Admin

Emergency Protocols

Limestone Learning Foundation

Image of LDSB Emergency ProtocolsStaff, students, and visitors in Limestone District School Board have the right to learn, work, and attend a safe and secure environment. However, the possibility that a major incident of violence or a severe environmental concern may occur is a reality that cannot be overlooked.

To help ensure the safety and security of our school communities, the Board has comprehensive procedures in preparation for and response to emergency situations, which includes specific plans to keep students, staff and others safe in the event of a serious accident or potentially violent incident. Protocols have been developed in collaboration with local emergency services to proactively communicate, plan and train in an effort to prevent, where possible, violence from occurring in schools and where violence does occur, prepare for a quick, coordinated and effective response. More information is available in Administrative Procedure 141: Threats to School Safety.

It is of paramount importance that consistent terminology is used throughout our district and therefore there are four consistent terms and protocols that are used in emergency situations: emergency evacuation, shelter in place, hold and secure and lockdown. Each of these terms and situations are different. Definitions are provided below.

Each emergency protocol includes specific plans to keep students, teachers and other school personnel safe in the event of a threat in the vicinity of a school, a potentially violent incident, or an extreme environmental/weather event. Each potential crisis will be unique to the particular site and its inherent characteristics.


Emergency Evacuation

  • Possible danger inside the school such as a fire, gas leak, chemical spill, bomb threat or other emergency incident.
  • Students are escorted by staff to their pre-determined evacuation location(s) away from the school.
  • Belongings are often left behind depending no the urgency of the situation.
  • No one will re-enter the school until the principal or designate issues an all-clear.

Shelter in Place

  • Environmental or weather-related situation in close proximity to the school (outside the school, on school grounds and/or unrelated to the school) such as a chemical spill, wildlife on the playgrounds or extreme weather.
  • Necessary to keep all building occupants within the school.
  • Doors and windows are often closed, and access to the school will depend on the nature of the situation.
  • School operates as normal inside the school.
  • Protocol will continue until the principal or designate issues an all-clear.

Hold and Secure

  • Emergency situation in close proximity to the school (outside the school, on school grounds and/or unrelated to the school) such as a police pursuit/investigation or incident in the neighbourhood.
  • Everyone is moved inside.
  • All exterior doors are locked. No one is allowed in or out.
  • School operates as normal inside the school but all outdoor activities are suspended.
  • Protocol will continue until the principal or designate issues an all-clear.

Lockdown

  • Immediate threat of violence to students and/or staff inside the school building.
  • Main objective is to protect safety of everyone by securing them behind locked doors.
  • Students and staff are placed into secure locked locations wherever they are and are to remain out of sight.
  • School does not operate as normal.
  • Students and staff are not to use electronic devices during a lockdown unless they have critical information for the police or emergency services (911 purposes).
  • No one is allowed in or out.
  • Police will assume command of the school building and access to the school and around the school will be restricted.
  • Protocol will continue until the principal, designate or police issues an all-clear.

Communication during Emergency Protocols

During emergency situations when protocols are initiated, school administration and staff are responsible for keeping students and staff safe and secure. It is not possible for schools to respond to inquiries or send out information during the incident. Their focus - and that of police (where required) and Board staff - is to support the school in maintaining the safety and security of students and staff.

The Board will attempt to keep parents/guardians and the media informed via its official communication channels such as its website and social media accounts. The Board may also use local media to help share information more broadly with the school community. The Board will work as quickly as possible to share information in real time. It is important to note, however, that not all information can be released as it might jeopardize the safety of those involved or impede an ongoing investigation. Schools, with assistance from the Board, will send out additional information and next steps as required after the incident has ended.


The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.