File No. 34331

This rule was published in the January 15, 2011, issue (Vol. 2011, No. 2) of the Utah State Bulletin.

Education, Administration

Rule R277-400

School Emergency Response Plans

Notice of Proposed Rule


DAR File No.: 34331
Filed: 12/30/2010 07:04:02 AM


Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

This rule is amended to provide language that allows schools to include firearm safety instruction as part of violence prevention and intervention strategies in a school's emergency response plan. The amended rule also removes an incorrect citation in the authority and purpose section of the rule and updates terminology.

Summary of the rule or change:

The amended section provides new language regarding the inclusion of firearm safety instruction.

State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Subsection 53A-1-401(3)

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

There are no anticipated costs or savings to the state budget. The amended section of the rule allows schools to include firearm safety instruction in their emergency response plans which does not impact the state.

local governments:

There are no anticipated costs or savings to local government. The amended section of the rule allows public schools to include language on firearm safety instruction in their emergency response plans which should not financially impact school districts or schools.

small businesses:

There are no anticipated costs or savings to small businesses. The amended section of the rule applies to public schools and does not impact small businesses.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

There are no anticipated costs or savings to persons other than small businesses, business, or local government entities. The amended section of the rule applies to public schools and does not impact individuals.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

There are no compliance costs for affected persons. The amended section of the rule permits public schools to allow firearm safety instruction as part of their emergency response plans; no compliance costs are necessary.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

I have reviewed this rule and I see no fiscal impact on businesses.

Larry K. Shumway, State Superintendent

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:

250 E 500 S
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84111-3272

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Carol Lear at the above address, by phone at 801-538-7835, by FAX at 801-538-7768, or by Internet E-mail at

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:


This rule may become effective on:


Authorized by:

Carol Lear, Director, School Law and Legislation


R277. Education, Administration.

R277-400. School Emergency Response Plans.

R277-400-1. Definitions.

[C]A. "Board" means the Utah State Board of Education.

[A]B. "Emergency" means a natural or man-made disaster, accident, act of war, or other circumstance which could reasonably endanger the safety of school children or disrupt the operation of the school.

[B]C. "Emergency Preparedness Plan" means policies and procedures developed to promote the safety and welfare of students, protect [district]school property, or regulate the operation of schools during an emergency occurring within a school district or a school.

D. "Emergency Response Plan" means a plan developed by a school district or school to prepare and protect students and staff in the event of school violence emergencies.


R277-400-2. Authority and Purpose.

A. This rule is authorized under Utah Constitution Article X Section 3 which vests general control and supervision of public education in the Board, and Section 53A-1-401(3) which allows the Board to adopt rules in accordance with its responsibilities[ and Section 53A-1-402(1)(b) directs the Board to adopt rules for student health and safety].

B. The purpose of this rule is to establish general criteria for both Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Response plans required of schools and school districts in the event of natural disasters or school violence emergencies. This rule also directs school districts and charter schools to develop prevention, intervention, and response measures and to prepare staff and students to respond promptly and appropriately to school violence emergencies.


R277-400-3. Establishing School District Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Response Plans.

A. By July 1 of each year, each local board of education /local charter school board shall certify to the Board that its plan has been practiced at the school level, presented to and reviewed by its teachers, administrators, students and their parents, local law enforcement, and public safety representatives consistent with Section 53A-3-402(18).

B. As a part of a local board of education's /local charter school board's annual application for Safe and Drug Free School funds, the local board of education/local charter school board shall reference its Emergency Response plan.

C. The plan(s) shall be designed to meet individual school needs and features. A school district may direct schools within the school district to develop and implement individual plans.

D. The local board of education/local charter school board shall appoint a committee to prepare plan(s) or modify existing plan(s) to satisfy this rule. The committee shall consist of appropriate school and community representatives which may include school and school district administrators, teachers, parents, community and municipal governmental officers, and fire and law enforcement personnel. Governmental agencies and bodies vested with responsibility for directing and coordinating emergency services on local and state levels shall be included on the committee.

E. The local board of education/local charter school board shall appoint appropriate persons at least once every three years to review the plan(s).

F. The Board shall develop Emergency Response plan models under Section 53A-3-402(1[7]8)(d).


R277-400-4. Notice and Preparation.

A. A copy of the plan(s) for each school within a school district shall be filed in the school district superintendent's office. A charter school plan shall be maintained by the local charter school board.

B. At the beginning of each school year, parents and staff shall receive a written notice of relevant sections of school district and school plans which are applicable to that school.

C. Each school shall designate an Emergency Preparedness/Emergency Response week prior to April 30 of each school year. Community, student, teacher awareness, or training[, or inservice], such as those outlined in R277-400-7 and 8, would be appropriate activities offered during the week.


R277-400-5. Plan(s) Content--Educational Services and Student Supervision.

The plan shall contain measures which assure that, during an emergency, school children receive reasonably adequate educational services and supervision during school hours.

A. Evacuation procedures shall assure reasonable care and supervision of children until responsibility has been affirmatively assumed by another responsible party.

B. Release of a child below ninth grade at other than regularly scheduled hours is prohibited unless the parent or another responsible person has been notified and has assumed responsibility for the child. An older child may be released without such notification if a school official determines that the child is reasonably responsible and notification is not practicable.

C. School districts and charter schools shall, to the extent reasonably possible, provide educational services to school children whose regular school program has been disrupted by an extended emergency.


R277-400-6. Emergency Preparedness Training.

The plan shall contain measures which assure that school children receive emergency preparedness training.

A. School children shall be provided with training appropriate to their ages in rescue techniques, first aid, safety measures appropriate for specific emergencies, and other emergency skills.

B. Fire drills:

(1) During each school year, elementary schools shall conduct fire drills at least once each month during school sessions. A fire drill in secondary schools shall be conducted at least every two months, for a total of four fire drills during the nine month school year. The first fire drill shall be conducted within the first two weeks of the school year for both elementary and secondary schools. An exception may be made, subject to the approval of the local fire chief, to postpone a fire drill due to severe weather conditions.

(2) Fire drills shall include the complete evacuation of all persons from the school building or portion thereof used for educational purposes. An exception may be made for the staff member responsible for notifying the local fire department and handling emergency communications.

(3) When required by the local fire chief, the local fire department shall be notified prior to each drill.

(4) When a fire alarm system is provided, fire drills shall be initiated by activation of the fire alarm system.

C. Schools shall hold at least one drill for other emergencies during the school year.

D. Resources and materials available for training shall be identified in the plan.


R277-400-7. Emergency Response Training.

A. Each school district and local charter school board shall provide an annual [inservice]training for school district and school building staff on employees roles, responsibilities and priorities in the emergency response plan.

B. School [D]districts and local charter school boards shall require schools to conduct at least one annual drill for school violence emergencies.

C. School [D]districts and local charter school boards shall require schools to review existing security measures and procedures within their schools and make adjustments as needs demonstrate and funds are available.

D. School [D]districts and local charter school boards shall develop standards and protections to the extent practicable for participants and attendees at school-related activities, with special attention to those off school property.

E. School [D]districts and schools shall coordinate with local law enforcement and other public safety representatives in appropriate drills for school safety emergencies.


R277-400-8. Prevention and Intervention.

A. School [D]districts and local charter school boards shall provide schools, as part of their regular curriculum, comprehensive violence prevention and intervention strategies such as resource lessons and materials on anger management, conflict resolution, and respect for diversity and other cultures.

B. As part of the violence prevention and intervention strategies, schools may provide age-appropriate instruction on firearm safety (not use) including appropriate steps to take if a student sees a firearm or facsimile in school.

[B]C. School [D]districts and local charter school boards shall also develop, to the extent resources permit, student assistance programs such as care teams, school intervention programs, and interagency case management teams.

[C]D. In developing student assistance programs, school districts and local charter school boards are encouraged to coordinate with and seek support from other state agencies and the Utah State Office of Education.


R277-400-9. Cooperation With Governmental Entities.

A. As appropriate, a local board of education or local charter school board may enter into cooperative agreements with other governmental entities to assure proper coordination and support during emergencies.

B. [A s]School district s and local charter school boards shall cooperate with other governmental entities, as reasonably feasible, to provide emergency relief services. The plan(s) shall contain procedures for assessing and providing school [district] facilities, equipment, and personnel to meet public emergency needs.

C. The plan(s) developed under R277-400-5 shall delineate communication channels and lines of authority within the school district , charter school, city, county, and state.

(1) the Board, through its superintendent, is the chief officer for emergencies involving more than one school district , charter school, or state or federal aid;

(2) the local board, through its superintendent, is the chief officer for school district emergencies;

(3) the local charter school board through its director is the chief officer for local charter school emergencies;

([3]4) direction and control of emergency operations shall be exercised by the executive heads of government and school districts and charter schools. Local governments , [and] school districts , and charter schools retain their autonomy and identity throughout all levels of emergency operations;

([4]5) personnel and resources received from outside sources shall be incorporated into the structure of the local government , [and] school district , and charter school.


R277-400-10. Fiscal Procedures.

The plan(s) under R277-400-5 shall address procedures for recording school district or charter school funds expected for emergencies, for assessing and repairing damage, and for seeking reimbursement for emergency expenditures.


KEY: emergency preparedness, disasters, safety, safety education

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: [August 1, 2000]2011

Notice of Continuation: September 6, 2007

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: Art X Sec 3; 53A-1-401(3); 53A-1-402(1)(b)



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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Carol Lear at the above address, by phone at 801-538-7835, by FAX at 801-538-7768, or by Internet E-mail at