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Understanding emergency terms

The New York State Education Department requires all school districts to use same terms when responding to a school emergency. Those terms are lockout, lockdown, shelter-in-place, hold-in-place. and evacuate.

Below are general descriptions of each response:

Lockout: In the event of a concern outside of the school; no immediate risk to students or staff (i.e. suspicious person on or near school property)

  • No one enters or exits the building.
  • Classroom instruction continues as normal.
  • All exterior windows and doors are locked.
  • Outdoor activities are canceled.

Lockdown: In the event of actual or potential violence in or near the school

  • All students move into the closest classroom or secure area, and doors are locked
  • Students should be moved to a safe area in the classroom away from the door
  • There should be no communication through the door or room phone
  • Stay hidden until physically released by law enforcement

Shelter-in-place: In the event of a threatening event (i.e. tornado)

  • Students move to their classrooms, or may receive instructions to move to a designated safe area
  • Move away from windows

Hold-in-place: In the event of a short-term emergency (i.e. staff or student medical emergency)

  • Students move to their classrooms

Evacuate: In the event of an emergency when remaining in is school unsafe, but students can be safely moved to another location (i.e. water break, long-term power outage)

  • Students go to designated assembly area
  • Staff may guide students to alternative location or await bus transportation