The Rhode Island School Safety Program works to coordinate emergency planning, develop standardized safety guidelines, and promote preparedness tips and situational awareness for any type of disaster or emergency that might occur in a Rhode Island school. RIEMA works closely with the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), the Rhode Island State Police, as well as other state and local safety officials, to ensure the continued safety and well-being of students.
In July of 2013, Governor Chafee signed RIGL §16-21-24 into effect. The law requires RIEMA, in coordination with RIDE to develop a template for school districts to work with local police and fire departments to conduct a school safety assessment and create an emergency plan. School committees are now required on an annual basis to update school safety and emergency plans and procedures. By December 31st of each year, the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education must present a safety assessment to the General Assembly and the Governor.
RIEMA, in collaboration with RIDE, the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals, the Rhode Island Department of Public Safety, Rhode Island State Police and the Division of the State Fire Marshal, and many other stakeholders developed the Model School Safety Plan in the wake of school incidents. The purpose of this joint initiative is to enhance preparedness and response procedures for school systems and local communities in the State of Rhode Island.
The plan is a 300-page strategic blueprint which incorporates best practices and state requirements into a guide that school districts can adopt or modify to meet their individual needs. The key documents in the new resource include an emergency planning guide and two FEMA publications regarding developing high-quality emergency operations for K-12 and Higher Educational institutions.
Model School Safety Plan Sections:
FEMA School Safety Resources:
The Program, in cooperation with other State partners, offers a variety of free training and educational opportunities including: