Emergency Planning

The safety of our students and staff is our first priority at Fort McMurray Catholic Schools. 

Our schools practice safety procedures multiple times per year as part of our emergency planning/preparedness cycle. Staff and students are to be familiar with Shelter in Place, Hold & Secure, and Lockdown protocol.

In the event of an incident we wish to remind our families it may not always be possible to send out information until after the incident has ended. Once it is safe to do so, a message will be sent via School Messenger (text/email) to all parent/guardians.

Shelter in Place:

Is used when personal safety is considered to be in danger if anyone leaves the school. This is mainly used for environmental or weather related events. It is necessary for everyone to remain inside the school and take protective actions. Depending upon the emergency the HVAC system could be turned off to avoid drawing air from the outside. 

Types of events that can trigger Shelter in Place:

  • Weather events such as a sudden blizzard;
  • Environmental event such as a chemical spill exterior to the school;
  • Missing child;
  • Dangerous wild animal (bear, cougar etc.);
  • Any situation where evacuation may pose a greater risk than sheltering in place. 
Hold and Secure:

Is used when it was desirable to secure the school due to an emergency situation occurring outside and not related to the school (e.g. serious criminal offense in the area). In this situation, all exterior doors are locked and monitored. Classes may continue to function normally.

Additional directions may be added as appropriate including but not limited to informing students: 

  • That in the event of a fire alarm to either evacuate to the outside or remain in the school until otherwise advised;
  • Whether movement is restricted and if class change bells should be ignored;
  • Of additional safety measures such as closing blinds or turning off lights. 
School lockdown:

Means the restriction of movement of students and staff due to a threat of violence within or in relation to the school. During a lockdown, we exercise critical judgement to maximize safety. 

Types of events that trigger a school lockdown include, but are not limited to the following: 

  • Dangerous intruder;
  • Active shooter;
  • Barricaded suspect.

We encourage you to discuss school safety with your child and to address any concerns they may have and we welcome any questions you have about this or any other issue related to the safety and security of our schools.