The Rhode Island Department of Education is guided by what is in the best interest of students and this includes ensuring that our students have safe and healthy learning environments. Emergency Preparedness requires collaboration from various stakeholders to maximize the health, safety, and welfare of students and staff when confronted with an emergency situation. To achieve this, district administrators, principals, teachers, students, state officials, and local police and fire departments must work together to effectively execute a school emergency plan.
It is important for LEAs to establish relationships with potential partners before a crisis occurs. While it is not possible to prevent every emergency, proper preparation and collaboration can mitigate harm. When teachers, principals, administrators and first responders collaborate, they maximize the health, safety, and welfare of students and staff when confronted with an emergency situation.
School Crisis Response Plans
Many schools have adopted School Crisis Response Plans that address Preparedness, Response and Recovery in all types of situations. We urge all Rhode Island Schools to adopt a School Crisis Response Plan.
Please visit the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency’s website to request plans.
Model School Safety Plan
In July of 2013, Governor Chafee signed RIGL §16-21-24 into effect. The law requires RIEMA, in coordination with RIDE to develop a template for school districts to work with local police and fire departments to conduct a school safety assessment and create an emergency plan. School committees are now required on an annual basis to update school safety and emergency plans and procedures. By December 31st of each year, the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education must present a safety assessment to the General Assembly and the Governor.
RIEMA, in collaboration with RIDE, the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals, the Rhode Island Department of Public Safety, Rhode Island State Police and the Division of the State Fire Marshal, and many other stakeholders developed the Model School Safety Plan in the wake of school incidents. The purpose of this joint initiative is to enhance preparedness and response procedures for school systems and local communities in the State of Rhode Island.
The plan is a 300-page strategic blueprint which incorporates best practices and state requirements into a guide that school districts can adopt or modify to meet their individual needs. The key documents in the new resource include an emergency planning guide and two FEMA publications regarding developing high-quality emergency operations for K-12 and Higher Educational institutions.
Model School Safety Plan Sections (PDFs):