Yarmouth School Department

School Emergency Information Guide For Parents and Guardians

"Empowering All Students to Create Fulfilling Lives in a Changing World"

101 McCartney Street

Yarmouth, Maine 04096

Phone: (207) 846-5586

Fax: (207) 846-2339


The Yarmouth School Department is committed to the safety and security of our students, staff and visitors.  

Every school within the school department has a School Crisis Response Plan that identifies roles and responsibilities of school and administrative staff to deal with emergency situations.  School staff and students have practiced, and will continue to practice, procedures for situations that would require evacuation, lock-in, or lockout measures.

Each school has developed a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.  These plans are reviewed and updated regularly.  Each school employee has been provided a copy of our simplified emergency commands and protocols.

All parents and visitors are requested to sign in at the school’s main office immediately upon entering the building.  School building doors will remain secured throughout the day to control access into the facility.  The objective in securing buildings is not to inconvenience our parents and community members, but rather to ensure the protection of our students and staff.  All parents and visitors are requested to also sign out at the school office prior to leaving the building.  It is very important that the school staff knows who is in the building at all times for safety reasons.

When and Why are Students and Staff Asked to Lockdown, Lockout, Shelter-in-Place or Evacuate?

School Emergency Response Protocols

School crises can take a number of forms including an environmental event, such as a chemical spill or gas leak; a weather emergency, such as tornado warning; or an intruder in or near the school.  The nature of a school crisis dictates whether school officials will put in place a lockdown, a lockout, shelter-in-place, evacuation or any combination of protocols, as a means to ensure the safety and well-being of students and staff. 

Safety Terms and Procedures

In the event of an emergency at your child’s school, it is important to know these terms.

LOCKDOWN  - A lockdown takes place if an internal or external threat is identified at the school.  All school doors are locked and students are confined to classrooms.  No entry into or exit from the school will be allowed until an “all-clear” announcement is made.  Students will NOT be released during a lockdown.

SHELTER-IN-PLACE – Students take refuge in designated areas to protect them from hazardous materials or severe weather.  No entry into or exit from the school will be allowed until an “all-clear” announcement is made.  Students will NOT be released during a shelter-in-place.

EVACUATION – In the event of certain building emergencies, students will be relocated to an evacuation assembly area.  Students will be released ONLY to parents/guardians or people listed on the students’ emergency information forms.  Before a child is released, the authorized adult will be asked for picture identification if he/she is unknown to the school official. This procedure is necessary to account for the whereabouts of all students.

LOCKOUT – A lockout is utilized when there is a dangerous situation occurring outside and near the school grounds.  No one will be permitted to enter or leave the school during a lockout.  The school staff will secure all outside doors.  Classes will continue as normal until the situation allows for the lockout to be terminated.  An example of a lockout event could be an active police situation in the vicinity of the school.

How Can I Be Reunited with My Child?

Parents/Guardians will be directed by school or public safety officials via TV/Radio or Power Announcement to their child’s specific location.  Students will be released only to parents/guardians or others who are documented as emergency contacts and who present a picture ID such as a driver’s license.  The reunification process can be time-consuming so parents are urged to be patient.

How Can I Help?

Be prepared for a school emergency:

Ensure that your child’s emergency contact information is accurate and current.

The district uses the Power Announcement system to notify parents of inclement weather and emergencies.  Each school is committed to providing accurate and timely information in the event of an emergency.

In Case of a School Emergency

Although your first reaction would be to call or rush to your child’s school, please follow the tips listed below.

Parent Responsibilities During a School Emergency and Reunification After a School Emergency

The role of parents and guardians in an emergency:

In a school emergency, the first instinct as a parent/guardian is to pick up the telephone and start calling the school or rush up to the school and get your child/children.  The truth is this only complicates matters from a safety and security standpoint.

Parents too close to an incident often hinder the rescue attempts of police and fire officials on the scene.  The best action parents can take in an emergency is to stay close to their phone and e-mail and to monitor local radio and TV reports for regular updates and instructions.