Safe Schools

The safety, security, and well-being of our students/staff, is a priority of the Hanover School Division. We take all possible precautions to help ensure that our schools are safe and secure.

While we hope our schools are never faced with an emergency situation, we are prepared to respond to an incident if one should occur. We have taken steps to prepare our schools to deal effectively with emergency situations that may occur in, or around a school during the school day.

In order for our School Emergency Response Plans to be effective, we depend on the cooperation and assistance of many people, including the police, ambulance, fire departments, and parents/guardians. Your cooperation is vital to helping us protect the safety and welfare of all children and school employees.

IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY:

Please do not call the school or your child’s cellphone.

Calling your child’s cell phone during an emergency may (depending upon the type of emergency), put them at higher risk by disclosing their location or drawing attention to them. Calling the school will also tie up lines and systems required for communicating with emergency responders, and may inhibit our ability to send or receive critical information. We understand and respect your concern, but it is essential that the phone systems be available for emergency communications.

HSD has the ability through our divisional call system to send an automated message to all parents/guardians. For this reason, it’s also very important your child’s school has an accurate phone number on file to reach you.

Please do not go to the school to pickup your child – unless requested to do so.

Although your natural instincts in an emergency may be to attend the school, please understand that doing so could impede emergency response services. Going to the school may interfere with emergency crews and school personnel’s efforts to deal with the emergency. Extra vehicles and people at the site make the task more difficult.

Be sure to access official and reliable sources of information.

  • Visit this website (www.hsd.ca) for updated notifications.
  • Follow our official Twitter account @HanoverSD
  • Call the HSD Administration Office at 204-326-6471.
  • Tune into a local radio or television stations. We will work closely with the local media to keep our community informed of the situation.

Be aware of standard emergency procedures in place for your child’s school.

Hold and Secure is used when it is necessary to secure a school because there is an emergency situation occurring outside the school. Classes may continue to function normally. The exterior doors are locked and monitored to allow students and staff to enter, but otherwise remain locked. Once inside, no one leaves the building. An active police incident in a neighborhood would trigger a Hold and Secure.

Example: Police incident in area e.g. robbery or any serious criminal offence in close proximity to a school, or where a suspect has been pursued by police near a school. In Hold and Secure status, the school will be locked. You will not be allowed to pick-up your child until after an “all-clear” is given and established student release procedures are in order.

Lockdown is used to prevent intruders from entering occupied areas of a building or when it is necessary to isolate students and staff from a danger outside, or within the building. Situations include active shooters or dangerous intruders. Staff and students are restricted in their movements to a specific area which is then protected through locking of exterior and classroom doors and covering windows. There may be other areas of the school that are capable of being locked down and these may also be designated as lockdown locations.

Examples: Dangerous Intruder, Active Shooter, Barricaded Suspect. In Lockdown status, the school will be locked with NO arrivals or departures of anyone including staff, students or parents. You will not be allowed to pick-up your child until after an “all-clear” is given and established student release procedures are in order.

Evacuation is necessary when a building or area becomes unsafe. The most common event requiring evacuation is fire, but other circumstances may also require evacuation. These include floods or a bomb threat within the school.

Examples: Fire, Bomb Threat, Chemical Accident, Explosion or Threat of Explosion. In Evacuation status, students will gather at an evacuation assembly location, predetermined by each school. Students will remain at the assembly location until they are returned to the school, or released to their parent/guardian under established student release procedures.

Sheltering in Place is used when personal safety is considered to be in danger if anyone leaves the school. It is usually associated with an environmental hazard where hazardous materials are released into the atmosphere. In the case of environmental hazards, steps may need to be taken to ensure the school is airtight – turning off furnaces, air conditioning, closing fume hoods and exhaust systems, covering and taping windows.

Examples: Environmental events (chemical spill), Weather events, or dangerous wild animal. Any situation where evacuation may pose a greater risk than shelter in place. In Sheltering in Place, while everyone may move freely within the school – exterior doors and windows are locked. Students and staff must remain in building until advised by authorities that outside conditions are safe.