Desert Sands's Standard Response Protocol

Standard Response Protocol

Desert Sands Unified School District uses the Standard Response Protocol (SRP). The SRP is based on best practice responses to emergency situations. It has been subjected to tactical review by hundreds of law enforcement agencies and adopted by thousands of schools. The SRP has four actions: Lockout, Lockdown, Evacuate and Shelter In-Place.

The premise is simple and based on four specific actions that can be performed during an incident. Students and staff members are trained in the Standard Response Protocols so when an incident occurs the needed action is announced. Students can expect the SRP to be used Districtwide during their education career.


LOCKOUT: The school is placed in lockout based on activities in the surrounding area, not in the school or on school grounds.

School staff move all students and activities inside and ensure the doors are locked while learning continues inside the school with minimal classroom interruption or distractions.

Examples: Law enforcement activity such as serving warrants in the neighborhood.

LOCKDOWN: The school is put on lockdown due to perceived danger inside or very near the campus.

All students and staff are trained to get behind a locked door. An announcement is made twice, "Lockdown: Locks, Lights, Out of Sight."

Examples: Threat inside the school; emergency or dangerous situation very near the school.

EVACUATE: Due to an unsafe situation in or near the school building, students and staff are moved to a safe location called the Assembly Point.

Teachers are trained to stay with students and take roll to account for all students and staff.

Examples: Gas leak in the school; unsafe situation near school affecting release times.

SHELTER IN-PLACE: Students and staff are instructed to take safe shelter due to a situation in or near the school.

Examples: Hazmat danger, inclement weather / lighting, earthquake or other natural events.


First the SRP action is given, then the directions:

  • Lockdown is followed by "Locks, Lights, Out of Sight"and is the protocol used to secure individual rooms and keep students quiet and in place.
  • Lockout is followed by the Directive: "Secure the Perimeter"and is the protocol used to safeguard students and staff within the building.
  • Evacuate is always followed by a location. Students and staff are moved from one location to a different location in or out of the building.
  • Shelter In-Place is always followed by either the hazard or safety strategy.

When students and staff hear the protocol broadcasted on the school public address system, they will also hear instructions to ensure the correct action is taken. All DSUSD schools conduct "lockdown"drills. Teachers and staff members are provided training in SRP. When lockdown drills are performed, drill evaluators will check to see if the drill was performed correctly. Drill evaluators make recommendations to improve the process.

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