School Safety Guidelines for Parents

Your student’s safety is our district’s highest priority. We want you to feel confident that your student is safe and secure at school. Here’s what to expect in the event of an emergency and how you can be a school safety partner.

Text notifications

As a Helena Public Schools parent, you will automatically receive emergency text alerts from Helena Public Schools unless you have opted out. If you opted out and would like to change your text alert status, you can opt in by texting “YES” to 87569.

Monitor district information sources

During an emergency, our administrators’ priority is your student’s immediate safety. Depending on the situation, this may include initiating the emergency response plan, communicating with law enforcement and first responders, and evacuating students.

We are committed to prompt communication with families, as soon as possible after these immediate safety steps are taken. In addition to text messages and emails, emergency communications will include posts to the district website and social media. Take a moment to bookmark our webpage or follow us on social media so you’re prepared to receive the most accurate and timely information in the event of an emergency.

Remember that emergency situations often spark rumors and misinformation, especially on social media. Be sure you’re getting your information from official sources such as the district and law enforcement.

Helena Public Schools Website:
Facebook: @HelenaSchoolDistrict
Instagram: @HelenaPublicSchools

Refrain from calling or visiting the school

Our instinct as parents is to act when our children are in danger. We understand. However, we ask you to please refrain from calling or visiting your child’s school during an emergency. Phone lines, staff and roads are needed for the emergency response, and parents will not be allowed on campus. Please also refrain from calling or texting your child so they can focus on following emergency instructions.

If you see something, say something

Safe schools are everyone’s responsibility. If you become aware of a potential safety threat either online or in person, please report it immediately to a trusted adult, a school official, or law enforcement. School officials include teachers, school principals, secretaries, school resource officers (SROs) and counselors.

What happens in a School Emergency?

In the event of a school emergency, your child’s school will initate one of the following safety responses:

Lock in Place

Indicates an emergency situation within a school building. A “Lock in Place” can be initiatied for student or staff medical emergencies, suspicious person(s) in or around the school, or other distrubances in the hallways that could be dangerous.

To “Lock in Place” means to keep students and staff in their current locations within a building, with interior and exterior doors locked.

Shelter in place

Indicates a potentially dangerous situation exists outside the school, such as a neighborhood concern, police activity in the school area, a high-speed chase or other situation where it is determined that an exterior lockdown is needed for safety.

To “Shelter in Place” means to take immediate shelter and isolate your inside environment from the outside.


Initiated when conditions are safer outside the building.

Severe Weather

When conditions warrant keeping students inside the school or implementing alternate transportation plans.