DAR File No. 38773

This rule was published in the September 1, 2014, issue (Vol. 2014, No. 17) of the Utah State Bulletin.

Education, Administration

Rule R277-400

School Emergency Response Plans

Notice of Proposed Rule


DAR File No.: 38773
Filed: 08/15/2014 06:14:51 AM


Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

Rule R277-400 is amended in response to S.B. 215, Public School Comprehensive Emergency Response Plan Amendments, and S.B. 58, Carbon Monoxide Detection Amendments, from the 2014 General Legislative Session.

Summary of the rule or change:

The amendments to Rule R277-400 provide language that: 1) requires a public school's comprehensive emergency response plan to include procedures to provide information to the extent practicable to students who have permission to be off campus during a school violence emergency; 2) requires certain newly constructed buildings or structures used for educational purposes through grade 12 to be equipped with carbon monoxide detection; and 3) modifies the rule title to better reflect the rule content.

State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Subsection 53A-1-401(3)

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

The amendments to the rule provide procedures and requirements that specifically apply to local education agencies (LEAs) which likely will not result in a cost or savings to the state budget.

local governments:

All LEAs will need to install carbon monoxide detectors in all schools, consistent with state law. Costs are speculative, but could be as much as $2,829,250.

small businesses:

The amendments to the rule provide procedures and requirements that apply specifically to LEAs which likely will not result in a cost or savings to small businesses.

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

The amendments to the rule provide procedures and requirements that apply specifically to LEAs which likely will not result in a cost or savings to persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local government entities.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

It is anticipated that all LEAs will install carbon monoxide detectors, consistent with state law, which likely will not result in any compliance costs for affected persons.

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

I have reviewed this rule and I believe that there is likely no fiscal impact on businesses.

Martell Menlove, 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 carol.lear@schools.utah.gov

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 Facility Emergency [Response Plans]and Safety.

R277-400-1. Definitions.

A. "Board" means the Utah State Board of Education.

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.

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

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

E. "LEA" means local education agency, including local school boards/ public school districts, charter schools, and, for purposes of this rule, the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind.


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.

B. The purpose of this rule is to establish general criteria for both Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Response plans required of schools and LEAs in the event of school emergencies as defined in R277-400-1B. This rule also directs LEAs to develop prevention, intervention, and response measures and to prepare staff and students to respond promptly and appropriately to school emergencies.


R277-400-3. Establishing LEA Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Response Plans.

A. By July 1 of each year, each LEA shall certify to the Board that the LEA emergency preparedness and emergency response 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 an LEA's annual application for state or federal Safe and Drug Free School funds, the LEA shall reference its Emergency Response plan.

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

D. The LEA 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 LEA administrators, teachers, parents, community and municipal governmental officers, and fire and law enforcement personnel. The committee shall include [G]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. Each LEA shall review the plan(s) at least once every three years.

F. The Board shall develop Emergency Response Plan models under Section 53A-3-402(18)(d).


R277-400-4. Notice and Preparation.

A. Each school shall file [A]a copy of the plan(s) [for each school within an LEA shall be filed in]with the LEA superintendent['s] or charter school director['s office].

B. At the beginning of each school year, [parents and staff shall receive]the LEA or school shall send or provide online a written notice to parents and staff of relevant sections of LEA 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, such as those outlined in R277-400-7 and 8, would be appropriate activities offered during the week.

D. Each school's emergency response plan shall include procedures to notify students, to the extent practicable, who are off campus at the time of a school violence emergency consistent with Section 53A-3-402(18)(c)(v).


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

A. An LEA's plan shall contain measures which assure that[, during an emergency,] school children receive reasonably adequate educational services and supervision during school hours during an emergency and for education services in an extended emergency situation.

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

(2) LEAs or schools shall not [R]release [of a ]children younger than ninth grade age at other than regularly scheduled [hours is prohibited]release times unless the parents or [an]other responsible persons ha[s]ve been notified and ha[s]ve assumed responsibility for the children. LEAs or schools may release [An ]older children [may be released ]without such notification if a school official determines that the children [is]are reasonably responsible and notification is not practicable.

[(3) LEAs shall, to the extent reasonably possible, provide educational services to school children whose regular school program has been disrupted by an extended emergency.

]B. LEA plans, as determined by the LEA board, shall address access to public school buildings by specific groups: students, community members, lessees, invitees, and others.

(1) Access planning may include restricted access for some individuals.

(2) Plans shall address building access during identified time periods.

(3) Plans shall address possession and use of school keys by designated administrators and employees.

C. An LEA's or school's plan shall identify [R]resources and materials available for emergency training[ shall be identified in an LEA or school's plan] for LEA employees.


R277-400-6. Emergency Preparedness Training for School Occupants.

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

B. LEAs or schools shall provide [S]school children [shall receive]with training appropriate to their ages in rescue techniques, first aid, safety measures appropriate for specific emergencies, and other emergency skills.

C. Emergency drills:

(1) During each school year, elementary schools shall conduct emergency drills at least once each month during school time.

(2) LEAs shall alternate one of the following practices or drills with required fire drills:

(a) shelter in place;

(b) earthquake;[ or]

(c) lock down for violence;

(d) bomb threat;

(e) civil disturbance;

(f) flood;

(g) hazardous materials spill;

(h) utility failure;

(i) wind or other types of severe weather;

(j) shelter and mass care for natural and technological hazards; or

(k) an emergency drill appropriate for the particular school location.

D. Fire drills:

(1) Fire drills shall include the complete evacuation of all persons from the school building or the portion of the building used for educational purposes. LEAs or schools may make [A]an exception [may be made ]for the staff member responsible for notifying the local fire emergency contact and handling emergency communications.

(2) All schools shall have one fire drill in the first 10 days of the regular school year.

(3) Elementary schools (grades K-6) shall have at least one fire drill every other month throughout the school year.

(4) Secondary schools (grades 7-12) shall have at least one fire drill every two months throughout the school year.

(5) Secondary schools (grades 7-12) shall have one fire drill in the first 10 days of the calendar year.

(6) When required by the local fire chief, the LEA shall notify the local fire department[ shall be notified] prior to each fire drill.

(7) When a fire alarm system is provided, an LEA shall initiate[fire drills shall be initiated] by activation of the fire alarm system.

E. Schools that include both elementary and secondary grades in the school shall comply, at a minimum, with the elementary emergency drill requirements.


R277-400-7. Emergency Response Review and Coordination.

A. Each LEA shall provide an annual training for LEA and school building staff on employees' roles, responsibilities and priorities in the emergency response plan.

B. LEAs shall require schools to conduct at least one annual drill for school emergencies in addition to drills required under R277-400-6[B(4)]C(2) which shall be held no later than October 1 annually.

C. LEAs shall require schools to review existing security measures and procedures within their schools and make adjustments as needs demonstrate and funds are available.

D. LEAs 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. LEAs 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. LEAs 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 including appropriate steps to take if a student sees a firearm or facsimile in school.

C. LEAs shall also develop, to the extent resources permit, student assistance programs such as care teams, school intervention programs, and interagency case management teams.

D. In developing student assistance programs, LEAs [are encouraged to]should 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, an LEA may enter into cooperative agreements with other governmental entities to assure proper coordination and support during emergencies.

B. LEAs 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 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 LEA, city, county, and state.

(1) the Board, through its superintendent, is the chief officer for emergencies involving more than one LEA, or for state or federal assistance;

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

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

(4) In the event of an emergency, school personnel shall maintain control of public school students and facilities during the regular school day or until students are released to parents or legal guardians.


R277-400-10. Fiscal Accountability.

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


R277-400-11. School Carbon Monoxide Detection.

A. New educational facilities shall have a carbon monoxide detection system installed consistent with International Fire Code (IFC), Chapter 9, Sections 908.7.2.1 through 908.7.2.6.

B. Existing facilities shall have a carbon monoxide detection system installed consistent with International Fire Code (IFC), Chapter 11, Section 1103.9.

C. Where required, LEAs shall provide a carbon monoxide detection system where a fuel-burning appliance, a fuel-burning fireplace, or a fuel-burning forced air furnace is present consistent with IFC 908.7.2.1.

D. LEAs shall install each carbon monoxide detection system consistent with NFPA 720 and the manufacturer's instructions, and listed systems as complying with UL 2034 and UL 2075.

E. LEAs shall install each carbon monoxide detection system in the locations specified in NFPA 720.

F. A combination carbon monoxide/smoke detector is an acceptable alternative to a carbon monoxide detection system if the combination carbon monoxide/smoke detector is listed consistent with UL 2075 and UL 268.

G. Each carbon monoxide detection system shall receive primary power from the building wiring if the wiring is served from a commercial source. If primary power is interrupted, a battery shall provide each carbon monoxide detection system with power. Wiring shall be permanent and without a disconnecting switch other than that required for over-current protection.

H. LEAs shall maintain all carbon monoxide detection systems consistent with IFC 908.7.2.5 and NFPA 720.

I. Performance-based alternative design of carbon monoxide detection systems is acceptable consistent with NFPA 720, Section

J. LEAs shall monitor carbon monoxide detection systems remotely consistent with NFPA 720.

K. LEAs shall replace a carbon monoxide detection system that becomes inoperable or begins to produce end-of-life signals.


KEY: emergency preparedness, disasters, safety, safety education

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: [April 7, ]2014

Notice of Continuation: February 13, 2014

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


Additional Information

More information about a Notice of Proposed Rule is available online.

The Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the Bulletin is the official version. The PDF version of this issue is available at https://rules.utah.gov/publicat/bull-pdf/2014/b20140901.pdf. The HTML edition of the Bulletin is a convenience copy. Any discrepancy between the PDF version and HTML version is resolved in favor of the PDF version.

Text to be deleted is struck through and surrounded by brackets ([example]). Text to be added is underlined (example).  Older browsers may not depict some or any of these attributes on the screen or when the document is printed.

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 carol.lear@schools.utah.gov.  For questions about the rulemaking process, please contact the Division of Administrative Rules.