Lockdown: An Essential Protective Action

posted Dec 15, 2017, 9:14 AM by Sarah Schildknecht

Dear Parents/Guardians:

We are dedicated to providing your child with a safe, positive, secure and caring environment. We are in frequent communication with local law enforcement and continue to seek their advice along with that of emergency personnel in determining the best methods of protecting your children.

It is necessary to develop safety and security measures to address different kinds of critical incidents. An emergency situation may develop within the school that prevents the safe and immediate evacuation of students and staff. We may need, for example, to allow police to move through the building without students in the halls. In times of such turbulence schools may initiate either a ‘secure school’ or a ‘school lockdown’ protocol.

When there is no active threat to students the school will initiate a secure school protocol in which students continue their routines within a locked classroom. If the threat to student safety is active and more imminent the protective action of a school lockdown is required. This enables administrators to best protect occupants by isolating the maximum number of students, staff and visitors from danger.

During a lockdown students remain in their current classroom. School staff follow preset instructions to lock doors, turn out lights, cover windows, pull shades, and move students out of line of sight of door/windows. Students in hallways move to the nearest classroom. Teachers take attendance and record students that are in the room.  All activities cease and the school remains in lockdown mode until the police department in consultation with the principal lifts the lockdown. The school cannot release children to parents during a lockdown. Parents will be asked to remain outside of the building until a full response to the emergency is assured. Do not call the school or expect your child to call you. This will tie up emergency lines that must remain open.

Along with fire drills your child will be involved in practice lockdown drills. The drill will be introduced in age-appropriate terms as one more way of fostering a safe school community. Parents may also wish to discuss the drills with their children, emphasizing that they are for practice, just like fire drills. St. Francis Xavier High School will practice its first lockdown of this school year one day next week.

The lockdown is a proven police and emergency response to protect students and staff from harm by creating safe places in a hurry.
If you have any concerns please feel free to contact the school.