Comprehensive Safety Planning Toolkit
A Comprehensive School Safety Plan outlines how a district or school is prepared to address the Presidential Policy Directive-8 (PPD-8) 5 Mission Areas: prevention, mitigation, protection, response, and recovery from emergencies resulting from any and all threats and hazards.
RCW 28A.320.125 requires all school districts and schools in Washington state to have current comprehensive safe school plans, commonly referred to as Emergency Operation Plans (EOPs), and procedures in place. The legislation notes that coordinated plan development is essential to ensure the most effective response to any type of emergency situation.
- RCW Requirements
- Incident Command System (ICS) certification for principals,
- Reference to all required safety policies and procedures,
- Addressing prevention, mitigation, protection, response, and recovery from known threats and hazards,
- Specified monthly drill exercise and documentation requirements,
- A plan for student-family reunification,
- Guidelines for meetings with law enforcement and other 1st responders,
- Assessment of all threats and hazards,
- Addressing the specific, special needs of students with disabilities and diverse language needs,
- Training on plans and procedures,
- Consideration of schools as community assets during emergency situations,
- An inventory of all hazardous materials on school grounds,
- Information on emergency supplies, communication, notification, and alert procedures,
- Transportation procedures in the event of an emergency,
- Annual review and update of the plan.
RCW 28A.300.645 requires monitoring on a 5-year cycle, at minimum.
- Emergency Operations Plans (EOP) Planning Process
EOP plans are developed, practiced, reviewed, and revised. As requirements change, the plan will also change. However, the process of developing and revising the plan will remain constant.
The process of developing EOPs follows two nationally recognized Federal planning guidelines:
- The Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans (The School Guide)
- The Role of Districts in Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operation Plans (A Companion to the School Guide)
Both were developed by partnering Federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
EOP Assist is a web-accessible software application for state agencies, school districts, and schools to host on their own servers. It guides planning team members through a process that will result in the creation of a safety plan built on Federal guidelines for developing a high-quality school EOP. All plans developed through this tool will be both customizable and downloadable.
REMS TA Center EOP Interactive Tools support individuals and planning teams at schools, school districts who are assessing their knowledge of concepts fundamental to emergency management, and in creating and evaluating emergency operations plans (EOPs).
- Annex Planning
Topics to consider when you are planning the annexes of your EOP:
- Reunification Planning
The sooner students are safely reunited with family or other caregivers, the less traumatic stress they are likely to experience. Reunification planning considers several factors. Each must be well-planned and shared with the school community, especially family members and caregivers.
- Laws and Policies
Model policy and procedures are developed by the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA) and made available to member districts to use in developing their district policies and procedures. Numbers may change across districts, however, sample policies and frequently used numbers include the following:
Topic Frequently Used Policy/Procedure Numbers Safe School Plans 3432/ 3432P Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) 6580 Emergency Procedures 3432/ 3432P Firearms and Weapons 3428/ 3428P Gang Activity 3433/ 3433P Gender Inclusive Schools 3211/ 3211P HIB/Bullying 3207/ 3207P Notification of Threats or Harm 4310/ 4310P Notifications 3143/ 3143P Restraint and Isolation 3246/ 3246P Sexual Harassment 3208/ 3208P SRO Program 4311 Threat Assessment 3225/ 3225P
Review the list of School Safety RCWs for schools and districts to consider and address in their EOP planning process.
Comprehensive School Safety Coordinators
In 2020, the legislature funded each of the nine educational service districts (ESD) to provide a network of support for school districts to develop and implement comprehensive suicide prevention and behavioral health supports for students and support for School-Based Threat Assessment Programs. The Comprehensive School Safety Coordinators (CSSC) was funded in 2021.
The CSSC is responsible for:
- helping plan, coordinate, and deliver required training
- providing technical assistance to school districts
- developing collaborative relationships with community organizations, private schools, businesses, and others interested in supporting safe schools
- and providing other services consistent with state and federal school safety requirements