Cheney School District

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School Safety » Required Drills

Required Drills

RCW 28A.320.125 requires all school districts and schools in Washington state to have current comprehensive safe school plans, or Emergency Operation Plans (EOPs), plans. Within that requirement, schools are required to have at least one safety drill per month, including summer sessions when students are present. These drills prepare students and staff for a wide variety of threats and hazards. Schools have been doing safety drills for decades. Staff and students need to know and practice the options that can be used in emergency situations. As a result, they drill.  Drills are essential; they help familiarize staff, students, and visitors in a school building with procedures, announcements, processes, and signals so, in the event of a real emergency, there will be no hesitation or confusion in the response.

In Washington, schools are required to practice four basic functional responses to threats or hazards: lockdown, evacuation, shelter-in-place, and drop-cover-hold on:
  1. Lockdown - to protect students and staff from threats of violence, such as suspicious trespassers or armed intruders, even wild animals, that may occur in school, around, or in the vicinity of a school,
  2. Evacuation - to move students and staff away from threats, such as fires, chemical spills, oil train spills, or tsunamis. (Note that if your school is in either a mapped tsunami or lahar hazard zone, you are required to practice a pedestrian evacuation drill each year.)
  1. Shelter - to limit the exposure of students and staff to hazardous materials, such as chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants, released into the environment by isolating the inside environment from the outside,
  2. Earthquake - Drop, cover, and hold in response to an Earthquake.
These four basic functions can be used for a wide variety of possible emergency situations.