Working together to keep our schools safe
The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority. We have a number of procedures in place designed to keep our school safe.
You can help your child understand these procedures and feel safe by:
- talking to them about the situations below
- reminding them that emergencies are rare
- telling them it’s important to follow staff instructions in these situations
Shelter in place
Shelter in place is used when there is an environmental or weather-related situation, like a chemical spill outside the building, or a major storm. During a shelter in place, activities will continue inside the school, but students and staff will not be allowed to leave the building. The ventilation system may be shut off.
Hold and secure
A hold and secure is initiated when there is a situation in the community that is not related to the school, like a bank robbery nearby. A hold and secure is usually initiated by police. During a hold and secure, activities continue inside the building, but all doors are locked and no one is allowed to enter or exit the school.
A lockdown is used when there is a major incident or a threat of violence related to the school. A lockdown can be initiated by police or school staff. During a lockdown, students and staff will move to secure areas, away from doors and windows. Doors are locked, lights are shut off and blinds are drawn. Students and staff remain quiet.
Our schools practice lockdown drills at least two times per year. In the unlikely event of an actual lockdown situation, police ask that parents do not go to the school. Information will be communicated through the school board social media sites (www.facebook.com/SCDSB and www.twitter.com/SCDSB_Schools) and website, through local police and local media.
When parents are at school during a drill or emergency event, they must follow direction from school staff, police, fire and/or emergency personnel. Parents may not have immediate access to their children during drills or emergencies. They may need to wait until the situation is resolved and school staff and/or emergency personnel release students into parent care.
Locked doors and arrival/dismissal
Elementary school main doors are locked during the school day. Visitors must use the intercom system to enter the building. Staff may not always be available to answer the door, please be patient. All visitors are required to sign-in at school offices and wear visitor identification. Even regular visitors, like school volunteers, must sign in and wear visitor identifcation.
Arrival and dismissal are busy times at our schools. We need to work together with parents, guardians and childcare providers to make sure students are safe. Read our arrival and dismissal best practices.
Fire and evacuation drills
All schools have evacuation plans in case of gas leaks, bomb threats or fire incidents which would require everyone to leave the school. Each school has an evacuation site. Parents will be informed about pick-up procedures by the school, school board and local media. Schools practice their evacuation plans throughout the year during regular drills.
Criminal record checks for staff and volunteers
All staff and volunteers are required to complete a criminal record check with vulnerable sector screening before having contact with students.
Safe Arrival System
We ask all parents to contact their school when their child will be absent from school. When schools don’t hear from a parent/guardian, and a student is absent, the school will call home to find out the reason for the absence.
First aid equipment
At least two staff members in every school are trained in first aid and CPR. All Simcoe County District School Board schools have Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).
Each school's School Resource Officer is an important part of the school team. School Resource Officers help our schools be proactive by presenting at assemblies, working with classes and groups of students, being available to answer questions and provide guidance, and acting as a liaison with our local police.
Code of conduct
The Simcoe County District School Board’s (SCDSB) code of conduct outlines expected standards of behaviour and student discipline procedures. It applies to every member of the school community, and outlines the roles and responsibilities for each group.
It’s important for you to know that we’ll always take whatever precautions are necessary to keep our school and students safe. Your children are our children—we are committed to their safety, well-being and success.
If you have any questions about safety procedures, as always, please contact your school office.