Response Protocol

  • Backed by more than 120 years of delivering the highest quality of public education for hundreds of thousands of students, the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) encompasses 112 square miles reaching into Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Tempe and Scottsdale with its 29 schools; 23,000 students; and 3,000 employees.

    During an emergency, we respond with various protocols to keep students safe. These include evacuation, lockdown and shelter-in-place with the ultimate goal of student-parent reunification.


    Lockdown procedures are designed to secure all students, teachers, and staff in the nearest available lockable room. Lockdowns may be used in situations involving dangerous intruders or other incidents such police situations occurring in the neighborhood near the school. If notified of a lockdown at your student's school, do NOT respond to the school. The District will provide direction to the parents via text, email or robocall as to where and when to respond for student-parent reunification procedures.

    Modified Lockdown

    The goal of using a modified lockdown is to secure the outer perimeter of the school so that nobody can enter or leave the campus while still continuing with student education. This style of lockdown procedure should only be used in situations where there is no threat on the school property, but there is a possible threat somewhere in the surrounding neighborhood.   

    On-Site Evacuation

    The purpose of an on-site evacuation is to move everybody from inside buildings to a safer area outside on campus grounds.  Although most commonly known as a fire drill, the on-site evacuation would be used for any situation where being outside is safer than being inside. Some examples of this may be when there is a gas leak, or if there is an unknown odor inside a building.  


    Shelter-in-place areas provide refuge for students, staff and public within school buildings during an emergency. Shelter-in-place areas are located in parts of the campus that, through structure or design, maximize the safety of inhabitants.  They are generally used when there is enough advanced warning of the impending crisis to safely move personnel there, thereby increasing their safety.  Shelter-in-place areas may change depending on the emergency.

    Student-Parent Reunification

    Some emergencies may require formal Student-Parent Reunification procedures.  During these times, parents will receive directions on where and when to respond to pick up their student.  The reunification process is broken up into two separate stages: requesting your student and receiving your student.  Parents will be asked to complete a separate Student Release Form for each student you wish to pick up, and you must present your photo identification to the staff.  School personnel will confirm your identity and ensure you are authorized to pick up the student you have requested.  Once confirmed, they will provide you with an authorization form and directions to the location of the Release Gate on campus where you will receive your student.