Safety Protocol

My child’s school is in a safety protocol – what should I do?

RISD campuses and central staff plan for and practice different safety protocols in response to different events:

Secure Protocol

Students brought inside. RISD Safety & Security personnel response. Entrances and school grounds are actively monitored for suspicious activity. The school day continues inside without interruption.

  • Occurs when: Possible threat identified outside a school – police activity in neighborhood, suspicious person outside on school grounds, etc.
  • Lifted when: RISD Safety & Security and/or Police provide all clear.


Students and staff stay inside classrooms and passing periods may be temporarily delayed.

  • Occurs when: Hallways need to be kept clear, but there is no safety threat inside the school. Example scan include – a current disruption in a hallway, medical attention required for someone inside the school, custodial issue in a hallway, etc. Lifted when: Administration or RISD Safety & Security provide all clear.


Students and staff brought inside. RISD Safety & Security and Police response. Halls cleared and students/staff take cover in locked classrooms or areas, silent and out of sight. Parents contacted as soon as possible after initial steps are taken to ensure safety.

  • Occurs when: Actual threat or potential threat identified inside a school building.
  • Lifted when: Police provide all clear after neutralizing threat or determining no credible threat exists. A lockdown can occur as a precautionary tool to ensure students/staff safety while police investigate circumstances that may or may not be a threat inside a school.

Parents should not go to a school during a lockdown

First responders and staff will be unable to dismiss students during a lockdown, parents will be unable to access the school, parent vehicles can create congestion for emergency vehicles, and parent presence can increase danger to themselves and students by diverting manpower away from the threat or potential threat. Parents are advised to stay home, stay informed, and stay ready.


Students and staff depart the school in a safe and orderly way and may be moved to a separate location. Parents should not go to a campus during an evacuation. See Reunification.

  • Occurs when: remaining inside a school may temporarily be dangerous for students or staff, the infrastructure of a school may be in jeopardy, or the campus has been the scene of a significant crime that requires lengthy investigation. Examples may include fire, gas leak, damage due to severe storm, aftermath of major safety incident such as shooting.


Students and staff are transported by RISD from a school to a separate site to be released to parents/guardians.

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Mitigation / Prevention

Mitigation/Prevention efforts are ongoing and intended to:

  • Eliminate hazards and vulnerabilities
  • Reduce the probability of hazards and vulnerabilities causing an emergency situation; and/or
  • Lessen the consequences of unavoidable hazards and vulnerabilities.

Examples of these activities include:

  • Creating and maintaining a culture of mutual respect and understanding at each campus. The more a campus embraces such a culture, the more likely an intervention will prevent a situation from escalating to an emergency level
  • Daily check-in and monitoring of individuals entering and exiting campuses
  • Ensuring district safety and security policies reflect current best practices and trends
  • Providing violence prevention curriculum to all campuses
  • Conducting staff development training pertaining to safety
  • Conducting safety audits of district facilities
  • Identification of at risk-students by teacher referrals at the elementary level and by student or teacher referrals at the secondary level
  • Full-day presence of School Resource Officers at every secondary campus, and availability to elementary campuses
  • Assist school administrator with Student Threat Assessments, as needed
  • Crime Stoppers Programs at the secondary level
  • Anonymous Alerts (anonymous alerts app)
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Preparedness efforts are designed to facilitate a rapid, coordinated, and effective response to an emergency situation. This involves proper planning and effective execution when hazards cannot be mitigated or prevented.

Examples of these components include:
  • RISD (district-level) Emergency Management Plan
  • Campus Emergency Action Plan that addresses specific emergency situations and is designed to establish awareness and emphasize clear objectives in handling emergency situations
  • The Standard Response Protocol (SRP) (Secure, Lockdown, Evacuate, Shelter, Hold and Reunification)
  • The LES Program (Lockdown, Evacuation, Shelter-In-Place Program)
  • General emergency planning and training, including conducting emergency drills
  • Emergency resource planning;
  • Development of partnerships and coordination with local, state, and federal emergency agencies.
Additionally, emergency plans are regularly tested and modified as needed. Each campus will have a trained Campus Emergency Response Team with alternates. In the event of a major emergency, RISD has a District Emergency Response Team comprised of trained central administrators available to assist and support schools and facilities in response to emergency situations.