School Protocols & Keeping Safe

Throughout the year, schools conduct training and drills to help better prepare students and staff for possible emergency situations. When a school is confronted with an emergency, staff will assess the situation and then decide on a course of action.

Schools conduct drills throughout the year to rehearse emergency procedures. These exercises prepare students and staff to act quickly and help to minimize a student’s fear during a real emergency.

In addition to the procedures described below, schools also practice protocols such as “Drop-Cover-Hold,” a method of protecting vital body parts during some natural disasters and conduct fire drills. All staff and students are required to participate in these drills.

Lock-Down

Lock-Downs are usually used in response to acts or threats of violence to students and/or staff directly impacting the school. During a Lock-Down all doors to and within the school are locked. No one is permitted in or out of any area once it has been locked. Students and staff must respond very quickly to a Lock-Down command to get to a safe location before doors are locked. No one, other than law enforcement, is permitted access to the building until the Lock-Down is over.

 

 

Hold and Secure

Hold and Secure is used in response to security threats or criminal activity outside the school. During a Hold and Secure, all entrance doors to the school are locked, with no one permitted in or out of the building. No one, other than law enforcement, is permitted access to the building until the Hold and Secure has been cleared.

 

 

Shelter-in-Place

Generally, Shelter-in-Place is used during an environmental emergency, such as severe storms or chemical spills. During a Shelter-in-Place, students and staff retreat to safe zones to seek shelter. This includes having students or staff who are outdoors come back into the school. Each school’s emergency response plan identifies the safest location for its occupants and how to seal a room from hazardous conditions. Students will not be released or dismissed until the situation has been resolved.

 

 

Evacuation

An Evacuation requires all students and staff to leave the school and go to an alternate location. This may mean only going outside and away from the building until it is safe to re-enter the school. In other cases, students and staff may need to go to an evacuation centre. Parents will be informed of the alternate location through the school’s Crisis Notification Network.

 

 

Dismissal

Under some circumstances it may be determined that it is best to dismiss students to their homes and families as expeditiously as possible. Should this be the case, every attempt will be made to alert the emergency contact for each student of the situation and to ensure young students are not left unsupervised.