Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Logo
Student and Family Support (SFS)

Emergency Management Planning for Schools

Information for Schools about the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Emergency Management Planning Updates
01/27/2023 Download PDF Document  School Behavioral Threat Assessments: An Introduction for Educators K-12. Wednesday, February 15th or Thursday, February 16th, 2023. See flyer for details and registration.

Laws and Regulations

Also see DESE's Bullying Prevention and Intervention and Medical Emergency Response Plan web pages for additional information on school safety laws and regulations.

Additional Information and Resources

Evidence Based Programs, Curricula and Practices

Please note that the following programs and links are provided as resources for schools and districts. School and district leaders have discretion to select evidence-based curricula and other resources that are not on the list. Local education officials should determine which school safety curricula and strategies are most appropriate for each school and grade they oversee, taking into account students' developmental stages, community contexts, and other factors.

Information for Families

COVID-19 Resources

Emergency planning starts at home. Here are some resources to help engage children in family emergency planning efforts:


Resources by Topic

Bullying and Harassment
Bus Safety
Continuity of Operations (COOP) Planning
Drills and Exercises
Emergency Operations Planning (EOP)
Positive Learning Environment
Prevention and Mitigation
School Health
Special Needs/ Functional and Access Needs
Suicide Prevention
Threat and Hazard Identification Risk Assessment (THIRA)
  • Identifying hazards
  • Assessing hazards
    • Assessing School-Based Hazards: Hazard Assessment Checklist, FEMA
    • Site Assessment — examines the safety, accessibility, and emergency preparedness of the school's buildings and grounds.
    • Culture and Climate Assessment — evaluates student and staff connectedness to the school and problem behaviors.
    • School Threat Assessment — analyzes communication and behaviors to determine whether a student, staff member, or other person may pose a threat.
    • Capacity Assessment — examines the capabilities of students and staff as well as the services and material resources of community partners.
Weather-related Emergencies
  • Follow National Weather Service's (NWS) Forecast Office — Boston/Taunton, MA
  • Sign up for Massachusetts Alerts, a free public safety alerting app including notifications on severe weather watches and warnings

Resources from State Agencies

Resources at the National Level

For more information or assistance, please contact:

Anne Gilligan
Safe and Healthy Schools
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
(781) 338-6309

or contact Anne or others through the Office of Student and Family Support via
(781) 338-3010 or

Last Updated: January 27, 2023

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.