AP 740: Emergency Response Planning

Health & Safety


In the event of a crisis, the Division’s primary concern is the safety of students and staff, and preservation of property. Each Principal shall develop and implement an Emergency Response Plan that shall be maintained on a yearly basis.

The Emergency Response Plan shall be specific to school needs in conjunction with the Division’s Health and Safety Manual.


With respect to the onset of a crisis or emergency:

1. At the onset of any school or site emergency, the Principal or Site Supervisor has the authority and responsibility to make immediate decisions to respond to the crisis.

2. Principals and Site Supervisors shall be well versed in their area Emergency Response Plan and the Health and Safety Manual.

2.1.  The Health and Safety Manual establishes the guidelines and the standard set of response protocols for dealing with a variety of crisis events to ensure that administration, staff, and communicators are familiar with roles and processes in the event of a crisis.

2.2.  The Health and Safety Manual sets the standard against which performance will be evaluated.

3. The Superintendent designates the role of the Division’s Incident Commander to the Deputy Superintendent.

4. As soon as practical, the Principal, Site Supervisor or designate shall contact the Deputy Superintendent or designate (in the absence of the Deputy Superintendent) to report the situation and/or to seek further guidance.

5. Crisis communication with all agencies, the public, and the media shall follow the lines of authority set out in the respective Emergency Response Plan and the Health and Safety Manual.

5.1. All questions or inquiries from the media or public shall be referred to the Director of Communications without further response or comment.

6. When a state of emergency or a state of local emergency has been declared, the responsibility shall rest with the local jurisdiction’s disaster service agency.

With respect to emergency response planning:

7. The Health and Safety Manual shall be reviewed annually by the Director of Facilities.

8. The Principal or designate shall ensure the school’s Emergency Response Plan aligns to the Division’s Health and Safety Manual.

8.1.  The Health and Safety Manual is an embargoed document available to Division personnel only.

8.2.  The Emergency Response Plan shall provide specific guidelines and procedures regarding emergency response in their school/department.

9. The Principal shall review, amend as necessary and submit the school’s Emergency Response Plan to the Director of Facilities by September 15th of each year.

10. The Principal shall ensure staff, students and parents are aware of the emergency protocols as outlined in the Emergency Response Plan.

11. The Principal shall ensure resources are in place to maintain emergency equipment and supplies required to support an emergency response.

12. The Principal shall ensure that all students and staff are aware of the rationale, procedures and exit routes for responding to a crisis event.

13. The Principal shall review the school emergency response plan with staff as soon as possible and prudent to do so at the onset of each school year.

Regarding School Emergency Drills:

14. A minimum of ten (10) emergency practice drills shall be conducted in each school per year:

14.1.  Six (6) of the drills must be fire evacuation drills.

14.2.  The remaining four (4) drills can be any combination of room clear, shelter in place, evacuation or lockdown.

14.3.  The Principal shall ensure that kindergarten classes participate in at least half of the emergency drills.

15. Principals shall ensure a process exists to keep a record of each drill in school files:

15.1. Drill reports are to be submitted to Facilities Services prior to July 1 of each year.

16. Principals shall ensure evacuation routes are posted throughout the school.

17. Each teaching space shall have an Emergency Response Guide posted in a conspicuous place:

17.1. An Emergency Response Guide explains the basic emergency plan processes in a manner that is easily understood by any adult occupying the room, and working with students (i.e., a substitute teacher).

18. The Principals shall share appropriate emergency response protocols with the school community with detailed protocol outlines for staff and substitute staff.

19. The Principal shall ensure that an appropriate number of staff is trained in the operation of emergency response plans for decision making in the event the Principal is absent.

20. The Principal shall make alternate arrangements to prepare to shelter students in a school evacuation. These arrangements are to be documented in the school emergency response plan.

Regarding a declared state of emergency or state of local emergency:

21. When a state of emergency or state of local emergency is declared, a site’s Emergency Response Plan shall be superseded by the local jurisdiction’s disaster service agency from which all directions for emergency evacuation or other emergency actions shall be directed and coordinated.

22. All employees of the Division may be considered to be disaster workers during a declared emergency, and as such, may be required to remain on the job until released by their supervisors.




Date Approved: January 29, 2020

Reference: Education Act: 31, 32, 33, 35.1, 196-197, 222
Emergency Management Act Government Emergency Management Regulation (248/2007)
Disaster Recovery Regulation (51/1994)
Alberta Disaster Assistance Guidelines (2019)
Fire Prevention Act

Reviewed or Revised:
Executive: January, 2020

References shall be updated as required and do not require additional approval.