Report 2016-136 Recommendation 6 Responses
Report 2016-136: School Violence Prevention: School Districts, County Offices of Education, and the State Must Do More to Ensure That School Safety Plans Help Protect Students and Staff During Emergencies (Release Date: August 2017)
Recommendation #6 To: Education, Department of
To ensure that districts and county offices properly review and approve safety plans as required, CDE should provide additional guidance regarding district and county office responsibilities under state law by providing general direction to schools on what to include in their building disaster plans.
6-Month Agency Response
To further strengthen the general guidance already provided on building disaster plans, Education is updating the compliance checklist to include examples of building disaster plan procedures to consider when completing comprehensive school safety plans.
Additionally, the CDE issued a letter on February 1, 2018 reminding all county superintendents and charter school administrators to update and approve comprehensive school safety plans by March 1, 2018. The letter also included general guidance for emergency procedures and drills when developing school building disaster plans, including a list of various emergency situations for consideration, but not limited to the following: fire, relocation/evacuation, bomb threat, bioterrorism/hazardous materials, earthquake, flood, power failure/blackout, intruders/solicitors, weapons/assault/hostage, explosion, gas/fumes, and medical illness or injury (https://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/el/le/yr18ltr0201.asp).
- Completion Date: February 2018
- Response Date: February 2018
California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented
Although CDE has provided some information to school districts regarding what to include in schools' building disaster plans, it has yet to update the compliance checklist used by schools when updating their safety plans.
- Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
60-Day Agency Response
CDE explored options to collaborate with other agencies to strengthen the general direction already provided for schools disaster building plans.
The CDE Coordinated School Health and Safety Office met internally with the School Facilities and Transportation Services Division to discuss building disaster plan concepts. In addition, CDE reached out to various entities, which provided the following expertise and input: (1) Cal OES - Staff agreed with CDE's interpretation regarding building disaster plans representing evacuation plans (EC 32282(B) Disaster procedures, routine and emergency, including adaptations for pupils with disabilities in accordance with the federal ADA of 1990). Cal OES also indicated that state buildings have evacuation plans but not building disaster plans; and (2) DGS - The office building manager provided their annually updated Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) to CDE. General elements of the EOP are consistent with those required by EC section 32282, and include calling for disaster procedures (routine and emergency), a crisis response plan (often called EOP), including adaptations for pupils with disabilities, and procedures for safe ingress and egress of pupils, parents, and employees to and from school sites. DGS' EOP Table of Contents specifies types of emergency situations and procedures that will serve as suggestions to LEAs developing building disaster plans. They include fire, relocation/evacuation, bomb threat, bioterrorism/hazardous materials, earthquake, flood, power failure/blackout, intruders/solicitors, weapons/assault/hostage, explosion/gas/fumes, and medical illness or injury.
CDE is updating the compliance checklist for a comprehensive school safety plan to include items, as suggested by the agencies contacted, for inclusion in the required building disaster plan. In addition, these items will be included in the CDE's annual reminder to LEAs regarding updating and approving school safety plans by March 1, 2018.
- Response Date: November 2017
California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending
CDE is updating is compliance checklist to include items, as suggested by the Cal OES and DGS, for inclusion in the required building disaster plan. In addition, these items will be included in CDE's annual reminder to LEAs regarding updating and approving school safety plans by March 1, 2018.
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.