Emergency Operations Planning (EOP) / Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP)
Arizona Revised Statute 15-341(A)(31) requires each school site to have an emergency operations plan that meets the minimum state requirements. ADE and the Arizona Department of Emergency & Military Affairs (AZDEMA) are responsible for developing the minimum standards for school emergency operations plans in Arizona. Click here to view ADE's Emergency Planning Minimum Requirements.
Students with disabilities and special needs should always be considered in school and district emergency planning conversations. Highly-effective emergency operations plans take into account the entire school community, from students and staff members to visitors and volunteers, so that schools and districts can plan the appropriate actions that ensure the safety of all. Additional resources to support whole school community emergency planning can be found here.
The REMS Technical Assistance (TA) Center, through a contract with the U.S. Department of Education, offers a downloadable training course, Integrating the Needs of Students and Staff with Disabilities and Other Access and Functional Needs. You can download this course on the REMS TA Center Specialized Training Package webpage.
Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS), 15-341 (A) (31) requires each school site to have an emergency response plan that meets the minimum state requirements. The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) and the Arizona Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) are responsible for developing the minimum standards for school emergency response plans in Arizona.
The Arizona Regional Consortia for School Emergency Preparedness (ARCSEP) offer six regional school safety consortium meetings in the state: Phoenix (Central), Gilbert (East Valley), Litchfield Park (West Valley), Tucson (Southern), Flagstaff (Northern), and Yuma (Western). The regional consortiums are sponsored by The Trust and meet quarterly to provide presentations on emergency preparedness topics of interest and lessons learned.
What law mandates that all Arizona schools have emergency response plans in place that meet ADE Minimum Requirements?
Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS), 15-341 (A) (31) requires each school site to have an emergency response plan that meets the minimum state requirements.
Are there opportunities to network with school districts around the state to collaborate on the development of emergency response plans and identify best practices?
Yes. The Arizona Regional Consortia for School Emergency Preparedness (ARCSEP) occur quarterly in six regional locations and provide school safety personnel and other professional organizations to provide presentations on emergency preparedness topics of interest and lessons learned.
Are districts/schools required to use the ADE Emergency Response Template when developing their district/school plan?
No. The ADE ERP Template is provided as a service to school districts by providing a framework and outline as to what should be included in their ERP. The template incorporates many components required to be NIMS compliant.
Keep in mind that the template should not be used “as is” by simply filling in the blanks. A district/school planning team comprised of district and community partner representation should carefully “vet” template components they intend to incorporate in their plan. Specifically, action steps are included in the functional and threat/hazard annexes.
Who should be included in a district/school emergency response plan planning team?
It would be wise to keep your planning team to no more than 10-12 people. Small districts/schools may have a planning team of 5-7. Departments such as facilities, transportation, food services, communications office, community education, and special education are among the departments that would provide good insight into many components of the plan. A representative from each of the school levels in your district (elementary school, middle school, & high school) would also be good to include. Last but not least, community partners can include law enforcement, fire, public health, and local emergency management would be excellent contributors to a planning team.
Keep in mind that there is not one specific composition of team members for districts to put in place. It is a district decision based on the knowledge of the expertise different people can bring to the table.
I am involved in my school's emergency planning and do not know where to start. Does the ADE offer assistance?