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April 4, 2023 | Message to Families: Talking to your Child about Emergency Drills

OKCPS Families, 

Safety and security is and has always been a top priority for OKCPS. This message is to inform you of a few of the safety and security measures we have in place. Please talk to your child(ren) about this information. 

School Safety Drills
Oklahoma State law requires that schools practice several different types of drills each school year. The required drills include: evacuation/fire, shelter/tornado, and security. 

The purpose of these drills is to prepare teachers and children in the protocol of what to do in the event of a real emergency. This can be scary for adults and children, but it is important to remember to stay calm and that talking to your child about their fears supports their understanding of the purpose behind drills. 

Here are a couple of pointers to help you talk to your child about emergency drills:

  • Consider your child’s unique thoughts and feelings. 

    • What have you heard about drills?

    • How do you feel about the information that you’ve heard?

    • Do you have any questions?

  • Clarify what their specific fears are and address each of those first.

    • Validate and affirm their emotions

    • Remember that their feelings and perceptions of a drill may be very different than ours as adults.

  • Remind your child that a drill is practice; not because something is going to happen but to prepare us for things that are rare.

  • Strive to adopt a calm tone.

    • Children learn a lot by observing the caring adults in their lives - this includes volume, pitch, and body language.

  • Offer your child an out.

    • If your child isn’t ready to talk about it, give them that space.

OKCPS drill schedules are listed here to help families know the timing of the required drills so you can speak to your child about drills at the appropriate time. 

Standard Response Protocols 
OKCPS uses the standard response protocols (SRPs) from the “I Love You Guys” Foundation. 

SRPs ensure that staff members, no matter where they work, are responding to issues or emergencies in the same way. The SRPs that OKCPS uses include the following: Hold, Secure, Lockdown, Evacuate and Shelter. 

  • HOLD: Hold means students and staff will “hold” in their classroom or other area and keep the hallways clear. This could be used if someone within the school is experiencing a medical emergency to allow first responders to navigate the school quickly. 

  • SECURE: Secure means that students and staff should be inside the school with doors locked, but normal activities continue within the school building. This could be used if there was police activity near the school. 

  • LOCKDOWN: Lockdown means that students and staff will be in classrooms with doors locked, lights out and out of sight. All exterior doors will be locked and no one will be allowed to enter or exit the school building. This could be used if there was an active threat or emergency within the school building. 

  • EVACUATE: Evacuate means that students and staff would evacuate the building  and move to a predetermined evacuation location. This could be used in the event of a fire or gas leak within the school building. 

  • SHELTER: Shelter means that students and staff move to predetermined shelter areas within a school building. This strategy can be used during a weather event like a tornado or severe storm threat. 

Volunteer and Visitor Check-In
Every school’s front office has a computer with Raptor, a volunteer and visitor management system. This system ensures that anyone visiting our schools is authorized to be there. OKCPS requires all visitors to check in with a form of identification using this system.

24/7 Hotline | 587-SAFE
OKCPS has a 24/7 hotline that our students, families, staff or community can call if they see something unusual or suspicious at or near one of our schools.