How Do We Respond To Emergencies At School?
Our first priority is the safety, security and well-being of our students and staff. Guided by our division’s Emergency Response Plan, we have developed a plan which outlines our school’s response to various emergencies.
What should parents do in an emergency?
1. Check the PHRD website
We will post information on the PHRD website www.phpschools.ca and on
Twitter @PHRD_Schools. Phone the PHRD Regional Services Office at
2. Do not come to the school
You could put yourself in danger and get in the way of emergency personnel.
In several instances, our exterior doors will be locked and you will not be
able to get into the building.
3. Do not call or e-mail the school
We need to keep our phone lines open to communicate with emergency
4. Do not call, text or e-mail your child’s cell phone
Depending on the threat, contacting your child’s cell phone could endanger
What happens during specific emergencies?
Lockdown – A school will be placed in a lockdown when there is a major incident or threat of school violence within the school, or involving the school.
Hold & Secure – A school will be placed in Hold & Secure when it is necessary to secure the school due to an ongoing situation outside and not related to the school. (bank robbery in town)
Shelter in Place – A school will be placed in a Shelter in Place when personal safety is considered to be in danger if anyone leaves the school. This is mainly used for environmental or weather related events.
As directed by local emergency personnel we will do the following:
1. If an incident or threat occurs inside or is directly related to our school, RCMP will instruct us to Lockdown our school which means we will lock all exterior doors. Staff and students will be directed to classrooms which will be locked. (e.g. dangerous intruder)
2. If an incident or threat occurs outside and is unrelated to our school, RCMP will instruct us to Hold and Secure which means we will lock all exterior doors. Students and staff may move freely in the school. (e.g. a bank near our school is robbed)
3. In some environmental or weather-related situations, authorities may direct us to Shelter in Place, which means we will keep students and staff in school until it is safe for them to leave.
(e.g. chemical spill, blackouts, extreme weather conditions)
4. In some instances, we may have to evacuate the school. Students and staff will move to our primary evacuation site; Westlock Legion Hall. Students will stay at the evacuation site until it is safe to return to school or they are released to a parent/guardian.
Before an emergency happens
1. Ensure the school has current Emergency Contact information for your child.
2. Talk to your child about the importance of following their teachers’
instructions during an emergency.
FAQs LOCKDOWN PROCEDURES AND DRILLS
Q. What is a lockdown?
A. If there is a threat inside and/or directly related to our school, our school will be placed in lockdown. Our exterior doors will be locked and staff will direct students to classrooms which will then be locked.
Q. What happens during a lockdown?
A. A staff member will announce over the public address system that the school is in lockdown. Staff will direct students to classrooms where the doors will be locked, the lights will be turned off and the blinds and shades will be pulled down. Depending on the severity of the incident, staff may direct students to move away from door and window sightlines; ask students to take cover and ask them to remain quiet.
Q. How long will a lockdown last?
A. The lockdown will last until the situation is resolved. It is important that students are quiet during the lockdown.
Q. Why do schools practise lockdowns?
A. Practising the lockdown procedure helps us to prepare for an emergency. Also, when we run a lockdown drill in a safe, age‐appropriate and calm manner, we help children cope with the concerns and anxious feelings that may arise.
Q. How can parents help?
A. Parents can help ease a child’s anxious feelings about a lockdown by reminding your child that practising this drill is just another way we keep ourselves safe – like practising a fire drill.