Emergency Response Information for Parents and Students
Student safety is a top priority for Missoula County Public Schools.
Building Security Features
All MCPS school buildings are equipped with secure entries and emergency alert systems.
Each school has a dedicated safety team and a building-specific crisis response plan that is reviewed by both school and District staff on a regular basis. Additionally, the District Safety Committee meets regularly to review current safety plans; discuss new events, research, and best practices; and make updates to our safety 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. For general information about drill policies and drill requirements in Montana, visit the Montana Office of Public Instruction website.School Resource Officers (SROs)
Our District maintains strong relationships with emergency response agencies in the community, including local Police and Fire Departments. We also have School Resource Officers (SROs), who are local law enforcement officers attached to each of our schools.
Information for Parents/Guardians
In the event of an emergency or alert, please DO NOT telephone the school or District for information. Telephone lines will be needed for emergency purposes.
Notifications will be sent to parents/guardians via automated phone/email/text message (please make sure your student’s school has current contact information).
For general information and updates, visit your school website, the District's website or the District's Facebook or Twitter feed, or tune into local radio and television stations.
District website: www.mcpsmt.org
District Facebook page: www.facebook.com/missoulacountypublicschools
District Twitter feed: twitter.com/McpsMT
For general information about school safety and student support in Montana, visit the Montana Office of Public Instruction website.
If an alert or emergency situation occurs requiring a lockdown at MCPS facilities, please do not panic. Try to stay as calm as possible. Follow these procedures for the safety of all students:
Ensure your own safety.
Know that emergency response procedures are in place to safeguard all students; parents should not come to the school. Lockdowns are usually short-term measures lasting minutes, not hours or days.
The school will not release students to parents during a lockdown.
No one will be allowed in or out of the school building until the all-clear signal is given by the school administrators or law enforcement.
MCPS will defer to law enforcement for the duration of any emergency.
MCPS will use our mass communication system to reach student families and share important information throughout the emergency (please make sure your student’s school has current contact information).
Do not call the school; this will tie up emergency lines that must stay open. In addition, students are asked to remain quiet during a lockdown, so please do not call your student or expect your student to call you.
MCPS will also post information to the District's website at www.mcpsmt.org, Facebook and Twitter feed as often as we are able to do so.
If your student's stay at school is extended beyond the regular time, you will receive information about the place and time that you can pick up your student.
We will initiate a perimeter lock-in to separate students and staff from an outdoor hazardous environment (e.g. natural disaster or danger in the community). It is a temporary solution to a temporary problem. These lock-ins will be used to keep students safe until the emergency has passed or they can be reunited with their parents. External doors are locked and staff are placed at each external door to manage who is allowed in and out of the building. Classes will continue normal functions within the school.
There may be emergency situations when we will need to evacuate the 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.
Parents/guardians will be informed using the District mass communication system if they need to pick up their student at school.
There may also be situations where we will need to evacuate to an alternative site. We have identified several sites that we will use, depending on the situation. Parents/guardians will be informed using the District mass communication system if they need to pick up their student at an alternative site, and we will disclose the location of the specific alternative site at that time.
We may also communicate the alternative site location via a message on the school's webpage (www.mcpsmt.org), Facebook and Twitter accounts, local radio and television stations.Student-Parent Reunification
In the event of a school emergency that requires students to be evacuated from the school and relocated to another building, please follow these guidelines for reunification with your student(s).
In the event of an emergency or disaster situation that requires the students to go home, please remember that MCPS will care for your student until a parent can pick them up, or until it is safe to transport the students to their homes by school district transportation.
Please note that only the parent or guardian or adults officially approved of by the parent or guardian (and on record as such at MCPS) may pick up students.
When you arrive at the designated reunification area, you will be greeted at the door and escorted to the reunification area.
Give your name and your student's name to the staff member in charge of student-parent reunification. The staff member will send a runner to get your student. Please take your identification with you and be prepared to show it if asked by a school employee.
A staff member will ask you to sign your student out before you leave to ensure we keep track of all of our students.