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Emergencies At Your Child's School


Sometimes emergencies happen at schools. To help everyone remain calm and act quickly in an urgent situation, each school has detailed plans that students and staff practice regularly throughout the year.

Learn about emergency procedures

  • Ask to see the emergency plans, which are available in the school office.
  • Review parent handbooks to find out where to meet your child after an emergency.
  • Talk to the principal for more information.

Information in an emergency

In an emergency, schools may communicate with parents in a number of ways, including:

  • SchoolZone
  • school social media accounts
  • voice or text messaging sent directly to you (only available at some schools)

For large-scale emergencies, information may also be shared on the District’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, and through local media.

Help keep your child safe in an emergency

  • Don’t call the school. Too many calls can overload the phone system, preventing emergency workers from making timely contact with the school.
  • Don’t call or text your child. A ringing or vibrating phone could alert a suspicious person to their whereabouts.
  • Don’t go to the school. Extra vehicles and people in the area can make it difficult for emergency workers to do their jobs.

Reuniting with your child after an emergency

Most emergencies don’t last long and are resolved before the school day ends.

  • If it’s the end of the school day and an emergency has just ended, school staff and/or emergency workers will be at the school and tell you where to go to meet your child. If your child takes the bus, you will be notified if the bus is on time or late. If your child walks home, staff will take necessary precautions to ensure your child is safe leaving the site.
  • In some emergencies, your child’s class and teacher will go to an alternate safe site. If that happens, you will be notified about where to go to pick up your child. Sign out procedures will be in place - your child must be picked up by a parent, guardian or another adult.

Types of emergencies

ALERT

A threat is outside the school. All exterior doors are locked. There are no outside activities. Classes continue as normal.

LOCKDOWN

There is an immediate threat inside the school. All interior doors are locked. Staff and students keep quiet and hide. If staff and students are on a field trip, they will go to an alternate safe site instead of returning to the school. Students will not be released from the school until emergency responders say it is safe.

EVACUATION

Schools may be evacuated during a fire, flood or bomb threat.  All staff, students and visitors immediately leave the building and proceed to the school’s meeting place. Everyone either stays at the meeting place or moves to an alternate safe site. Staff, students and visitors return to the building only after emergency responders say it is safe.

TORNADO ALERT

Staff and students inside the building go to pre-designated shelter areas, which are usually interior hallways on the lowest floor of a building. If the school is damaged and it is safe to go outside, staff, students and visitors may be evacuated.