School Emergency Preparedness and Response

Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) first priority during an emergency is the safety of our students and staff. The division has developed an Emergency Response Plan and framework to deal with a wide range of potential emergencies. The plan framework called Hour Zero works in collaboration with first responders and other local emergency preparedness plans. Division and individual school plans are reviewed and revised annually and following each emergency.  

The division and school emergency plan uses well established functional protocols and procedures that address a wide variety of incidents.  The particular actions taken during any emergency will depend on the specifics of the incident. Each school year a minimum of 6 evacuation drills and an additional two drills which may include, shelter in place, hold and secure or lock down are conducted. School bus evacuation drills are also conducted on an annual basis. These drills and exercises are precautionary actions designed to prepare students and staff to act quickly and to minimize a child’s fear should a real emergency occur.

During an emergency please do not come to the school to pick up your child unless requested to do so. 

Although your natural instincts in an emergency may be to go to the school to safeguard your child, please understand that doing so may interfere with emergency crews’ and school personnel’s effort to respond to the situation.  During an emergency it is unlikely you will be able to reach the school by phone. We will however make every effort to contact you with further instructions through our crisis notification network, social media, EIPS website and our Community Hotline 780417-8122. 

Evacuation

Evacuation requires all students and staff to leave the school and go to a designated location. In some cases this may mean only going outside and away from the school building until it is safe to re-enter the school. In other cases, students and staff may need to go to a designated evacuation centre. Parents would be informed of the alternate location via the school’s crisis notification network.

On Alert

On- Alert gives staff and students a “heads up” of a potential emergency such as severe weather.  Staff/students outside would be directed back into the building. All staff and students are accounted for and instructed to keep away from windows and doors and may be directed to a specific location to wait for further instructions. Movement in and out of the school is monitored until an “All-Clear” is called.

Shelter-in-Place

During a Shelter-in-Place students and staff retreat indoors to classrooms or another safe area to seek shelter. Generally Shelter-in-Place is used during an environmental emergency such as severe weather, wild animal threat or a chemical spill.  Each school’s emergency response plan identifies the safest location for its occupants to shelter and how to seal a room from possible hazardous conditions.

Hold and Secure

Hold and Secure is used if there is a security risk outside or in the vicinity of the building.   Staff/students outside the building are directed back inside. All exterior doors/windows are locked and interior doors remain in a normal state.  Staff/students are kept away from windows and doors. Staff/students may be directed to return to their classrooms and to wait for additional instructions.  No one is permitted in or out of the building until an “ALL-Clear” is called.

Lock-Down

Lockdown is used when there is a security threat inside the building.  During a lock-down, all staff/students immediately go to the nearest lockable room.  No one is permitted in or out of the room once the area has been locked. Staff/students turn off lights, remain quiet, silence cell phones and stay out of sight lines. Suitable lockdown locations are identified on maps located in the classroom emergency folder.             Parents or public are not permitted access to the building or to their children until the lock-down is over.

Controlled Release or Dismissal

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. This means a Parent-Child Reunion Area will be set up and parents will be required to follow specific procedures to pick up their child.

Emergency Preparedness Parent Guide

For more information on the division and school emergency preparedness plan visit the division website at www.eips.ca  or contact the school principal.