Grants to States for School Emergency Management (GSEM) Program

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Grants to States for the School Emergency Management (GSEM) program funds to the Louisiana Department of Education in partnership with LSU’s National Center for Biomedical Research and Training/Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education (LSU NCBRT/ACE).

What is the program goal?

The program goal is to provide training and technical assistance to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) for the development and implementation of high-quality school Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs).

Why are EOPs important?

Louisiana mandates that all elementary and secondary public schools prepare, maintain and exercise a crisis management and response plan to help ensure every student, teacher and school employee is in a safe and secure facility and prepared to respond in the event of an emergency or disaster incident.

How will this program help LEAs develop EOPs? 

For new schools and schools that haven’t yet established their EOPs, the program will offer EOP development workshops to help prepare and provide resources and best practices to develop their EOPs.  

How will this program help LEAs that already have EOPs?

The program will provide expert review and feedback to schools on their EOPs. The review process will identify strengths and recommend areas of improvement in the EOP. Additionally, the review will ensure adequate assistance from community partners or response agencies identified in the EOP is available.

After EOPs are reviewed, the program will provide technical assistance workshops that will walk schools/LEAs through developing training and exercise plans in support of their EOPs to ensure that people are prepared to respond when an emergency happens.

Who should participate in the program?

LEA school district superintendents, school administrators, risk managers, building maintenance staff, identified points of contact and other stakeholders in school campus safety should participate in this program.

Although the program is intended for elementary and secondary public and charter schools, technical assistance and training is available to parochial and private schools on a limited basis.

What are the next steps in the program?

The second year of this five-year program will provide training on specific topics identified in the EOP review as areas of improvement. Examples of training topics include National Incident Management System compliance, multi-agency integration, EOP inclusiveness of those with access and functional needs or language barriers, or any additional areas of improvement identified.


LSU NCBRT/ACE is a nationally recognized center for emergency preparedness and response training located at Louisiana State University’s flagship campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The center has provided mobile training to both the national and international emergency response community since 1998.

LSU NCBRT/ACE has expertise in research, development and delivery of training in the areas of law enforcement special operations; biological incident response; food and agriculture safety and security; and instructional design and technique. The center also has diverse experience in technical assistance, project development and program evaluation. LSU NCBRT/ACE works with both public and private sectors around the world, providing customized training to suit individual needs.