On June 23, 2014, Governor Quinn signed an Act amending the Illinois School Safety Drill Act. The amendment clarifies how public school districts can make a school building’s updated emergency and crisis response plans available.
After updating a school building’s emergency and crisis response plans, “consideration may be given” to making those plans available to first responders, administrators, and teachers for implementation and utilization through the use of electronic applications on electronic devices. The amendment specifies that those electronic applications may be available on, but are not limited to, smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers.
It is important to note that the amendment is not mandatory, but rather is an option that school districts may choose in order to more efficiently communicate their updated emergency and crisis response plans to faculty, staff, and first responders. In fact, the Illinois House of Representatives rejected an earlier version that would have required school districts to make updated emergency and crisis response plans available in a digital format, and would have required them to be sent to first responders, administrators, and teachers in a format available on handheld electronic devices.
The amended Act goes into effect on January 1, 2015.