Drills help staff and students calmly, quickly and safely respond in any type of emergency. All schools are required to conduct 11 drills annually:
- 5 fire drills
- 5 lockdowns
- 1 tornado
Emergency response protocols
A school emergency can take a number of forms including an environmental event such as a chemical spill or gas leak; a weather emergency such as a tornado warning; or an intruder in or near the school.
The nature of a school emergency dictates what emergency response protocol school officials will put in place to ensure the safety and well being of students and staff. There are four options that can be performed during an emergency. In the event of an emergency at your child’s school, it is important to know these terms.
- Containment: a containment takes place when there is a threat or hazard OUTSIDE the school such as law enforcement activity or hazardous conditions.
- All students and activities are moved inside.
- Exterior doors are locked and monitored.
- Learning inside the school continues.
- Lockdown: a lockdown takes place if a threat is identified INSIDE the school or on the property.
- Exterior doors will remain locked.
- All occupants will shelter in a locked room.
- Lights are turned out.
- Everyone will remain out of sight and silent.
- No entry into or exit from the school will be allowed.
- Students and staff are released by district or emergency personnel only.
- Evacuate: in the event of certain building emergencies such as a fire, gas leak or unsafe situation near the school affecting release times, students and staff are moved to a safe assembly location.
- Shelter in place: students and staff are instructed to take safe shelter in designated areas inside the school to protect them from hazardous materials or severe weather.
- No entry into or exit from the school will be allowed until an “all-clear” announcement is given.
- Students will NOT be release during shelter-in-place.
Parent responsibilities during a school emergency
As a parent, your first instinct is to call or go directly to the school and get your child. Unfortunately, this will complicate matters from a safety and security standpoint and hinder the work by police and fire officials on the scene.
The best action parents can take in an emergency is to stay close to their phone and email, and monitor local radio and TV reports for regular updates and instructions.
Do NOT call your child during a school emergency. This could compromise your students safety. Children will be instructed when it is safe to text their parents.