In the event it is determined by the Principal or designee a circumstance or situation requires the school building’s occupants to remain secure within the school building, the Principal or designee may implement lockdown procedures. The following procedures shall be enacted during a lockdown which shall begin with notification to the building’s occupants that all occupants should commence lockdown procedures. The notification may be a public address announcement or may be a discreet notification depending on the circumstance or situation.
A. Procedures in the Event it is Determined a Lockdown is Warranted
1. The Principal and/or designee will immediately
a. Inform the Superintendent of Schools;
b. Contact local law enforcement;
c. Deactivate fire alarm pull stations without disengaging the fire sensors, if feasible, until law enforcement officials arrive on scene; and
d. Deactivate school bell systems, if feasible, until law enforcement officials arrive on scene.
2. The Principal and/or designee will also:
a. Communicate to any staff outside the building to stop pedestrians and vehicles, including school buses, from entering the school grounds;
b. Assign a staff member in the main office to maintain communication with classrooms and monitor status and, if needed, designate a staff member to meet and brief local law enforcement upon their arrival;
c. Determine, in consultation and with the approval of the Superintendent of Schools, the most appropriate means to communicate information to be released to parents, community, and media; and
d. Will allow local law enforcement officials to control the scene upon their arrival.
3. School staff members, upon receiving notice the school needs to be in a lockdown situation, will:
a. Turn off all lights, close blinds/shades and turn off electronic equipment;
b. Instruct pupils to be absolutely quiet and discourage the individual use of cellular telephones;
c. Instruct classroom occupants to get on the floor in a sitting or crouching position and direct pupils away from doors and windows wherever possible;
d. Close and lock doors and windows from inside the room, if possible;
e. Secure all staff, pupils and visitors, including those from hallways, behind locked doors, restrooms, gymnasiums, and other non-classroom areas without risking their own safety or the safety of others already secure;
f. Not permit anyone to leave a secured room or area until notified by the Principal or designee or law enforcement officials; and
g. Ignore bells or alarms unless otherwise notified by the Principal or designee or law enforcement officials.
4. Any school staff member not supervising pupils at the time of the lockdown notification should go to the nearest classroom or secure area to assist other staff members with pupils. These staff members should ensure any pupils in hallways and other unsecured and open areas are taken to the nearest classroom and/or secured area.
5. Teachers shall take pupil attendance for the pupils within their secured area and report any additional pupils in the room and any missing pupils.
6. Office personnel should remain in the general office areas or any other area that can be secured from the inside. All office doors shall be locked and secured to prevent entrance by an outside intruder.
7. The building’s occupants should remain in lockdown condition until an announcement indicating the lockdown is over.
8. Lockdown Procedures for Those in Exposed Areas – Physical education classes using outside facilities shall, under the direction of the teacher, report to the nearest school entrance and upon entering the building locate to a secure classroom or location within the building. If there is reason to believe these pupils may be at risk re-entering the building, the pupils may be directed to another secure location off school grounds and/or away from the building.
B. Procedures After Lockdown Situation is Brought Under Control
1. After the lockdown situation has been brought under control, the Principal or designee or law enforcement officials will communicate to building occupants the lockdown situation has ended.
2. Evacuation of the building after the lockdown situation has been declared under control shall be under the direction of the Principal or designee and law enforcement officials.
3. The Principal or designee, in consultation and with the approval of the Superintendent of Schools, will coordinate family reuniting procedures.
4. The school district will provide school district staff and other school district crisis response team members to provide counseling and support as needed.
5. The Principal or designee will debrief with local law enforcement and all other agencies involved in the school lockdown situation.
These lockdown procedures are recommended for implementation in the event it is determined a lockdown is needed. However, based on the circumstance or situation, the Principal or designee or law enforcement officials may modify these procedures if he/she determines modification is needed to best protect the building’s occupants.
Critical Incident Response Procedures for School Administrators, Faculty and Staff – The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and the New Jersey Department of Education – 2010
Issued: June 2009
Revised: February 2011