State of New Jersey School Security Drill Guide
N.J.S.18A:41-1 Fire, school security drills pursuant to C.App.A:9-86
This document provides State guidance relating to school security drills pursuant to 18A:41-1. Security drills, which are similar in duration to a fire drill, will be used to practice schools’ procedures for responding to emergencies as outlined in the School Administrator Procedures: Responding to Critical Incidents document that the Department of Education disseminated in October 2007. Schools will coordinate with local emergency responders by updating safety and security plans and procedures for drilling, managing and responding to school emergencies.
School Security Drill: An exercise, other than a fire drill, to practice procedures that respond to an emergency situation including, but not limited to, a non-fire evacuation, lockdown, or active shooter situation and that is similar in duration to a fire drill. Tabletop Activity: This activity involves key personnel discussing simulated scenarios in an informal setting. Tabletops can be used to assess plans, policies, and procedures. Full Scale Exercise: This is a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional activity involving actual deployment of resources in a coordinated response as if a real incident had occurred. This exercise tests many components of one or more capabilities within emergency response and recovery, and is typically used to assess plans, procedures and coordinated response under crisis conditions.
Fire, school security drills
Every principal of a school of two or more rooms, or of a school of one room, when located above the first story of a building, shall have at least one fire drill and one school security drill each month within the school hours, including any summer months during which the school is open for instructional programs, and shall require all teachers of all schools, whether occupying buildings of one or more stories, to keep all doors and exits of their respective rooms and buildings unlocked during the school hours, except during an emergency lockdown or an emergency lockdown drill. Where school buildings have been provided with fire escapes, they shall be used by a part or all of the pupils performing every fire drill.
Schools are required to conduct a school security drill within the first 15 days of the beginning of the school year.
Schools are required to hold a minimum of two of each of the following security drills annually:
Evacuation (non- fire);
Examples of other types of security drills:
Evacuation to relocation site;
Testing of school’s notification system and procedures;
Testing of school’s communication system and procedures;
Full scale exercise.
Fire alarm systems shall be initiated only during a fire drill evacuation.
Responses made necessary by the unplanned activation of emergency procedures or by any other emergency shall not be substituted for a required school security drill.
Schools will provide emergency responders with a friendly notification at least 48 hours prior to holding a security drill. Emergency responders are not required to observe security drills, however, it is encouraged that schools invite emergency responders to attend and observe at least four different security drills annually.
Record Keeping Districts are required to annually submit the “Security Drill Statement of Assurance” provided by the Department of Education to their county office of education by June 30 of each year. The county office shall forward an information copy to the respective county prosecutor’s office. The “Security Drill Record Form” provided by the Department of Education shall be completed by all schools and retained at the district level. The following information is required:
Date and time;
Type (specify what was drilled);
Participants (i.e. students, staff, faculty, law enforcement, fire);
Brief description of what occurred and procedures followed.
Provision of training on school safety, security
A local board of education and chief school administrator of a nonpublic school shall ensure that all full-time teaching staff members in the district or nonpublic school are provided with training on school safety and security that includes instruction on school security drills. Each teaching staff member shall be provided with the training within one year of the effective date of this act or within 60 days of the commencement of that staff member’s employment, whichever date is later.
Development, dissemination of building security drill guide, training materials
The Director of the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness shall, in consultation with the Commissioner of Education, the Director of the Division of Fire Safety in the Department of Community Affairs, the Director of the State Office of Emergency Management in the Division of State Police in the Department of Law and Public Safety, and the Attorney General, develop and disseminate to each school district and nonpublic school a building security drill guide and training materials that educate school employees on proper evacuation and lockdown procedures in a variety of emergency situations on school grounds including, but not limited to, bomb threats and active shooter situations.
Employee training on school safety and security plans
The district board of education shall develop and provide an in-service training program for all district board of education employees to enable them to recognize and appropriately respond to safety and security concerns, including emergencies and crises, consistent with the district board of education’s plans, procedures and mechanisms for school safety and security and the provisions of this section.
New district board of education employees shall receive the in-service training, as appropriate, within 60 days of the effective date of their employment.
The in-service training program for all district board of education employees shall be reviewed annually and updated, as appropriate.
A training CD Rom, Critical Incident Response: Procedures for School Administrators, Faculty and Staff, was developed by the Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness in collaboration with the Department of Education to enhance regional and local training for school personnel on procedures to follow during an emergency. This resource was distributed to all schools during the summer of 2009 and fulfills the training requirement of this statute.