Utah Department of Administrative Services Division of Administrative Rules

Utah Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).

NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since March 1, 2014, please see the codification segue page.

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R277. Education, Administration.

Rule R277-400. School Emergency Response Plans.

As in effect on March 1, 2014

Table of Contents

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 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.

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 school districts in the event of natural disasters or school violence emergencies. 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 violence emergencies.

R277-400-3. Establishing School District 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. A school district may direct schools within the school district 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 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 LEA 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(18)(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 LEA superintendent's or charter school director's office.

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, 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. LEAs 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.

(2) 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.

(3) The first fire drill shall be conducted within the first 10 days of the school year for both elementary and secondary schools.

(4) Required emergency evacuation drills may be substituted every other time by a security or safety drill to include:

(a) shelter in place;

(b) earthquake drill; or

(c) lock down for violence.

(5) The routine emergency evacuation drill, for fire, shall be conducted at least every other evacuation drill.

(6) 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.

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

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

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

R277-400-7. Emergency Response Training.

A. Each LEA shall provide an annual training for school district 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 violence emergencies.

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. School 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. 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 (not use) 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 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 school district emergencies;

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

(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 a parent or legal guardian.

R277-400-10. Fiscal Procedures.

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.


emergency preparedness, disasters, safety, safety education

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

September 21, 2012

Notice of Continuation

February 13, 2014

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law

Art X Sec 3; 53A-1-401(3); 53A-1-402(1)(b)

Additional Information


For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R277, please contact the promulgating agency (Education, Administration). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.