Board Policies & Administrative Procedures

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Emergency procedures are necessary when sudden and unexpected events bring the regular schedule to a standstill. Planning and preparation are critical elements for effectively managing and successfully resolving any crisis. 

In the event of an emergency, the Division’s primary concern is the safety of students, staff, contractors and visitors, followed by the preservation of property. Through Division and site Emergency Response Plans, specific administrative procedures have been established to ensure the most effective and efficient use of resources.


A Crisis is an unplanned present or imminent event that demands immediate action or special regulation of persons or property to protect the health, safety and welfare of people, or to limit damage to property. Response protocols required and the need to involve external agencies are dependent on the crisis level.

A Lock-Down is used in response to acts or threats of violence to students and/or staff directly impacting the school. During a Lockdown, 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 Lockdown 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 Lockdown is over.

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 is used during an environmental emergency, such as a severe storm or chemical spill. During 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 building occupants. Students will not be released or dismissed until the situation has been resolved.

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 usual phone and email distribution system.

Controlled Student Release: 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.


  1. Each Principal in the Division shall develop, maintain, and annually update a School Emergency Response Plan that follows Division template(s) designed to enhance communication and coordination of school, division, and community resources to meet the needs of the school community during a crisis/emergency situation.
    1. The School Emergency Response plan will include but is not limited to plans and procedures for the following situations:
      1. Lockdown
      2. Hold and Secure
      3. Shelter in Place
      4. School Evacuation
      5. Controlled Student Release
  2. The Principal Shall:
    1. Review and update the School Emergency Response Plan annually and communicate functional protocols and procedures to staff & students at the beginning of each school year.
    2. Provide updated copies of the School Emergency Plan to the Superintendent prior to the start of each school year.
    3. Keep the School Emergency Response Plan readily accessible for personal use and reference, and ensure members of the school’s admin team are aware of the location of this manual.
    4. Ensure emergency equipment, supplies and training required to support a crisis response are maintained.
    5. Ensure that crisis response instructions and an evacuation map are posted in each instructional area of the school and other areas as the Principal deems necessary.
    6. Ensure that fire drills are held a minimum of six times per year, with three drills being held prior to Christmas Break (Fall) and the other three drills being held prior to June 30 (Spring). The Principal is to record for reference the date of the drill, the time to evacuate the school fully, and observations and recommendations. 
    7. Ensure that a lockdown drill is held at least one (1) time in the fall term and one (1) time in the spring term. The Principal is to record for reference the date of the drill, the time to evacuate the school fully, and observations and recommendations.
  3. In the event of a crisis/disaster within a school or department;
    1. The Principal has the authority to make immediate decisions regarding emergency response, as guided by the School Emergency Response Plan and administrative procedures.
      1. As soon as practical, the Principal shall notify the Superintendent or Designate when an unplanned incident or emergency interrupts the normal course of operations (including false alarms, evacuation, lockdown, etc.). 
    2. In the event of a crisis, the Superintendent, in consultation with the Principal, has the authority to make final decisions regarding crisis response, as guided by the Division Emergency Response Plan and administrative procedures.
    3. According to ability, teachers shall do what is reasonable to protect, account for, and care for the student(s) under their direct supervision.
    4. Pursuant to the Alberta Emergency Management  Act, all Division employees may be considered disaster workers during a declared emergency and as such, may be directed to remain on the job until released by their supervisor.
    5. Communication with parent(s) will be initiated as soon as possible under the direction of the Superintendent.
    6. If necessary, the Superintendent may close the school by following the steps in Administrative Procedure 132 – Emergency School Closure. Every effort shall be taken to resume regular classes as soon as appropriate.
      In addition to an immediate verbal report to the Superintendent, a detailed report of any major disaster at the school shall be provided to the Board by the Principal no more than two (2) weeks following the event.


Administrative Procedure 165 Appendix A: Threat Assessment

Administrative Procedure 165 Appendix B: Threat/Risk Assessment Team Terms of Reference

Administrative Procedure 165 Appendix C: Threat/Risk Assessment and Intervention Protocol


Section 11, 33, 52, 53, 62, 196, 197, 222 Education Act
Disaster Services Act
Emergency Management Act Section 19
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
Alberta Fire Code Section
Occupational Health and Safety Act Part 1
Occupational Health and Safety Regulation
Occupational Health and Safety Code Part 7

Approved: August 21, 2018

Revised: Oct 24, 2018; July 2022

Reviewed: July 2021