Admin
Orange County Public Schools is one of the few school districts in the nation that maintains an Emergency Management office specifically responsible for preparedness. While OCPS has significant measures in place for the safety of our students and staff. Many of those procedures are confidential as an added protective measure and per state statute.

Many parents and community members are concerned about issues of school safety. Listed below are some frequently asked questions about our preparedness efforts.

How does OCPS maintain preparedness?

We communicate with experts regarding safety, security, and weather related procedures, we continually engage with local law enforcement agencies, we conduct safety related drills on school and district campuses, and we have comprehensive, multilayered, security on all campuses.

How often do schools conduct drills, and what types are conducted?

School based drills are mandated for educational sites, per 1006.07 sec. 4(a) (b), Florida Statute.
• Fire drills can also be found in the Florida Fire Prevention Code 69A-60.
• Schools conduct 11 drills each school year; two drills in August and one drill per month thereafter.
• Seven are fire/emergency egress drills, two are for severe weather, and two are active assailant drills.
• All district schools are in compliance with the prescribed drill schedule year-to-date.

What type of training do school-based staff receive?

School-based staff are trained on school safety measures to include;

o emergency procedures
o classroom management during incidents
o active assailant response

What programs are in place to ensure schools are prepared to handle emergency incidents?

• Safe School Plans - School leadership teams maintain site specific Safe School Plans which serve to identify critical functions and resources that are necessary to manage crisis on campus.  These emergency procedures take into account the specific school’s logistics and campus layout when determining the proper response.

School Emergency Response Team (SERT) - Each school maintains a School Emergency Response Team (SERT) that is responsible for responding to emergencies during a crisis. Those staff assigned to be part of the SERT receive additional training to support their function as emergency team members.

• Tabletop Exercise - School Emergency Response Teams are required to conduct an annual discussion-based tabletop exercise in which they test their plans and training against an emergency-based scenario. Typically, the School Resource Officer assigned to the school participates in the tabletop exercise.

In July 2017, Orange County Public Schools hosted its fourth annual districtwide tabletop exercise for district administration, school-based staff and local first responders, which included an active assailant scenario component.

• Facilitated Discussions - Annually, school administrators lead their staff through facilitated training discussions on topics such as active assailant and school safety. These discussions are based on the district’s standardized emergency preparedness online training modules.

Do schools maintain emergency procedures?

Yes. Recent updates of materials, resources, and tools for staff included a new Emergency Procedures Manuals with easily accessible situation-based direction, a mobile app that works whether internet connectivity is available or not, training modules and classroom materials that highlight the Standard Response Protocol (lockout, lockdown, shelter and evacuate procedures.)

In An Emergency-When you Hear it-Do it!

LockOut, LockDown, Evacuate, Shelter - Emergency Preparedness

Contact Us:

445 West Amelia Street
Orlando, FL 32801-1129

Telephone:407-317-3200
extension 200-2073

We help ensure the safety of students and staff by:

  • Developing and coordinating all-hazard emergency management programs.
  • Ensuring business continuity and disaster recovery plans.
  • Annually reviewing and approving site-specific Safe School Plans.
  • Conducting and facilitating standardized emergency and disaster training programs.
  • Maintaining situational awareness of potential threats and developing response plans. 
  • Coordinating with community emergency management partners.