Emergency Planning for School Systems and Schools

Code of Maryland regulation 13A.02.02 requires MSDE to publish guidance for local education agencies to develop and implement local emergency plans. The Emergency Planning Guidelines were first published in April 2013.

On April 18, 2017, Governor Hogan approved House Bill 1061 (Chapter 327 of the Education Article, Annotated Code of Maryland), requiring MSDE, in consultation with disability advocacy groups, to update the Emergency Planning Guidelines to accommodate, safeguard, and evacuate students, staff, and visitors with disabilities on public school grounds in accordance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. 

The Guidelines were subsequently revised in October 2017 and December 2019.

In Focus

Maryland Emergency Planning Guidelines for Local School Systems and Schools - December 2019 Edition Cover Page

Emergency Planning Guidelines for Local Education Agencies and Schools - Updated December 2019

The latest MSDE Guidelines for local education agencies and schools on developing new plans and reviewing and updating existing school emergency plans.

During 2019, MSDE worked closely with the Maryland Center for School Safety to convene a diverse workgroup of stakeholders, which included disability advocacy groups, parents, and state and local professionals. The December 2019 revisions to the Guidelines are the result of hard work and valuable input from members of this group (see page five of the Guidelines for the full list of workgroup members). Each workgroup member was exceptionally generous with their time and supportive feedback. The completion of the updates to the Guidelines would not have been possible without the active participation and dedication of the workgroup members.

The updated 2019 Guidelines contain specific information that should be considered, based on current best practices, to assist all students, staff, and visitors, including individuals with disabilities, in the event of an emergency.


Donald Corbin
Specialist, School Safety
Office: (410) 767-0792