In January 2015, Ohio began enforcing the September 2014 update to the school safety plan section of the Ohio Revised Code (http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3313.536). This updated the initial law passed in 2006 and established specific rules to be followed in order to be compliant with this law. Currently, very few schools or districts are in compliance with the law because of these changes.
In part, ORC 3313.536 states “Each administrator shall develop and adopt a comprehensive emergency management plan…for each building under the administrator’s control.” This has been defined by the Ohio Department of Education as meaning each administrator shall incorporate into the emergency management plan:
An emergency operations plan, which is a single document containing protocols for addressing and responding to serious threats to the safety of school property, students, employees, or administrators. Each protocol shall include procedures including such things as notification of appropriate law enforcement and emergency response personnel and informing parents of affected students.
- A floor plan that is unique to each floor of the building;
- A site plan that includes all building property and surrounding property;
- An emergency contact information sheet.
PLE can help your school or school district become compliant with the sate mandated “Emergency Management Plan” as well as the recommendations outlined in FEMA’s publication, Guide for Developing High Quality School Emergency Operations Plans. We ensure that our clients comply fully with the law through three comprehensive, inter-related services. Although all three services are provided to ensure compliance of state law, each service can be independently provided to our clients. These services include:
- A comprehensive emergency management plan development and review: Our EMP is “a single document for addressing and responding to serious threats to the safety of property, students, employees or administrators” and meets the ORC and ODE requirements. It is 100% consistent with the ODE Quick Reference Guide for School Administrators which is the checklist used by state auditors to ensure school EMPs are in compliance with the ORC.
- Physical security assessment: The security assessment is our service which assists the administrator “examine the environmental conditions and operations of each building to determine potential hazards to student and staff safety.”
- Staff/parent surveys; emergency responder interviews/surveys: This is our service that allows the school district to include stake holders in the planning process as required by the law.
If you think your school or school district can use assistance in complying with the law, please call us and see what we can do for you.