Emergency & P...

  • Buckingham Elementary School

Emergency & Preparedness

Planning and Preparing for Emergencies at School

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I would like to take this opportunity to review our Emergency Preparedness Plan. There are 3 major types of incidents that we prepare for:

Lock In

This is in the event that there is a threat to the students and staff from outside the building  (e.g. bears in the school yard, chemical spill, accident)

Lock Out

This is in the event that there is a threat to the students and staff from inside the building   (e.g. fire)

Lock Down

This is in the event that there is a threat of a violent incident, i.e. a situation involving an armed individual posing immediate threat to life (i.e. has a knife, gun, explosives).  We also refer to this as a “CODE RED”.

How we prepare:

  • We develop Emergency Preparedness Plans for these three situation, reviewing two times a year with all staff members
  • We discuss as a staff how we will implement the drills
  • We practice these three situations as drills with the students and staff, so that everyone is prepared in the event of an emergency

What drills are like for the staff and students:

Lock In:  this means securing the doors and restricting students’ access to the yard (indoor recess).  Parents could pick up and drop off students at the front door, but we would be monitoring the door and keeping it locked.  If there is an issue in one part of the school, it could mean that all of us could be in one area, like the Gym.  It could also mean that we need to evacuate the building to another site (we don’t practice this, but it is in the plan).

Lock Out:  this means evacuating the building as quickly as possible.  The fire department comes to monitor the drill or we pull the alarm ourselves.  The staff and students evacuate the building via the nearest door and to the meeting point, the back field.  The principal checks to make sure the drill is properly executed.  Attendance is taken and we can have either a follow up announcement or assembly to let them know how well they did and to remind them of certain points (staying calm, keep quiet, stay with class).  This drill takes about 3 minutes from start to finish.

Code Red:  this means securing the staff and students out of any sight lines and remaining calm, quiet and hidden from view.  During a drill, the teacher closes the door and locks it after checking the hallway for any students, closing the blinds and moving students out of site if there is a window in the door.  If they are in a more open area of the school, it means moving them out of sight from windows or doors with windows so they are hidden.  If students are alone (e.g. the bathroom), again they need to make sure they are hidden from view and quiet.  The principal makes sure the drill is properly executed (cannot hear any sounds, doors are locked) then the announcement is made that the drill is over.  This drill takes about 3 minutes from start to finish.  Police can be present for the drill.

Drill Schedule:

  • One “Lock In”, three “Lock Out”, three “Code Red” per year

The staff at Buckingham School will be discussing and practicing the Lock Down procedure in more detail in their own class. We will practice a whole school Lock Down in the near future. Please take the time to review what a Lock Down is with your child and reassure them that it is just a practice but we do have to take the issue very seriously.


In the event that there is a threat to students and personnel from within the building a Lock Down will be signaled.

Lock Down – Principal or designate announce on the P.A. or will yell in the hallway

“Emergency! Code Red, Code Red, Code Red.  Initiate lock down”

  • All cell phones MUST be turned off immediately
  • Administrators must put their cell phones on VIBRATE
  • Teachers and Support Staff quickly look into the hallways; take in any students they see.
  • Teachers must lock classroom doors, turn the lights off and close windows and blinds.
  • If the Lock Down occurs during a break students are to go to the closest room.
  • If the student is in the washroom they lock the door in a stall and pull their legs up.
  • All staff follow the checklist (see below)
  • Move everyone away from the doors and windows and keep the group completely silent until further notice.
  • Beware of sight lines. Take cover if available.  Be quiet and make classroom look empty.
  • There is to be no contact with the office unless it’s to give information about a suspect/incident.
  • Staff and students are to remain in a secure location. If it is a practice the Principal or designate will let everyone know the drill is complete over the PA system. If it is not a drill everyone stays in the secure location until the police make it clear that the Lock Down is over.


  • During a Lock Down the fire alarms & school bells should be ignored unless otherwise informed
  • No one is to leave the room for any reason until the Lock Down is over
  • If students and or staff are outside they are to proceed to the closest secure location.


Samantha Halpin