Parents » Protocol for Lockdowns and Emergencies

Protocol for Lockdowns and Emergencies

What is a Lockdown?

A lockdown is ordered (by the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office , Albuquerque Police Department , or APS School Police) when a dangerous person is on or near a campus.

Here’s what happens during a lockdown:

  • Bathrooms, cafeteria doors, office doors, and gates are locked.
  • Students are moved out of the hallways and into the nearest classrooms immediately. They must stay in those rooms until they are cleared to leave by public safety personnel.
  • Students and staff are kept away from doors and windows.
  • All doors are closed and locked to protect students and staff from the threat.
  • All blinds are closed. Lights are kept on.
  • Attendance is taken.
  • Everyone remains quiet.


APS has written security procedures for every school.

What is a Shelter-in-Place?

Shelter-in-place is similar to a lockdown, except that students and staff can move around inside the building. They can still go to their next class or to lunch, for example. However, no one is allowed in or out of the building, and students are kept inside (i.e., no outdoor recess or PE).

The decision is made by the APS Police DepartmentAlbuquerque Police Department , the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office or the onsite Head of School to put a school in a shelter-in place in much the same way decisions are made for lockdowns. However, this decision will be made only when it is confirmed that there is no imminent danger to the students or staff of the affected school.

Students are allowed to continue their studies in a supervised classroom that is locked and secure. If restroom breaks, food, water or medical attention are required, they are handled with the assistance of the APS Police Department. All students must be physically supervised during a shelter-in-place.

Emergency Dismissal

Utility failures, fires, weather conditions and chemical spills are examples of situations, which may necessitate early school dismissal. In the event that such an emergency should occur, the principal will follow protocol for evacuation procedures, protect in place procedures, securing emergency help, and response procedure for specific emergencies.

The Executive Director, Heads of School, and staff will make a concerted effort to notify parents by phone of an early dismissal.