Schools practice safety procedures throughout the school year, including fire, lockOUT and lockDOWN drills, and are trained annually in how to respond in emergency situations.
What's the Plan?
Adams 12 Five Star Schools utilizes the Standard Response Protocol (SRP) developed by the I Love U Guys Foundation in collaboration with the Five Star District and law enforcement. The SRP is based not on individual scenarios but on the response to any given situation. The premise is simple - there are four actions that can be performed during an emergency situation:
LockOUT - building is put in lockOUT based on activity in the surrounding area, not in the school or on school grounds. School staff move all students and activities inside and ensure the building is locked while learning continues inside the school with minimal classroom interruption or distractions. Examples: Law enforcement activity such as serving warrants in the neighborhood; report of dangerous wildlife.
LockDOWN - building is put on lockDOWN due to perceived danger inside or very near the building. All students and staff are trained to get behind a locked door - Locks, Lights, Out of Sight. In the rare event that a student cannot get behind a locked door, they are trained in self-evacuation protocols. Examples: Threat inside the school; emergency or dangerous situation very near the building.
Evacuate - students and staff are moved to a new or safe location due to a situation in or near the school building. Examples: Gas leak in the school; unsafe situation near school affecting release times.
Shelter - students and staff are instructed to take safe shelter due to a situation in or near the school. Examples: Tornado, earthquake or other natural events.
What is the difference between LockOUT and LockDOWN?
While the names are very similar and are often confused, they differ greatly in their meanings, purpose and level of severity.
Secure the Perimeter. Schools are put on lockOUT to safeguard students and staff within the building based on activity in the surrounding area, not in the school or on school grounds. During a lockOUT, school staff move all students and activities inside and ensure the building is locked while learning continues inside the school with minimal classroom interruption or distractions. All doors are locked and no one can leave or enter the building without police or district approval. The school day operates as normal, unless the lockOUT interfere with release times.
Locks, Lights, Out of Sight. During a lockDOWN, all students and staff are trained to get behind a locked door - Locks, Lights, Out of Sight. The expectation is that classroom doors are locked and secured, lights are turned off, and students and staff move to a location away from hallway windows and doors. Students are encouraged to remain quiet. Students and staff are released by district or emergency personnel only.
In the rare event that a student cannot get behind a locked door, they are trained in self-evacuation protocols. If your child contacts you to let you know they have self-evacuated, please contact the district at (720) 972-SAFE to advise of their location.
Safety and Emergency Drills
Preparation is the key to effective response in case of an emergency. Drills help our staff and students respond quickly, calmly and safely to a number of situations. Drills throughout the school year include:
- Fire drills are conducted each month
- LockDOWN drills, designed to familiarize students with how to respond to an active shooter in the school, are conducted twice a year - one announced in the Fall and one unannounced in the Spring
- Weather related tornado drills are conducted twice a year
- Hazardous material spill drills are conducted once a year
The goal of each of these drills are to teach confidence and allow students and staff to be "emergency prepared not emergency scared." Conducting drills allows us to evaluate the effectiveness of our evacuation procedures and determine any necessary changes or adjustment to current practices that may be needed to improve performance.
As a result of any of the above four scenarios, students may need to be reunified with parents through a controlled release at the school or a reunification at a new location.
We want to reunite students with parents as soon as possible during an emergency situation. We will work with our police and fire agencies to determine when it is safe to reunite students and parents. These situations often take time and planning to ensure you and your child are reunited safely. To learn more about the process, please view the following reunification videos.