Ensuring Safety in Our Schools- Clarification of Title 20-A M.R.S.A. Section 1001, Subsection 16 and Department of Education Regulation Chapter 125 Basic School Approval Section 10.02

ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER:  28
POLICY CODE:  ADD/EBB

TO: Superintendents of Schools, School Board Chairs, and Heads of Private Schools
FROM: Angela Faherty, Ph.D., Commissioner of Education
DATE: December 9, 2010
RE: Ensuring Safety in Our Schools- Clarification of Title 20-A M.R.S.A. Section 1001, Subsection 16 and Department of Education Regulation Chapter 125 Basic School Approval Section 10.02

The Department has received requests for clarification of Title 20-A M.R.S.A. Section 1001, Subsection 16 and Department of Education Regulation Chapter 125 Basic School Approval Section 10.02. The issue is whether school administrative units (SAUs) are required to have a comprehensive emergency management plan for the entire SAU and specific plans for individual facilities under the authority of the SAU, i.e., school buildings, vehicle garages, athletic facilities etc.  The Maine statutory requirement is for a comprehensive plan; therefore, SAUs with multiple facilities must have a comprehensive emergency management plan for the entire SAU that includes sections/plan annexes that address facility-specific conditions. Given the diversity of facility configurations in Maine’s SAUs, planners should develop the plans in accordance with what best meets the needs and conditions present in each individual SAU. The key element is to ensure that the plans are functional, up-to-date and tested.

An excellent resource for comprehensive emergency management plans may be found at www.maineprepares.com/schools which is the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) website. You are also encouraged to contact your County Emergency Management Directors (EMDs) to review/refine plans, conduct tabletop exercises, and conduct plan drills/ exercises. Contact information for the County EMDs can also be found on the MEMA website.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Edwin N. Kastuck, Ph.D., School Approval Services at edwin.kastuck@maine.gov or call 624-6776.

Thank you.