• Emergency Response Information for Families

    Student safety is a top priority for Missoula County Public Schools. 

    Emergency Response Guide for Families (PDF)

    Emergency Response Guide for Families (ADA)


     Basic image of building surrounded by red hexagonBuilding 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. 

    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.orgFacebook and Twitter feed if possible.

    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.



    School or District leadership may decide to secure a school building to separate students and staff from an outdoor hazard or threat (e.g. natural disaster or danger in the community). This means that students and staff are brought inside the building, all external doors are locked and no one is allowed in or out of the building without authorization. Meanwhile, classes continue as normal within the school. A secure building keeps students safe until the concern has passed or they can be reunited with their families. 



    In case of an urgent weather event or other outdoor health concern, a school may direct staff and students to seek appropriate shelter. Depending on the nature of the concern, it may be necessary to seal off a building or a portion of a building, and limit access to authorized personnel only. Classes will continue as normal if possible. In some cases, classes may be moved to a temporary location until the concern has passed.  



    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 announce 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.  



    In some situations, it may be necessary for students and staff to clear the 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, until the all-clear is announced and the hold is released.  
    Student-Parent 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. 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 follow these guidelines for reunification with your student:   

    • Parents/guardians will be notified of the reunification site and other important information.

    • Bring photo identification with you to the reunification site.

    • When you arrive, you will be escorted to a reunification intake area. 

    • Give your name and your student's name to the staff member in charge of student-parent reunification. Show the staff member your photo ID.

    • Move to the designated waiting area and remain there until your student is brought to you by a staff member. 
    • A staff member will ask you to sign your student out before you leave to ensure we keep track of all of our students. 

    • Once you have signed out, please leave the reunification area immediately.