Facilities Planning

School Emergency Plan Annual Update and Drill

Education Commissioner's Regulation §155.17 requires public school district boards of education, other than school districts in cities with populations exceeding one million persons, as well as BOCES to maintain a school emergency management plan. The plan must be updated no later than October 1 of each school year.

Effective and efficient school emergency planning can occur only if all members of the school community have a thorough understanding of their respective roles and responsibilities during an actual school emergency. A well-planned drill that tests the emergency plan serves to facilitate this goal. Specifically, the plans for sheltering and early dismissal need to be tested at least once each school year. Annual drills, which test both the usefulness and effectiveness of the communications and transportation systems during emergencies, are best done in cooperation and collaboration with local emergency preparedness officials.

The following outlines the specific steps which must be taken in relation to school emergency information and drills.

  1. Students and staff need to be informed in writing no later than October 1 of each school year about the emergency procedures in their school.
  2. The emergency plan for sheltering needs to be tested at least once each school year.  This test should include:
    • Alerting and warning procedures
    • Communications procedures
    • Staff procedures
    • Movement of students to designated areas within the school building
    • Evacuation procedures
  3. The emergency plan for early dismissal also needs to be tested at least once each school year. This early dismissal drill must occur no more than 15 minutes prior to the normal student dismissal time. Parents and legal guardians must be notified at least one week before the early dismissal drill occurs. This test should include:
    • Alerting and warning procedures
    • Communications procedures
    • Resources
    • Staff procedures
    • Transportation procedures
    • Public information procedures
    • Evacuation procedures

Please contact your local BOCES Health and Safety Office or Laura Sahr in the Office of Facilities Planning (LSAHR@MAIL.NYSED.GOV) or (518-474-3906) for further information and assistance regarding school emergency planning.

Last Updated: June 8, 2009