The sound of a bell means Millwood Arts Academy students - rush outside. School isn't over for the day. They're practicing a fire drill: one of two the state requires for every school each year.
Millwood superintendent Cecilia Robinson said, "We live in a world where we can't always manage what happens day to day, and when you're charged with something as important as people's children, you want to make sure you keep them safe every day."
Millwood High School was one of 25 Oklahoma schools not in compliance with state mandated drills during the 2012-13 school year. First year Millwood Superintendent Cecilia Robinson didn't know until we told her.
"I would have to go back and look to determine what exactly you're speaking to, because I wasn't aware of that," Robinson said.
Robinson checked and found out Millwood did perform all its drills last year, but one fire drill occurred one day past the state deadline. It's an error she says won't happen this year.
Putnam City District met the state drill requirements last year. Now the district is taking things a step further. After last May's tornados destroyed two schools in Moore, killing 7 children, PC schools went through every school, to make sure students were seeking shelter in the safest places.
"We would check all the walls to make sure we are solid all the way around," said Putnam City Police Chief Mark Stout. "We crawled up in ceilings. We went up in attics. We went in basements. All the different rooms considered safe before that maybe we needed to evaluate."
Whether it's a tornado, fire or intruder, Millwood students are prepared.
"I don't think you could ever plan to be too safe," Robinson said.
Officials with the State Board of Education tell us each school has a regional accreditation officer who checks to make sure they're doing the right number of drills. If they aren't, they're marked with a deficiency and encouraged to correct the problem. If it's a reoccurring problem, the deficiency goes before the State Board to remedy the problem.
Below you will find a list of schools not in compliance on drills last year, as well as the different kinds and amounts they're required to practice.
Oklahoma Schools Not In Compliance On Drills
School Year 2012-13
Fire Drill Deficiency:
* Chouteau Elementary School
* Chouteau-Mazie EC Center
* Chouteau-Mazie Middle School
* Darlington Public Schools
* Grant-Foreman Elementary School (Muskogee)
* Hugo Middle School
* Hugo High School
* Keifer Elementary School
* Mary White Elementary School (Haskell)
* McLain Junior High School (Tulsa)
* McLain High School for Science/Technology (Tulsa)
* Millwood High School
* Mulhall-Orlando Elementary School
* Newkirk-Braman Elementary School
* Norwood Public Schools
* Rector Johnson Middle School (Broken Bow)
* Watts Elementary School
* Watts High School
Staff Not Trained in CPR and the Heimlich maneuver:
* Lone Wolf Elementary School
* Lone Wolf High School
* Mazie Elementary School
* Penn Elementary School (Tulsa)
* Smithville Elementary School
* Smithville Middle School
Lockdown Drills & Documentation:
* Ryal Public Schools
New School Safety Laws Enacted in 2013
SB 256, requiring school districts to conduct lockdown drills in addition to fire, intruder, and tornado emergency drill
SB 257, directing the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security to designate a division within the agency as the Oklahoma School Security Institute. The Institute would act as a central hub of information and resources related to school security and risk assessments to campuses. Objectives and goals of the Institute include: maximization of school security and training; implementation of safety drills and facilitation of information related to school safety.
SB 258, creating an annual deadline of Nov. 1 for institutions of higher learning to provide reports to emergency responders and agencies with details of updated plans for protecting students, faculty and visitors from disasters and emergencies.
SB 259, requiring school authorities to immediately report to law enforcement if a firearm is discovered on a student that is not a minor or an adult that isn't authorized to possess a firearm on school property. Also, the bill dictates the weapon in question to be delivered to law enforcement.
State Drill Requirements:
A. All public schools shall have a minimum of two fire drills per semester. The first fire drill shall be conducted within the first fifteen (15) days of each semester. The second fire drill must occur after the first thirty (30) days of the semester. All students and teachers at the public schools shall participate.
B. It shall be the duty of the principal, under the direction of the superintendent of the school district to formulate procedures for the orderly evacuation of buildings upon the sounding of a distinctive audible signal designated as the fire alarm signal.
C. Each public school district shall document each fire drill in writing by public school site. The records for each fire drill shall be preserved for at least three (3) years and made available to the State Fire Marshal or the Marshal's agent upon request.
All public school districts shall conduct a minimum of two tornado drills per school year, in which all students and school employees participate. Such drills shall conform to the written plans and procedures adopted by the district for protecting against natural and man-made disasters and emergencies as required by Title 63 O.S. § 681. Each school district shall document in writing and by school site, compliance with this requirement and such records shall be available to the Regional Accreditation Officer during the accreditation process.
All public schools shall have a minimum of one lockdown drill each school year. All students and employees are required to participate in the drills, with the extent of student involvement to be determined by the district. Each school district board of education and administration shall adopt policies and procedures for lockdown drills. Each public school district shall document lockdown drills in writing by public school site. Compliance with this requirement and such records shall be available to the Regional Accreditation Officer during the accreditation process.
All public schools shall conduct at least two intruder drills per school year. They must be conducted within the first 15 days of each semester.