A school crisis can take a number of different forms including environmental event, such as a chemical spill or gas leak; a weather emergency such as a tornado; or dangerous activity happening near the school. The nature of a school crisis dictates whether school administrators will put in place a lockout, lockdown, shelter-in-place, evacuation, or any combination of these protocols, as a means to ensure the safety and well-being of our students and staff.
Safety Terms and Procedures
In the event of an emergency at your child's school, it is important to know the reasoning behind the response and the terms associated with it.
A lockout recovers all students from outside the building, secures the building perimeter, and locks all outside doors. Criminal activity or dangerous events in the community would trigger a lockout response.
A lockdown takes place if an internal or external threat is identified at the school. All doors are locked and students are confined to classrooms. No entry into or exit from the school will be allowed until an "all-clear" announcement is made. Students will NOT be released during a lockdown.
Students take refuge in designated areas 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 made. Students will NOT be released during shelter-in-place.
In the event of certain building emergencies, students will be relocated to an evacuation assembly area. Students will be released to authorized adults through a formalized family reunification process to ensure the safety of all children.
Reuniting with Your Child
Parents and guardians will be directed by school administrators via SchoolMessenger. Students will be released ONLY to parents or guardians who are documented as emergency contacts. The reunification process can be time consuming so parents are urged to be patient.
A Parent's Role
In a school emergency, the first instinct as a parent is to pick up the phone and start calling the school or rush up to the school and get your child/children. The truth is, this only complicates matters from a safety and security standpoint.
The best thing parents can do is to stay close to their phone and e-mail and to monitor updates from the district or public safety officials.