those purposes, the comprehensive school safety plan shall define “gang-related apparel.” The definition shall be limited to apparel that, if worn or displayed on a school campus, reasonably could be determined to threaten the health and safety of the school environment. A schoolwide dress code established pursuant to this section and Section 35183 shall be enforced on the school campus and at any school-sponsored activity by the principal of the school or the person designated by the principal. For purposes of this paragraph, “gang-related apparel” shall not be considered a protected form of speech pursuant to Section 48950.
- (G) Procedures for safe ingress and egress of pupils, parents, and school employees to and from school.
- (H) A safe and orderly environment conducive to learning at the school.
- (I) The rules and procedures on school discipline adopted pursuant to Sections 35291, 35291.5, 47605, and 47605.6.
- (J) Procedures for conducting tactical responses to criminal incidents, including procedures related to individuals with guns on school campuses and at school-related functions. The procedures to prepare for active shooters or other armed assailants shall be based on the specific needs and context of each school and community. (b) It is the intent of the Legislature that schools develop comprehensive school safety plans using existing resources, including the materials and services of the partnership, pursuant to this chapter. It is also the intent of the Legislature that schools use the handbook developed and distributed by the School/Law Enforcement Partnership Program entitled “Safe Schools: A Planning Guide for Action” in conjunction with developing their plan for school safety. (c) Each schoolsite council or school safety planning committee, in developing and updating a comprehensive school safety plan, shall, where practical, consult, cooperate, and coordinate with other schoolsite councils or school safety planning committees. (d) The comprehensive school safety plan may be evaluated and amended, as needed, by the school safety planning committee, but shall be evaluated at least once a year, to ensure that the comprehensive school safety plan is properly implemented. An updated file of all safety-related plans and materials shall be readily available for inspection by the public. (e) As comprehensive school safety plans are reviewed and updated, the Legislature encourages all plans, to the extent that resources are available, to include policies and procedures aimed at the prevention of bullying. (f) The comprehensive school safety plan, as written and updated by the schoolsite council or school safety planning committee, shall be submitted for approval pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 32288. (g) The department shall maintain and conspicuously post on its Internet Web site a compliance checklist for developing a comprehensive school safety plan, and shall update the checklist when necessary.
California Education Code 32289.5. Collection of data pertaining to lockdown or multioption response drills conducted at schoolsites; Report containing data
(a) The department shall collect, and local educational agencies shall provide, data pertaining to lockdown or multioption response drills conducted at schoolsites within school districts, county offices of education and charter schools providing instructional services to pupils in kindergarten or in any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive. The data may be collected from a representative sample of schoolsites, with a methodology to be determined by the Superintendent. Specifically, the department shall collect data including, but not limited to, all of the following information: (1) The portion of schoolsites conducting drills and the population they serve. (2) The types of drills performed and their frequency. (3) Information about staff training in preparation for drills. (4) Information pertaining to schoolsite evaluations, if any, of the drill impacts. (5) Information pertaining to staff and parental notifications of drills. (b) The department shall either conduct, or contract with a nonprofit research entity to conduct, a study that identifies best practices for age-appropriate drills, the effectiveness of lockdown or multioption response drills in schools, and the effects drills have on pupil emotional wellbeing and emergency preparedness. (c) (1) The department shall submit to the Governor and relevant policy committees of the Legislature on or before November 1, 2021, a report containing data collected pursuant to subdivision (a) and findings and recommendations from the study conducted pursuant to subdivision (b). (2) Pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, this subdivision shall become inoperative on November 1, 2025.