GREAT FALLS — Several schools in Great Falls briefly implemented shelter-in-place procedures on Friday, March 17, 2023.
A text message from Great Falls Public Schools was sent to parents saying that the following schools were affected: Chief Joseph Elementary, Loy Elementary, Morningside Elementary, East Middle, and Montana School for Deaf & Blind.
A shelter-in-place is a safety precaution for an external threat that is not an immediate or internal threat.
The message, which was sent just after 2 p.m., said that the order was issued due to "police activity in the area," and stated that everyone is safe.
At about 2:25 p.m., the shelter-in-place order was lifted.
There is no word at this point about what sparked the shelter-in-place, although we have seen reports that there was a police chase in the vicinity at the time.
Here is an overview of GFPS safety procedures:
- Evacuation: Defined as an internal emergency that requires students and staff to leave the building for their safety. Parents should follow emergency notifications.
- Lockdown: Defined as an internal and/or immediate threat. All staff and students are locked in rooms. No one IN or OUT!
- Shelter In Place: Defined as a safety precaution for an external threat that is not an immediate or internal threat.
- Class Hold: Defined as a safety precaution implemented during an incident where students need to be kept in the classroom.
- Release with Care: Defined as a possible threat in the schools’ neighborhoods during arrival and release time. Release with care procedures:
- To ensure safety, the building administrator may ask staff to escort students to/from buses or waiting cars.
- Staff may also be asked to accompany students home.
We will update you if we get any more information.
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