Admin

Security

Q: What are the procedures for security at John McCrae Secondary School?
A: John McCrae has three levels of security in the school:

  • Lockdown

  • Secure School

  • Shelter in Place

Q: What’s the difference?
A: A Lockdown is the highest level of response to a threat. Staff call 911, and everyone must remain silent, out of sight, with the lights off, and behind locked doors. Once police arrive, they take command of the school and direct the response. Once the school is released from Lockdown, a Secure School procedure is put in place.

Q: What circumstances would require a Lockdown to be initiated?
A: The following reasons would merit the initiation of a lockdown:

  • an intruder is suspected to be a possible threat to staff and student life or safety

  • imminent danger is present on the school site and safety of all is threatened

  • any other circumstance where the school principal needs to ensure student safety

Q: What happens in classrooms?
A: The exterior school doors and windows are locked. Lights are turned off on and classroom doors are closed and locked. Students are not permitted to leave the classroom. Staff and students stay silent and hidden away in the safest area of the room until they have been released by the police.

Q: how do parent get information when a Lockdown is initiated?
A: Police will not allow students to leave the building. Parents, students or outside visitors will not be allowed to enter the school, while it is under the direction of the police. Since all areas of the school will be in Lockdown, the main office will not be able to receive phone calls. Parents will receive an email and/or phone call indicating that a Lockdown has been initiated. Another message will be sent out once it has ended.

Q: What is a Secure School?
A: A Secure School is a moderate response to a potential threat that may be occuring inside or outside of the building. Staff and students must remain inside their classrooms with the doors closed and locked. All exterior school doors and windows will also be locked. Students who are outside the building or their classroom will be directed to the closest safe area of the building.

Q: When would a Secure School be initiated?
A: The following circumstances might warrant the initiation of a Secure School:

  • An emergency situation inside the school where people moving around might prevent authorities from doing their job (police, fire, medical);

  • An incident involving emergency response close to the school (traffic accident with serious injuries);

  • An investigation of a bomb threat, but immediate evacuation is not required;

  • An intruder is suspected to be a possible threat to staff or student safety;

  • A possible life-threatening situation which has not yet been investigated or confirmed; or

  • Any other circumstance where the school principal needs to ensure student safety.

Q: What happens in the classroom during a Secure School:
A: Teachers reassure students that there is no imminent threat inside the school and that they are safe while they remain inside the classroom. Exterior school doors and windows are locked. Lights stay on and the classroom door is closed and locked. Regular classroom instruction continues. Students are not allowed to leave the classroom. Medical or washroom emergencies are addressed individually by teachers. If a student has an urgent medical or biological need, teachers will call the main office to ask for help from an available staff member. This staff member will bring food to the classroom if needed, or escort students to the washroom.

Q: How will communication with parents be handled?
A: Students are not allowed to leave the building. Parents, students or outside visitors will not be allowed to enter the school. Parents will receive an email and/or phone call indicating that a Secure School has been initiated. Another message will be sent out once it has ended. If the situation changes to an active threat where serious injury or death is imminent or occurring, Lockdown procedures will be initiated.

Q: What is a Shelter in Place?
A: This is the lowest level response and it will be initiated when a potential threat exists outside of the building. Staff and students must remain inside the locked school for safety reasons. Students who are outside will be brought inside immediately.

Q: What would precipitate the initiation of a Shelter in Place?
A: The following circumstances might require the initiation of a Shelter in Place:

  • Extreme weather (hailstorm, severe lightning);

  • Environmental issues (wildlife near the school, forest fire, gas leak);

  • An incident involving emergency response close to the school (traffic accident with serious injuries);

  • A possible threatening situation which has not yet been investigated or confirmed;

  • Any other circumstance where the school principal needs to ensure student safety.

Q: What happens in the classroom?
A: Teachers reassure students that there is no imminent threat and that they are safe while they remain inside the school. Exterior school doors are locked and all windows are closed. Lights stay on and the classroom door is kept open. Regular classroom instruction continues. Students follow the normal daily rotation of classes. Students may access washrooms, with teacher permission.

Q: How is a Shelter in Place communicated to parents?
A: Students are not allowed to leave the building. Parents, students or outside visitors will not be allowed to enter the school. Parents will receive an email and/or phone call message indicating that a Shelter in Place has been initiated. Another message will be sent out once it has ended.

Q: Are emergency drills conducted?
A: Yes. We are mandated to conduct two emergency drills per school year. Typically, one is done in each semester in conjunction with our School resource Officer and the Ottawa Police Service.

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