*Correction: The previous story indicated lockdown drills throughout the entire division.
One school in the Hanover School Division is practicing lockdown drills today with more to come and parents can expect their children might want to talk about the experience.
Superintendent Shelley Amos says they try to give all parents and students advance notice when these drills are planned, so they can be prepared.
“The province actually requires schools to have two lockdown drills per school year and 10 fire drills per school year,” she says. “It's actually become part of our normal practice and process for several years now.”
Amos says the lockdown drills tend to feel more frightening compared to fire drills and could cause some anxiety in the younger students.
“Of course, our intent is never to evoke panic or illicit fear in students or in their parents by doing these drills,” she says. “The drills are part of what we have to do to be thoroughly prepared in the unfortunate event (that a lockdown or secure-and-hold is necessary).
Amos acknowledges that drills are different from actual events because they can prepare students and parents in advance.
“When an actual event occurs, it's a different scenario,” she says. “And in the world we live in, with social media and texting and phones, we know correspondence happens really quickly. We always, in those actual events, encourage everybody to go to the Hanover website. We'll get our communication out, our first one, as fast as we possibly can.”
In such situations, Amos says they will post details as soon as they have accurate information to relay to parents.
“Usually, we have to wait for some correspondence and confirmation from the school or the RCMP,” she explains. “And then we will put all of our updates on the HSD website. That's the best place to go because children might have been asked to put their phones away to keep them silent, secretaries might be otherwise occupied in planning in the school, and the phone might not be answered in the school. So, the best place to get the most accurate, immediate information is on the website of Hanover school division.”
According to the Hanover School Division calendar, lockdown drills will be happening at Bothwell School on Monday, January 16, 2023.