Health & Safety - Shelter-in-place vs. Lockdown
In light of recent security incidents affecting our schools, we want to share the following definitions of the procedures we follow to ensure the safety of our students and staff:
Shelter-in-place is the process of keeping students and staff safe from dangers within the community. Seattle Public Schools uses Shelter-In-Place in events such as a hazardous material incident, radiation incident, snowstorm, vague threats or violence in the community that is not directed at the school. Teaching and learning does not stop.
During a shelter-in-place, all exterior doors of the school are locked. One door is designated as the ingress/egress door. This door is monitored at all times.
Students may remain in their existing classroom for extended class periods. In order to decrease anxiety, schools keep to a normal schedule as much as possible.
A lockdown is the process of protecting students and staff from external and internal dangers. A lockdown is used when there is an immediate threat of violence in, or immediately around, the school.
The process for lockdown includes calling 911, locking all exterior doors and directing all students and visitors to the nearest room. All doors are locked, and windows and blinds closed to provide maximum concealment. Students/staff are positioned against the wall that provides the most protection, keeping everyone seated as low as possible and remaining quiet.
During a lockdown, if students are off campus at another facility, it is better they remain at that location until the lockdown is lifted. If students are off campus during the lunch hour, we will try to reach them and our recommendation is for them to stay in a secure location and not return to the school.