Shelter in place is initiated when school officials believe there is some type of emergency that does not directly impact the interior of the school. Shelter-in-place is typically used when police are engaged in an operation nearby, outside of the school. This does not automatically mean there is a suspect search; examples might be an industrial accident, chemical spill, gas leak, or materials transported through the community. The goal is to keep students and staff safe and indoors. During a shelter in place, outside doors are locked and entrance and exit from the building is limited or restricted. Windows will be shut and locked and may be covered to reduce visibility. Instruction, class changes, and all indoor activities continue as scheduled. Generally, the duration of these situations would last minutes or hours.
For many parents, your first instinct will be to come to the school to check on your child or take him or her home. However, to ensure the safety of our students during the Shelter in Place period, we will not be opening our doors to anyone who is unauthorized to enter. As a parent, we recognize how hard this would be. Please know that we will be taking good care of your child.
A school lockdown occurs when there is a threat or potential threat to staff or student safety in the area. This could be a police activity with a suspect nearby, it is not automatically a person seeking access to the school. In the name of safety, however, we will take extra steps to protect students. During a lockdown, the school is closed to all visitors and students are supervised until an "all clear" is given by law enforcement authorities. During these situations, we may not be able to provide all details due to the police matter, but we will explain what we can and keep you informed of information as we are able. We must defer to law enforcement officials in these situations for information to share as to not interfere with their investigation.
Notification during Shelter In Place or Lockdowns
In the case of one of these actions, parents are notified through a phone call generated through the Parent Portal of Infinite Campus. It is vital that you have your phone number updated in this system to receive important notifications. Details or resources will also be posted on the district’s website.
During a school lockdown, parents are strongly encouraged not to come to the school, due to the heightened risk and should only attempt to arrive at the school after a lockdown has been lifted. Should an emergency response be called for, it’s important that emergency vehicles are able to reach the campus quickly and easily. Parents who attempt to come to the school may obstruct emergency vehicles’ access and even endanger themselves, or their children.
Do not panic. Actual lockdown situations are highly controlled events where police and school officials are together coordinating procedures for the safety of all involved. We will keep families updated through our phone messaging system as new information is available.
Lockdown / Shelter In Place Details
Otsego Public Schools has two types of lockdowns (defined on the webpage) depending on the situation prompting this action. It could be a Shelter In Place, or a Lockdown (this could be a threat on the exterior or interior of a building.) Please know that your child's safety is our first priority and all of our actions keep our students' safety at the forefront.
You will be notified through Infinite Campus’ alert system if a lockdown is warranted. You will also be updated, if necessary/possible, during the lockdown, and alerted when the lockdown has been lifted. Be sure that your contact information is up to date in Infinite Campus in order to receive these messages.
Lockdowns happen for a variety of reasons and it is important to remember than many of them are due to outside situations that do not involve or impact the school or are a threat to our school or students. Often, it is a precautionary measure to keep our students and staff away from a situation taking place that is being handled by other officials.
Things to think about:
What happens when:A lockdown takes place at the end of the day