Emergencies hit schools at the most inopportune times and can take many forms. From severe weather to responding to a behavioral health crisis, being prepared with a plan that has been created by your school’s team and local partners, approved by your trustees, and practiced by your school community is vital to increasing student and staff safety.  Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs) provide guidance and practical solutions on how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergency situations. This planning process helps schools minimize injuries and property damage during an incident, and expedites the recovery process following an incident.

The resources, tools, and professional development opportunities included on the web pages below are designed to help schools prepare for and respond to emergency situations.  

Current Montana law regarding emergency planning in schools: MCA 20-1-401   

COVID-19 Guidance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend schools continue to use the current COVID-19 prevention strategies for the 2020-2021 school year. These guidelines can be accessed on the CDC website: Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Mitigation 

For the most up-to-date guidance from the CDC please visit the COVID-19 Schools and Child Care Programs website.

The OPI's COVID-19 Operational Guide can be accessed here.  

New School Safety Resources

Strategies for Promoting Educator and Student Safety and Wellness During Online Learning: Information on available resources and strategies schools can implement to promote safety and wellness during online learning

Mitigating the Threat of School Violence as the U.S. "Returns to Normal" from the COVID-Pandemic and Beyond: Guidance from the Department of Homeland Security to raise awareness of the risk factors associated with school violence and resources to prevent these incidents from occurring.  

Ten Essential Actions for Improving School Safety: Steps every school can take to improve school safety and links to additional resources. To learn more about the 10 Essential Actions to Improve School Safety, watch this video: 

New Technical Assistance Opportunity for Schools and Out-of-School Programs 

The Office of Public Instruction has partnered with the Salish Kootenai College Emergency Services Academy to support schools and out-of-school programs in their efforts to understand, manage, and develop emergency operations plans unique to their schools and communities. If you are interested in receiving technical assistance with your emergency operational planning, please reach out to Michele Henson, School Safety Program Manager at OPI. This resource is provided at no cost to the school or school-based program.


Safety Resources

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Michele Henson, School Safety Program Manager, 406-595-1058

Holly Mook, Coordinated School Health Unit Director, 406-431-3126