Emergency Procedures- Updated Information for Families, Students, and Staff

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 10:53am -- Bridget.Morisseau


Being prepared for emergencies is not only a state requirement, it is also taken very seriously by everyone in the North Providence School Department.

The Rhode Island Department of Education requires every school and district to have emergency response plans. These plans are reviewed and revised annually and after each emergency.  Emergency plans address fires, bomb threats, suicide intervention, tornadic/severe weather, intruder-on-campus/lockdown, student endangerment, child abuse, accident/serious illness, student runaway/abduction and atmospheric chemical release.

How does NPSD respond in the event of an emergency?

1. Dismissal Plan: Students return to their homes as quickly and safely as possible. Each school maintains information for emergency contacts for each child.  It is very important that parents and legal guardians advise the school office staff every time emergency contact information changes.


2. Shelter-in-Place Plan: Keeps students in their buildings when it is safer to stay inside than to go outside. Typically, inside sheltering is considered a short-term solution. Specific areas of each building are identified as safety zones. 

Part of the shelter plan may be a partial or complete lock down of the school. In this instance, all students remain in their current classroom until otherwise notified. Students in school buildings who are not in classrooms will be escorted by staff to a supervised area and remain there until otherwise notified. No one will be allowed to enter or leave the school for any reason.

3. Evacuation Plan: Requires that all building occupants exit the building and go to a previously-identified, safe alternate location. Evacuation may mean only going outside and away from the building until an all-clear signal is given. In some circumstances, students and staff may need to be transported and housed temporarily in another location.


Lockdowns and Intruders- FAQs

Who determines when a school goes on lockdown?

Any administrative personnel or law enforcement officer can put a school on intruder alert or lockdown if they believe there is a threat.

What area is affected by the lockdown?

The area of a lockdown is determined by the type of incident and its severity. Law enforcement, in collaboration with school administrators, will determine the possible area of threat and designate the area accordingly. If it is an evolving or moving incident, the schools affected may change depending on the direction of travel.

How are parents notified of lockdowns or intruder events?

In the event of a lockdown, administrators and local law enforcement are extremely busy.  Safety will always take priority over sending out notification messages, so it may be a few minutes before a notification email or call is sent out.

Should I pick up my child from school in an emergency?

NO—While every guardian’s natural instinct in an emergency is to go to the school to safeguard your child, doing so may interfere with the school’s ability to effectively and efficiently respond to the situation. We strongly encourage parents to NOT come to the school during an emergency unless and until directed by the district to do so. In most cases, school district administration and district and local emergency responders are the only individuals allowed to enter or leave the school campus or building during emergencies.


Where can we find information during an emergency?

  • NPSD web site: http://npsd.k12.ri.us/ (updates are posted on the home page)
  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/nprovschools?lang=en
  • Skyward Message Alert (an email or recorded phone message will be sent to each household when time allows)
  • Local news media (be sure to listen carefully for OFFICIAL announcements from NPSD)


If there is a serious incident, how will parents be reunited with their children?

In the event students must be moved to an alternate location, the school will use a number of communications tools to attempt to advise all parents of the alternate location. Please be sure that the school has accurate and up to date emergency contact information for your child.

Each school has several alternative locations, depending upon the severity of the emergency and the number of school buildings involved.

Police, fire and other local response agencies know of the alternate locations for each school. For security reasons, NPSD does not disclose alternate locations until an actual emergency occurs.

What can I do to prepare for emergencies?

Families can do several things to help keep your children safe during an emergency.

  1. Make sure your child's school has the most accurate emergency contact information on file.
  2. Discuss with your child the importance of following directions or school staff during an emergency.
  3. DO NOT call or come to the school to pick up your child until notification is given that such pickups are encouraged.
  4. Monitor the district communications methods mentioned above.


Make sure you and your family have a personal disaster plan. For additional information on talking to your children about a disaster, go to:


The North Providence School Department is committed to providing a safe, healthy and secure learning environment for students and staff.   We have implemented a web-based incident reporting tool called TIPS to help us empower students, parents, teachers, staff, administrators and community members to be heard and to report warning signs and trouble to appropriate officials.  The goal of TIPS is prevention and to help identify red flags before an incident occurs or escalates.

The North Providence School Department recognizes that false accusations can be devastating to an individual and can have long-lasting effects on the entire school community. Any person who knowingly makes false accusations against another person will be appropriately disciplined. Any accusations confirmed to be false will be removed from the falsely accused person's file.

Please click here to submit a TIPS Report.