5000 - Non-Instructional/Business Operations
5683 FIRE DRILLS, BOMB THREATS AND BUS EMERGENCY DRILLS
The administration of each school building shall provide instruction for and training of students, through fire drills, in procedures for leaving the building in the shortest possible time and without confusion or panic.
Fire drills shall be held at least twelve (12) times in each school year; eight (8) of these shall be held between September 1 and December 1. At least one-third (1/3) of all such required drills shall be through use of the fire escapes on buildings where fire escapes are provided. At least one (1) of the twelve (12) drills shall be held during a regular lunch period, or shall include special instruction on the procedures to be followed if a fire occurs during a student's lunch period.
At least two (2) additional drills shall be held during summer school in buildings where summer school is conducted and one (1) of these drills shall be held during the first week of summer school.
The Building Principal or his/her designee shall require those in charge of after-school programs, attended by any individuals unfamiliar with the school building, to announce at the beginning of such programs the procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency.
School Bomb Threats
A bomb threat, even if later determined to be a hoax, is a criminal action. No bomb threat should be treated as a hoax when it is first received. The school has an obligation and responsibility to ensure the safety and protection of the students and other occupants upon the receipt of any bomb threat. This obligation must take precedence over a search for a suspect object. Prudent action is dependent upon known information about the bomb threat - location, if any; time of detonation; etc. If the bomb threat is targeted at the school parking lot or the front of the school, building evacuation may not be an appropriate response. If the bomb threat indicates that a bomb is in the school, then building evacuation is necessary unless the building has been previously inspected and secured in accordance with State Education Department Guidelines. Specific procedures can be found in the building level school plan, as required by Project SAVE.
The decision to evacuate a building or to take shelter is dependent upon information about where the bomb is placed and how much time there is to reach a place of safety. Prudent action dictates that students and other occupants be moved from a place of danger to a place of safety. Routes of egress and evacuation or sheltering areas must be thoroughly searched for suspicious objects before ordering
an evacuation. Failure to properly search evacuation routes before an evacuation takes place can expose students and staff to more danger than remaining in place until the search has taken place. Assistance is available from local police agencies and the New York State Police to train staff to check evacuation routes.
Police Notification and Investigation
A bomb threat to a school is a criminal act, which is within the domain and responsibility of law enforcement officials. Appropriate State, county, and/or local law enforcement agencies must be notified of any bomb threat as soon as possible after the receipt of the threat. Law enforcement officials will contact, as the situation requires, fire and/or county emergency coordinators according to the county emergency plan.
Therefore, the building administrator or designee is to notify local law enforcement officials and follow established procedures to move all occupants out of harm's way.
The Board of Education directs the Superintendent or his/her designee to develop administrative regulations to implement the terms of this policy. Additionally, such regulations are to be incorporated in the District-wide School Safety Plan and the building level school safety plan, with provisions to provide written information to all staff and students regarding emergency procedures by October 1 of each school year, an annual drill to test the emergency response procedures under each of its building level school safety plans; and the annual updating of the District-wide and building level school safety plans, by July 1, as mandated pursuant to law and/or regulation.
Bus Emergency Drills
The Board of Education directs the administration to conduct a minimum of three (3) emergency drills to be held on each school bus during the school year. The first drill is to be conducted during the first seven (7) days of school, the second drill between November 1 and December 31, and the third drill between March 1 and April 30. No drills shall be conducted when buses are on routes.
Students who ordinarily walk to school shall also be included in the drills. Students attending public and nonpublic schools who do not participate in regularly scheduled drills shall also be provided drills on school buses, or as an alternative, shall be provided classroom instruction covering the content of such drills.
Each drill shall include instruction in all topics mandated by the Education Law and the Commissioner's Regulations and shall include, but will not be limited to, the following:
- Safe boarding and exiting procedures with specific emphasis on when and how to approach, board, disembark, and move away from the bus after disembarking;
- The location, use and operation of the emergency door, fire extinguishers, first aid equipment and windows as a means of escape in case of fire or accident;
- Orderly conduct as bus passengers.
When a school bus is equipped with seat safety belts, the District shall ensure that all students who are transported on such school bus owned, leased or contracted for by the District or BOCES shall receive instruction on the use of seat safety belts. Such instruction shall be provided at least three (3) times each year to both public and nonpublic school students who are so transported and shall include, but not be limited to:
- Proper fastening and release of seat safety belts;
- Acceptable placement of seat safety belts on students;
- Times at which the seat safety belts should be fastened and released; and
- Acceptable placement of the seat safety belts when not in use.
Penal Law Sections 240.55, 240.60 and 240.62
8 NYCRR Sections 155.17, 156.3(f), 156.3(g) and 156.3(h)(2)
« BACK | BACK TO POLICY SERIES