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Shelter in Place - emergency procedure

This is the lowest level of response to a threat. This emergency procedure will be initiated when a potential threat exists outside of the building. Staff and students must remain inside the locked school for safety reasons. Students who are outside will be brought inside immediately.

Reasons for initiating Shelter in Place

  • extreme weather (hailstorm, severe lightning)
  • environmental issues (wildlife near the school, forest fire, gas leak)
  • incident involving emergency response close to the school (traffic accident with serious injuries)
  • possible threatening situation which has not yet been investigated or confirmed 
  • any other circumstance where the school principal needs to ensure student safety

What happens in the classroom

Teachers reassure students that there is no imminent threat and that they are safe while they remain inside the school.

  • exterior school doors are locked and all windows are closed
  • lights stay on and the classroom door is kept open
  • regular classroom instruction continues
  • students follow the normal daily rotation of classes
  • students may access washrooms, with teacher permission

Communicating with parents

Students are not allowed to leave the building. Parents, students or outside visitors will not be allowed to enter the school. Parents will receive an email and/or phone call message indicating that a Shelter in Place has been initiated. Another message will be sent out once it has ended.
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The procedures were formed in partnership with the Ottawa Police Service, and are based on the Guidelines for Developing and Maintaining Lockdown Procedures for Schools in Ontario.

How we communicate

SchoolConnects is one of the communication tools used by the OCSB. It sends out emails and/or phone calls to our parents from contact information listed in our student database. A SchoolConnects message can be pushed out by individual schools to their own school communities, or the Board may send out a message to all OCSB parents.