Emergency Procedures

Lockdown basics

All school boards in Ontario must have a police/school board protocol. Guidance for what must be included in the protocol – including lockdown procedures – is in the Provincial Policy for Developing and Maintaining Lockdown Procedures Procedures for Elementary and Secondary Schools in Ontario, 2015.

The requirements include specific language on the provision of classroom keys: “All staff, including occasional, part-time, or itinerant teachers, must have the ability to lock their classroom doors.” If you have concerns about a faulty door mechanism, the lack of a classroom key, or other issues about lockdown effectiveness report your concerns to the principal. Put your report in writing. It’s the principal’s job to investigate and deal with your report. Tell your steward and your school’s health and safety representative about your concerns. Get in touch with your ETFO local for more support. School security is everyone’s concern.

The lockdown policy is an important part of the Provincial Model for a Local Police/School Board Protocol, 2015 (Model Protocol). The Model Protocol includes:

  • a bomb threat policy (Appendix C);
  • language about threat management
  • a section on School/Police Role in Violence Prevention; and
  • lockdown procedures and training provisions, specifically as they relate to part-time, occasional and itinerant teachers.
school hallway with lockers


Schools are required to conduct fire drills
three times in the fall and three times in the spring. 

Lockdown drills are also required
twice every school year.