Gov. Laura Kelly signed Senate Bill 128 into law on April 10, changing the number of safety drills K-12 schools in Kansas must perform each year from 16 to nine.

As schools across the state of Kansas know, Senate Bill 109 changed the landscape of how K-12 schools conducted school drills. When it passed in 2018, schools were required to change the number and type of drills conducted during the school year. The change required schools to conduct nine crisis drills, four fire drills and three tornado drills during the school year, for a total of 16 drills per school year.

The change brought crisis drills to schools, but the total number of drills proved overwhelming for many districts.

With that in mind, Senate Bill 128 was introduced to change the number of drills required for schools. The bill changes the total number of drills from 16 to nine. Schools must conduct at least two tornado drills (one in September and one in March), three crisis drills and four fire drills per school year.

Crisis drills reflect events that have a potential to occur in schools and can include, but are not limited to, such things as a water main break, earthquake, missing student, hazardous spills, intruders, active shooters or medical emergencies.

The new law went into effect July 1 and will be in effect for the 2019-2020 school year. Updated information and the new K-12 School Drills Form, reflecting the changes in the drill requirements, are posted at https://firemarshal.ks.gov/information-on/schools---usd-k-12.