• MCPS Families,

    As we look forward to the start of another amazing school year, we would like to provide families with some general information and important updates regarding school safety. 

    Student safety is a top priority for MCPS. All of our school buildings are equipped with security features such as secure entries and emergency alert systems. Each school runs a series of drills throughout the school year that cover a variety of emergency scenarios and ensure our emergency alert systems are functioning properly.

    Our District has strong relationships with emergency response agencies in the community, including the local police and fire departments. We also have School Resource Officers (SROs), who are local law enforcement officers, in our schools.  

    In the event of a school emergency or alert, notifications will be sent to parents/guardians via automated phone call, email, and text message through our family notification system, Blackboard. Please make sure your student’s school has your current contact information so that you will be able to receive any important alerts. 

    Here are some examples of possible actions the District or your school may take in the event of an emergency or alert:

    • Evacuate: There may be emergency situations when we will need to evacuate students and staff from a building. Some evacuations may be temporary; allowing school to resume after the all-clear signal is given. Other evacuations may require students to go home before the regular dismissal time. 
      • Families will be notified by email, text and phone.
      • Students and families will not be allowed to enter the evacuated area.
      • Parents/guardians will be notified of the pickup location and given further instructions to reunify with their student.
    • Hold: In some situations, it may be necessary for students and staff to clear hallways and common areas, and to remain in their classroom or other staff-supervised area (such as a cafeteria or gym) for a length of time. When a building is in "hold" status, students will remain in their classrooms even if there is a scheduled class change or dismissal, until the all-clear is announced and the hold is released. Further instructions will follow.
      • Families will be notified by email, text and phone.
      • School operations continue as normal inside classrooms, cafeterias, gyms, etc.
      • Parents/guardians who would like to pick up their student may do so at the Main Office of the school. There may be a delay depending on the nature of the safety concern.
    • Lockdown: This may be initiated when there is a direct threat to a school. All exterior and interior doors are locked with staff and students inside. Only authorized emergency responders are allowed in or out of the building. 
      • Families will be notified by email, text and phone.
      • Parents and guardians must stay away from the building. They may not pick up/excuse a student while a lockdown is in effect. 
    • Secure: When a building goes into “secure” status, any staff or students who are outside move inside the nearest school building immediately. Exterior doors are locked and monitored by school staff. School activities continue as usual inside the building.
      • Families will be notified by email, text and phone.
      • No one will be allowed in or out of the building unless authorized by school or District leadership.
      • Parents/guardians who would like to pick up their student from school will be notified when it is safe for them to do so.
    • Shelter: This action may be taken in response to an earthquake, severe weather or other environmental hazard, such as poor air quality. Staff and students will be directed to the appropriate shelter. Classes will continue as normal to the extent possible. In some cases, classes may need to be moved to a temporary location until the hazard has passed. 
      • Families will be notified by email, text and phone.
      • Parents/guardians who would like to pick up their student from school will be notified when it is safe for them to do so.
    • Reunification: In the event of a school emergency that requires students to be evacuated from the school and relocated, please be assured MCPS will care for all students until a parent or guardian can pick them up, or until it is safe to transport the students to their homes by school district transportation. 
      • Parents/guardians will be notified by email, text and phone, and provided with the pickup location and further instructions. 
      • Only the parent or guardian or another adult officially approved of by the parent or guardian (and on record as such at MCPS) may pick up students. Please bring a photo ID with you when you come to pick up your child. 

    More emergency response information and definitions can be found on the MCPS website, in addition to information about notifications regarding school delays or closures due to severe weather and other events

    MCPS deeply values our relationship with families and relies on our strong partnerships to ensure student safety and well-being. Families who have questions, concerns or suggestions regarding school safety are encouraged to share them with us by calling (406) 728-2400 or sending an email to safeschools@mcpsmt.org.

    Missoula County Public Schools 2023 - 2024