Emergency Response Procedures

The first priority for Northern Gateway Public Schools is the safety, security and well-being of our students and staff. While we hope our schools are never faced with an emergency situation, we are prepared to respond to an incident if one should occur.

Our comprehensive Division Emergency Response Plan is complemented by individual school plans, which are reviewed regularly and after an emergency occurs. Staff complete regular, online training throughout the year and practice safety plans during scheduled school drills. 

In order for our Emergency Response Plan to be effective, we depend on the cooperation and assistance of many people, including first responders and parents. Your cooperation is vital to helping us protect the safety and welfare of all children and staff.

Information in an Emergency:

In an emergency, we may communicate with you in a number of ways. We may call families directly or issue automated voice/text messages through Remind 101 or School Messenger. We will also share status reports through:

  • School websites. The latest news will be posted on the school home page.
  • Division social media channels on Twitter and Facebook
  • Division Office at 780-778-2800.
  • Local radio stations.

Help Keep your Child Safe in an Emergency:

Do not call the school. 
We understand and respect your concern, however it is essential that phone systems be available for emergency communications. Incoming calls can tie up lines, prevent emergency responders from making timely contact with the school and inhibit our ability to send or receive critical information.

Do not call or text your child.
By calling your child’s cell phone, you could potentially put your child in harm's way, depending on the nature of the crisis. In a Lock-Down, staff and students stay out of sight and keep quiet because there is an immediate threat to the school. A ringing or vibrating phone can reveal a child's location.

Do not go to the school.
Extra vehicles and people in the area can make it difficult for emergency workers to do their jobs. School administration will advise you if you need to come to the school or an alternate location to pick up your child.

Note: It is imperative that contact information for your child is current.

Reuniting with your Child After an Emergency

If it is at the end of the school day and an emergency has just been resolved,

  • school staff and/or emergency responders will be at the school and will direct you to your child;
  • if your child takes the bus, you will be notified if the bus is on time or late;
  • if your child walks home, staff will take necessary precautions to ensure your child is safe leaving the site, and
  • if your child’s class and teacher were required to go to an alternate safe site, you will be notified about where to go to pick up your child. Your child must be picked up by you, the parent or guardian, or an identified adult listed on your child's Emergency Contact list. Sign out procedures will be in place.

Emergency Response Protocols


An On-Alert is an early warning procedure for staff and students that can be used when a situation has the potential of escalating into a more serious event, for example, a suspicious person or vehicle in the vicinity of the school or a severe weather or tornado watch. It may also be used as an advisory to inform staff of a situation affecting the broader community.

During an On-Alert,

  • doors remain in their current state (locked or unlocked);
  • classes continue as normal, and
  • outside activities may continue or may be canceled depending on the nature of the On-Alert.

Hold and Secure

A Hold and Secure is used when there is a threat OUTSIDE the school which can include events such as criminal activity or police pursuits.

During a Hold and Secure,

  • regular classes and activities inside the school continue to operate; however, as a safety precaution, all exterior doors and windows are locked;
  • students will not be released from the school until emergency responders say it is safe, and
  • no one, other than law enforcement, is permitted to enter or leave the building until the Hold and Secure is over.


A Lock-Down happens when there is an immediate threat to the school.

During a Lock-Down,

  • all interior doors are locked;
  • staff and students keep quiet and stay out of sight;
  • if staff and students are on a field trip, they will go to an alternate safe site instead of returning to the school;
  • students will not be released from the school until emergency responders say it is safe, and
  • no one, other than law enforcement, is permitted in or out of any area once it has been locked. 


A Shelter-in-Place is generally used during an environmental emergency, such as severe storms or chemical spills.

During a Shelter-in-Place,

  • students and staff retreat to safe zones to seek shelter. This includes having students or staff who are outdoors come back into the school; 
  • each school’s Emergency Response Plan identifies the safest location for its occupants and how to seal a room from hazardous conditions, and 
  • students will not be released or dismissed until the situation has been resolved.


An Evacuation requires all students and staff to leave the school and go to an alternate location. Examples of reasons for school Evacuation include fire, flood, a bomb threat or a gas leak.

During an Evacuation,

  • all staff, students and visitors immediately leave the building and proceed to the school's pre-determined meeting place;
  • everyone either stays at the meeting place or moves to an alternate safe site;
  • staff, students and visitors return to the building only after emergency responders say it is safe to do so, and depending on the situation, parents may need to pick their children up at an alternate location. If this is the case, parents will be notified via the school's regular communication channels.


Under some circumstances it may be determined that it is best to dismiss students as expeditiously as possible. Should this be the case, school administration will follow the process to alert each student's emergency contact.

For more information contact:

Division Office
Phone: 780-778-2800
Toll-free: 1.800.262.8674