page image
Back to Administrative Procedures

Administrative Procedure 129: Safety Response to Critical Incidents

Safety and security is essential for all stakeholders of the Palliser Regional Schools communities in order to ensure an atmosphere that is conducive to learning. To that end, the Palliser Regional School Board of Trustees and its employees understand the societal realities and possibilities that major incidences of violence can occur. While the School Division recognizes these possibilities, it also acknowledges the importance of providing students and staff with protocols that maintain a high level safety without causing unnecessary stress or anxiety.

Ensuring the safety and security of students in the least intrusive fashion requires a tiered response to situations in schools.  The following response and accompanying language must be used when activating this protocol:


Should only be used when there is a major incident or threat of school violence within the school, or in relation to the school. The over or misuse of lockdowns will result in staff and students becoming desensitized to potential danger. This desensitization may create an under reaction to a serious incident.


Should be used when it is desirable to secure the school due to an ongoing situation that is outside and not directly related to the school (e.g., a bank robbery occurs near a school but not on school property). In this situation, the school continues to function normally, with the exterior doors being locked and students being kept safe inside. This will remain in effect until such time as the situation near the school is resolved and clearance is granted.


Should be used for an environmental or weather related situation, where it is necessary to keep all occupants within the school, to protect them from an external situation. Examples may include chemical spills, blackouts, explosions or extreme weather conditions.


Clearly defined roles, responsibilities and expectations are critical in emergency situations. At a minimum, plans should include expectations of staff, students and parents. The following roles and responsibilities must be included in school lockdown plans:

The School Administration (Principal, Vice Principal or Acting Principal): 

  • Is responsible for assessing the situation to determine the appropriate emergency response (Lockdown, Hold & Secure or Shelter in Place).
  • Will initiate the response using clear and concise language. For example: LOCKDOWN, LOCKDOWN, LOCKDOWN.
  • Will contact emergency services (911).
  • Will contact the superintendent or designate.
  • Liaise with police when it is safe to do so.
  • Establish a support team to debrief and respond to staff, students and/or parent concerns.

Staff (Teachers, Support Staff, Caretakers) 

  • Check the hallway and direct students into your room.
  • Ensure the door is locked and that windows are covered.
  • Call 911 if designated to do so by the school administration
  • Maintain a calm demeanor and create a calm atmosphere in the classroom to minimize panic.
  • Ensure that the room is kept completely silent.
  • Ensure that student cell phones are turned off.
  • Will not evacuate the room for any reason, unless instructed to do so by the police.
  • Ensure that students are safely evacuated if instructed to do so by authorities.
  • Coordinate with school administration an emergency supply of water, snacks or medication that is appropriate for students' needs within the class.
  • Refer all media requests to the Superintendent’s office.


  • Responsible for being familiar with the lockdown procedures and to respond quickly to the direction of staff during a crisis situation.
  • Must find the closest, most available secure space in the event of being caught outside a secure area.
  • Remain quiet during a lockdown.
  • Turn off cell phones and do not attempt to communicate with others (including parents)
  • Any student with information or prior knowledge of an individual or a potential situation that may result in a violent incident must come forward with that information as soon as possible.
  • Follow instructions quietly and efficiently in the event of an evacuation.


  • Will respect the emergency protocol in place and not attempt to access the school building.
  • Will not try to contact their children until the lockdown has ended. Calling your children may alert an intruder to their location and may put them at greater risk.
  • Should reinforce with their children, student responsibilities to follow directions during a crisis and disclose any information they may have prior to or during a crisis situation.


  • A minimum of two “traditional” lockdown drills that considers a threat to staff and students, inside the school One hold and secure drill needs to take place to ensure that staff and students are aware of the procedures in case an external threat is identified.
  • Each Palliser School must develop and implement an individual school lockdown, hold and secure and shelter in place plan and communicate it to the parent community.

Education Act 
Policy 10 - Safe and Caring Learning and Working Environment

Emergency Planning, AP 131
Emergency Measures, AP 132
Safe and Caring School Environments, AP 310
Occupational Health and Safety Programs, AP 312

Effective February 2017