December 2018 - School Safety Terminology

A Guide to School Safety Teminology


We wanted to share the following guide to school safety terminology that you may find helpful:

Shelter-in-place: Students and staff are required to remain indoors because it is safer inside the building or a room than outside (severe weather).

Hold-in-place: Movement of students and staff is temporarily limited when an internal incident arises, such as a student fight, a medical emergency or a maintenance issue. This is initiated to keep students and staff away from the affected area. Usually short-term.

Evacuation: Students and staff are required to be moved out of a building because it is safer outside than inside (fire, explosion or hazardous material spill).

Lockout: The school building is secured due to an imminent concern outside of the school building, such as a police activity in the vicinity of a school or an animal (bear, coyotes) near the school. Regular activities may continue inside the school.

Lockdown: Students and staff take cover, remain silent and out of view. This occurs when an incident poses an immediate threat of violence in the school. This is the most serious in nature as there is a threat in the building.

School Cancellation: Conditions warrant making a decision not to open schools usually due to weather, loss of electric power, flooding, etc.

Early Dismissal: Conditions warrant returning students to their homes usually due to the weather.