Lockdown Procedure

There are several variations of addressing lockdown procedures when considering the school setting. Listed below are several ideas that may assist in developing a “lockdown” protocol in a school community. It is highly recommended that school officials consult with local law enforcement officials to cooperatively develop this protocol.

View current suggestions: “Considerations When Developing a School Lockdown Policy

EMG Elementary School Students Safety Star Stickers Drill
Students in Stephanie Ives’ class at Benton Elementary School wear Safety Star Stickers after a safety practice

Elementary School Lockdown Workbook

EMP KCSS Lockdown Workbook image_tallKCSS is excited to offer this newly developed Elementary School Lockdown Workbook; Suggestions and Ideas When Teaching Lockdown Practices to Elementary School Students.

Lockdowns and other safety drills are part of a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan. Each school engages in actions designed to mitigate loss in response to a safety threat.

Although the classroom teacher is best suited to develop specific lessons/instructions for his/her class, this workbook provides ideas and samples to assist in preparing that specific classroom plan.

Download Elementary School Lockdown Workbook

Printable Appendix:

Lockdown Mandated by Law

KRS 158.162  (https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/law/statutes/statute.aspx?id=49804) mandates:

Each local board of education shall require the principal in each public school building in its jurisdiction to conduct, at a minimum, emergency response drills to include one (1) severe weather drill, one (1) earthquake drill, and one (1) lockdown drill within the first thirty (30) instructional days of each school year and again during the month of January. Required fire drills shall be conducted according to administrative regulations promulgated by the Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction. Whenever possible, first responders shall be invited to observe emergency response drills

Emergency Response Drill schedule

Considerations When Developing a School Lockdown Policy

Special Note: Periodically, the Kentucky Center for School Safety (KCSS) is asked to provide suggestions to school district officials regarding a variety of emergency response procedures. Recently, KCSS was asked to provide a model lockdown procedure for a school setting.

KCSS, unfortunately, cannot provide such a policy due to the uniqueness of each school setting, specific local and state laws, and differing agency requirements. (It is all too common for different law enforcement agencies to have different requirements they wish to see in place upon arriving at a school that has become a crime scene.)

KCSS can, however, provide discussion points for school district officials and first responders to consider when developing a school-specific lockdown procedure. Therefore, as you will see below, each area addressed is offered only as a consideration for school officials and local responders to discuss as they develop their school’s individual plan. Please note that a critical part of these procedures is that they must be reviewed annually and updated as necessary.

Download “Considerations When Developing a School Lockdown Policy”

Lockdowns are crucial for crisis management, affecting staff and student safety perceptions. Addressing developmental needs before, during, and after reduces harm and psychological impact. Include lockdown plans in emergency preparedness.

Download “Preparing for Natural Disasters and School Crisis Events Through a Behavioral Health Lens”

Steps After Announcement of Lockdown

(For use to protect building occupants from potential dangers in the building)

Note: school-specific lockdown procedures should be developed by school officials and local law enforcement officials. Please see “Considerations When Developing a School Lockdown Policy”
for additional information.

When the announcement is made:

  • Students are to be cleared from the halls immediately and to report to nearest available classroom
  • Assist those needing special assistance
  • Close and lock all windows and doors and do not leave for any reason
  • Stay away from all doors and windows and move students to interior walls and drop
  • Wait for an official to open the door

Other Things to Consider

When developing a lockdown protocol, be mindful of different scenarios that will require advanced planning when needing to put the school in lockdown such as: during class changes, during lunch time, recess, during assemblies, during arrival and dismissal times.

Remember, it is critical to work with local responders to fully define and implement a viable plan of action.

* Check with local law enforcement officials regarding this concern.