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Good Question: How will safety drills work?

Brennan Somers
Created: July 21, 2020 04:43 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Today's Good Question about getting back to school covers rules to protect students.

What's happening with safety drills, in a year with hybrid schooling and social distancing?

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News10NBC’s Brennan Somers found out there are strict mandates for those. You have to do them. It's the law.

Education Law § 807 requires that schools conduct 8 evacuation and 4 lockdown drills each school year. Those will continue this fall but with some slight tweaks according to guidance from the NYS Education Department.

Modifications to evacuation drill protocols may include, but are not limited to:

  • Conducting drills on a “staggered” schedule, where classrooms evacuate separately rather than all at once, and appropriate distance is kept between students to the evacuation site. Staggering by classroom, minimizes contact of students in hallways, stairwells, and at the evacuation site. If conducting drills using a modified procedure, it is required that the drill be conducted with all students in the school building on that school day, it may be necessary to do so during a class period that is extended for this purpose; and
  • If schools re-open with a “hybrid” in-person model, such as one where students attend school alternate school weeks to reduce the occupancy of the school building, schools must be certain that all students are receiving instruction in emergency procedures, and participating in drills while they are in attendance in-person.

Modifications to Lockdown Drills may include, but are not limited to:

  • Conduct lockdown drill in classroom setting while maintaining social distancing and using Masks;
  • Conducting lockdown drills on a “staggered” schedule with smaller numbers of students present to maintain social distancing, however schools must be certain that all students are receiving instruction in emergency procedures and participating in drills while they are in attendance in-person; and
  • Conduct lockdown drill in classroom without “hiding”/ “sheltering” but provide an overview of how to shelter or hide in the classroom.

If you have a question you would like answered, send an e-mail to GoodQuestion@whec.com.


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