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2020 Annual Emergency Management Test Extension  

6/29/2020

The State Superintendent of Public Instruction has used his authority pursuant to Section 17 (I) [1] of House Bill 197 to approve an extended deadline for the Emergency Management Test in the wake of the coronavirus-related ordered school-building closure. Each school building must conduct at least one emergency management test (functional, full-scale, or tabletop) annually to assess and evaluate their emergency preparedness (Ohio Revised Code 3313.536 (E)(1)[2] and Ohio Administrative Code 3301-5-01). The December 31, 2020 deadline for conducting the 2020 annual Emergency Management Test has been extended to December 31, 2021.  
 
How does this impact your school building? 
 
Administrators now have until December 31, 2021, to satisfy the requirement to complete the annual emergency management test for 2020. This extension only applies to the 2020 test, so administrators will also need to complete by December 31, 2021, an additional test for the 2021 calendar year. Two tests will need to be conducted over the next 18 months.  
Schools are still encouraged to schedule and conduct their 2020 test this year, if it can be done safely and effectively. An example of a way to still complete this year's test is by conducting a virtual tabletop exercise with key stakeholders and first responders. Sample exercise tool kits are available on the Ohio School Safety Center Website.  
 
Please remember that schools must complete a functional, full-scale, and tabletop exercise during the three-year period between resubmission of an annual emergency management plan, and each type of test can only be used once. After completion, don't forget to document the test and after-action report in OH|ID.  
 
For additional questions, please contact the Ohio School Safety Center saferschools@dps.ohio.gov. 
 
[1] Sec. 17 (I) of Am. Sub. House Bill 197 of the 133rd General Assembly grants the state superintendent of public instruction the authority to: 

“…extend or waive any deadline for an action required of the State Board of Education, the Department of Education, or any person or entity licensed or regulated by the State Board or Department during the duration of the Director of Health's order under section 3701.13 of the Revised Code "In re: Order the Closure of All K-12 Schools in the State of Ohio" issued on March 14, 2020, or any local board of health order, and any extension of any order, based on the implications of COVID-19, as necessary to ensure that the safety of students, families, and communities are prioritized while continuing to ensure the efficient operation of the Department and public and private schools in this state.” 
 
Among the specific deadlines that may be extended or waived is:  
 
“(4) The emergency management test required by division (E) of section 3313.536 of the Revised Code.” 
[2] Ohio Revised Code 3313.536 (E)(1) states that each administrator shall: 
 
“(1) Prepare and conduct at least one annual emergency management test, as defined in division (A)(2) of this section, in accordance with rules adopted by the state board pursuant to division (F) of this section;” 
 
This language creates a deadline for an entity regulated by the Ohio Department of Education which makes it an appropriate object of the deadline extension authority.