School District No. 83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap)

What that safety alert message means!

There is a bear visiting the school playground. There is an accident on the road and students need to be evacuated from their school. There’s a wicked snowstorm, branches are falling and it is time for school to be dismissed. A suspect is evading the RCMP and is near a school. These are just a few examples of emergencies which may affect our schools. 

SD83 has emergency protocols and plans to help keep our students and staff safe. Along with the RCMP and other B.C. school districts, there is also a common terminology to describe our response to a variety of different scenarios which we would like to share with parents. You may be familiar with some of the terminology and some may be new!


Used to move people out of the school when a hazard exists inside. Students and other staff to exit the school via the shortest safe route. They assemble outside at the designated assembly site. 


Used if there is a security concern in the neighbourhood. Staff bring everyone into the school and remain inside. Exterior doors and windows are closed and locked. Blinds/drapes are pulled if available. No one may enter or exit the school during Hold & Secure. Typically, normal activities continue within the school. 

For Parents: For safety reasons, please do not ask for admittance into the school during a Hold and Secure. Appropriate information will be shared as soon as possible. 


Used if an environmental hazard may impact the school or if wildlife is near the school. Staff will bring everyone into the school and keep them indoors. The Principal will monitor access to the school. Typically normal activities continue within the school. 


Used to move people away from a hazard contained in one room/area. Students are directed to leave the room/area and report to a designated area (e.g. school library). 


Used in the event of an earthquake, explosion or any other event that shakes the school. 

Students are asked to quickly move away from obvious hazards, to drop and get low to the ground, to take cover under a sturdy item and to hold on to the sturdy item and stay there until shaking stops. After the shaking stops, they will wait 60 seconds and evacuate via the shortest route and aseemble at the designated area. 


Used in response to danger WITHIN the school. Students and staff are quickly gathered into a secure room. Doors are closed and secured. Lights are turned off, everyone is quiet, remaining low to the ground to stay out of sight. All cell phones are turned off. Or, if possible, LEAVE SAFE. This is used if no secure area is available and a safe exit is available. Staff take students quickly out of the area or school. They then report to the designated assembly area and await instructions. Normal activities in the school cease. RCMP respond and take charge. 

For Parents: Although we know it is difficult, for safety reasons please do not contact the school. Information will be provided by the Superintendent/Principal through communication channels as soon as possible to let parents know where to be reunited with their children. 

If you have further questions or need clarification about school safety plans please contact your school principal.