Emergency Procedures

Grande Prairie & District Catholic Schools

Emergency Procedure Guide for Parents, Guardians and Staff.

 

We believe in maintaining a safe and caring school environment for all students, teachers, staff and visitors. The following information is available to help provide guidance in the event of an emergency at our schools. These protocols are constantly reviewed and revised to better serve our school communities.

School Emergency Status Terminology

 

Emergency Type

Description

HOLD AND SECURE

 

 

Term to describe the following process

·         Exterior doors and windows are locked
·         No one is allowed in or out of the building
·         Classes continue as normal
 

Often used if there’s an external security concern (animal) or possible criminal activity near the school’s neighbourhood, unrelated to the school.

 

SHELTER-IN-PLACE

 

 

Used to direct and control movement inside the school building, when it is safer to remain inside the building. No threat of violence.

 

·         Includes severe weather or air quality concerns
·         No one is allowed to leave the designated area until ALL-CLEAR or without permission

 

 

EMERGENCY

EVACUATION

 

 

 

Used when being outside the school building is deemed safer than being inside.

 

·         All students are led by their teachers to proceed to Student Assembly Areas/Muster Points.
·         Cannot return to building until the ALL-CLEAR is provided by First responders.

 

DROP-COVER-HOLD

 

 

Used during natural disaster events like: earthquakes, tornadoes where there’s a chance of falling/flying debris.

 

·         Requested to: drop under desk/sturdy table, get down onto knees and curl chest-to-knees, one hand behind neck and put head down with face between knees

 

LOCKDOWN

 

 

Used if there’s a potential risk of violence within the school

 

·         All internal and external doors and windows are locked and secured.
·         Staff will follow their Lockdown procedures and keep students away from doors/windows, quiet and out of sight.
·         No one is allowed in or out of classrooms within the building, until the official ALL-CLEAR is determined by first responders and Senior Administration.

 

Drills

Throughout the school year, students and staff will routinely practice the previously mentioned emergency procedures. Students will be encouraged to practice appropriate actions during these drills, to help minimize your child’s concern should an emergency occur.

 

Dismissal

Every attempt will be made to contact each student’s emergency contact, in the situation where students must be dismissed to their homes and families as quickly as possible.

 

COVID-19

With the emergence of COVID-19 throughout the Province, it is important for parents to be aware of the current Alberta Health Services guidelines and safety procedures. They can be viewed online at https://tinyurl.com/y5mnqf6f or alberta.ca/returntoschool.     

 

During an emergency, we respectfully request that parents are aware of the following:

  • DO NOT call the school: It’s crucial that we are able to keep our telephone system available for emergency communications.
  • DO NOT call or text your child’s cellphone: this has the potential to impair emergency communications and, in some cases, may place your child at risk.
  • DO NOT come to the school until instructed to do so: the streets and school parking lot need to remain clear for emergency vehicles. Depending on the type of emergency scenario it may even be unsafe to do so.
  • If you arrive at the school during an emergency, please respect our safety protocols that are set in place. We will continue to keep you updated via the school website, social media and emails.

 

How to stay informed
  • Your school’s main Social Media accounts will be providing additional updates as they occur.
  • Parents can learn more about the situation by visiting their school’s website for up to date information.
  • Parents and emergency contacts will be notified directly via email with additional details.
  • If you have any concerns or questions you can call the Catholic Education Centre at 780-532-3013.
  • Follow our Division’s Facebook Page facebook.com/gpcatholic/

 

Talking with your children:

It is important that families have an open dialogue with their children to better prepare them for potential emergency events. Carefully read all information you receive from the school; you might receive updates about changes to our safety procedures over time.

 

We are proud at Grande Prairie & District Catholic Schools to provide decades of safe and caring school environments; we appreciate your support and cooperation.

 

If you have any additional questions, please contact your child’s school during regular work hours or the Catholic Education Centre at 780-532-3013.