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Safety & Emergency Management

Mitigation and Prevention

McDade Safety & Emergency Management team is responsible for mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery programs within the District. McDade ISD has emergency preparedness and operations plans, and continually conducts drills and training with its staff and students. We partner with our local and regional first responders and emergency management personnel to ensure we are prepared to provide exceptional service before, during, and after any emergency conditiions. Emergency Operations Plans are reviewed annually and updated as necessary. Fire evacuation drills, tornato / severe weather drills, lock-out, and lock-down drills are conducted in accordance with TEC guidelines and Fire Department regulations.


Standard Response Protocol Images


We train our staff and students in the Standard Response Protocols (SRP); Secure, Lockdown, Evacuate, Shelter, and Hold. These five simple procedures give our staff and students the tools they need to properly initiate emergency response actions for any emergency that may occur on a campus. These SRP’s are practiced regularly each school year at all campuses in the formof drills. State law actually dictates that number of times each semester each drill has to be practiced. In addition to the SRP Drills, we also have Fire Drills, Severe Weather Drills, Evacuation Drills. All drills are reported by each of the campus administrators to the McDade Office of Safety and Emergency Management within forty-eight hours of the drill. 

Each of our SRP’s are listed below along with a brief description of the protocol. You can click on the icon of each SRP for more detailed information on each protocol.

  • Standard Response Protocol - Hold HOLD! 

    In your classroom. Clear the halls. Activated if the campus needs the hallways to remain clear due to an incident – even during class changes. 

    Students will remain in classrooms and continue business as usual.

    Teachers will recover students and staff from the hallways and close and lock the classroom door. Roll should be taken to account for all students.

    Administration will announce when class can be dismissed.


  • Standard Response Protocol - Secure  SECURE!

    SECURE is called when there is a threat or hazard outside of the school building. Whether it’s due to violence or criminal activitity in the imemdiate neighborhood, or a dangerous animal in the playground, SECURE uses the security of physical facility to act as protection.

    Public Address – the public address for Lockout is: “Secure! Secure the Perimeter” and is repeated twice each time the public address is performed.

    Actions – The SECURE Protocol demands bringing students into the main building and locking all outisde access points. Where possible, classroom activities would continue uninterrupted. Classes that were held outside, such as gym class, would return to the building and if possible continue class inside the building.

    There may be occasions where students expect to be able to leave the building --- end ofo classes, job commitment, etc. Depending on the condition, this may have to be prevented. During the training period, it should be emphasized to students (as well as their parents), that they may be inconvenienced by these directives, but their cooperation is important to ensure their safety.

    Responsibility – depending on the school, administration or teachers may be required to lock the doors or windows. These may include doorways, windows, loading docks, and ensure fire escapes are inaccessible from the outside. 

    The assigned staff is designated as having “Secure Duty.” Classroom teachers or instructors are required to take roll and determine if attendance has changed since the start of class. If there are extra or missing students, the teacher should notify the front office.

    Reporter – SECURE is typically reported by emergency dispatch to a school administrator. The administrator invokes the public address system. SECURE may also be reported to an administrator by students, staff, or teachers if a threat is directly observed outside of the building. 

    Drills – SECURE drills should be performed annually. 

    Contingencies – there may be physical attributes to the campus that mandate special handling of a SECURE. An example would be a campus where modular buildings are present. Although not required, it may be best for students in modular buildings to evacuate to the main building rather than going to SECURE in the modular building, dependent upon conditions. 

    If, during a SECURE, a hazard manifests inside the school – (i.e., fire, flood, hazmat), then situational decisions must be made. It may be necessary to evacuate to a different location than would typically be indicated, according to circumstances.

    Examples of SECURE conditions: The following are some examples of when a school or emergency dispatch might call for a SECURE: dangerous animal on school grounds / criminal activity in the area / civvil disobedience.

  • Standard Response Protocol - Lockdown LOCKDOWN!

    LOCKDOWN is called when there is a threat or hazard inside the school building. From parental custody disputes to intruders to an active shooter, LOCKDOWN uses classroom security to protect students and staff from threat.

    Public Address – The public address for LOCKDOWN is: “Lockdown! Locks, Lights, Out of Sight!” and is repeated twice each time the public address is performed.

    Actions – The LOCKDOWN protocol demands locking individual classroom doors or other access points, moving room occupants out of line sight of the corridor windows, and having room occupants maintain silence. 

    There is no call to action to lock the building outside access points. Rather, the protocol advises to leave the perimeter as is. The reasoning is simple – sending staff to lock outside doors exposes them to unnecessary risk and inhibits first responder’s entry into the building.

    Teachers and student training reinforces the practice on not opening the classroom door once in LOCKDOWN. Rather, no indication of occupancy should be revealed until first responders open the door.

    Responsibility – The classroom teacher is responsible for implementing LOCKDOWN. The teacher should lock all classroom access points and facilitate moving occupants out of sight. Silent or whispered roll should be taken to determine if affendance has changed since the beginning of class.

    Reporter – LOCKDOWN is typically reported by students or staff to a teacher. The teacher reports to an administrator who will invoke the public address system. It may also be reported to an administrator by local emergency dispatch.

    Preparation – Teachers and students should be trained to not open the classroom door until a first responder or school administrator unlocks it. Students, staff, and teachers should be advised that a LOCKDOWN may persist for several hours and during an incident, silence is essential.

    Drills – LOCKDOWN drills should be performed a minimum of once per year. If possible, one of these drills should be performed with local law enforcement personnel participation.

    Contingencies – students and staff who are outside of classrooms during a LOCKDOWN may be faced with the need to get out of sight without the benefit of an empty or open classroom. In this situation, students and staff must be trained to hide or even EVACUATE themselves away from the building. 

    If during a LOCKDOWN an additional hazard manifests inside the school (i.e., fire, flood, hazmat), then situational decisions must be made. Evacuation to an unplanned location may be required.

    Examples of LOCKDOWN conditions. The following are simply some examples of when a school or emergency dispatch might call fo a LOCKDOWN: dangerous animal within school building / intruder / active shooter / angry or viiolent parent or student.

  • Standard Response Protocol - Evacuate  EVACUATE!

    EVACUATE is called when there is a need to move students from one location to another. The most common use of this action is a fire drill, in which students are evacuated to pre-determined staging areas.

    Public Address – the public address for EVACUATE is: “Evacuate! Type / Location” and is repeated twice each time the public address is performed. Type is added when special actions need to be taken during evacuation. For instance “Evacuate! To the Flag Pole. Evacuate! To the Flag Pole.”

    Red Card / Green Card (Assembly card)

    Standard Response Protocol - Red Card Green Card

    After taking roll at the assembly area, the Red / Green Card system is employed for administration or first responders to quickly, visually identify the status of the teachers’ classes by folding the card to show either green or red.

    Green Card – (OK) – all students accounted for, no immediate help is necessary.

    Red Card – (HELP) – extra or missing students, or vital information must be exchanged.

    Incident Command System – the school incident command system should be initiated.

    Responsibility – the classroom teacher is responsible for initiating an evacuation. In a tactical situation, students may be instructed to establish a single file line and hold hands or ask students and staff to place their hands on their heads or use different evacuation methods, i.e., run, crawl.

    Reporter – EVACUATE is typically called by an administrator.

    Drills – Evacuation drills should be performed during any month that has ten or more school days. Fire drills constitute a valid evacuation drill.

    Preparation – Evacuation preparation involves the identification and marking of facility Evacuation Points and campus maps.

    Contingencies – students are trained that if they are separated from their class during a tactical evacuation, then joining an evacuation line is acceptable. Students should be instructed to identify themselves to the teacher in their group after arriving at the evacuation site.

    Special needs evacuation plans should be developed and drilled, including medication and pharmaceutical evacuation and chain of trust.

    Evacuation Assembly – the Evacuation Assembly refers to gathering at the evacuation assemply point. Teachers are instructed to take roll after arrival at the evacuation assembly point and to use their green / red signs to indicate their status.

  • Standard Response Protocol - Shelter SHELTER!

    SHELTER is called when the need for personal protection is necessary. Training should also include spontaneious events such as tornado, earthquake, or airborne irritants.

    Public Address – the public addresses for shelter are “Shelter for Tornado! Drop, Cover, and Hold!” – “Shelter for Hazmat! Seal Shelter!” – The public address is repeated twice each time the public address is performed. 

    A tornado is the most likely event that would activate this response protocol. All campuses have identified appropriate shelter areas within their building. If one finds themselves in an area where a specific shelter area does not exist, move into interior hallways or small rooms on the building’s lowest level. Avoid areas with glass and wide, free-span roofs (i.e., cafeterias and gyms).

    Responsibility – each individual is responsible for sheltering. If there are special needs that prevent individual responsibility, administration should plan on how to best provide sheltering assistance.

    Reporter – SHELTER is typically called by a school administrator, but may be called by students, teachers, or first responders.

    Preparation – Pre-designated areas within the building, suitable for a tornado or severe weather, should be indicated on maps. All staff and students should be made aware of the safe areas, and should understand why some areas are not considered as structurally safe (i.e., glass enclosed area, high roof areas such as gymnasiums or cafeterias).

    Drills – a SHELTER method should be practiced twice a year.


  • Parent - Student Reunification Process


    A controlled release reunification typically occurs because of a crisis or emergency. One critical aspect of crisis response is accountable reunification of students with their parents or guardians in the event a controlled release is necessary. The Standard Reunification Method provides the District with proven methods for planning, practicing and achieving a successful reunification.

    Consquently, during these types of scenarios it is not just the students and parents / guardians who are trying to function at extraordinary stress levels. Staff and other first responders also feel the strain. By having a defined process, all parties will better be able to function under these conditions.

    Our reunification process is based on the following processes:

    • McDade ISD will establish a Parent Check-In location. Parents and/or guardians will need identification.
    • Students will be gathered into a staging area. “Greeters” direct parents/guardians to the Parent Check-In location and help them understand the process.
    • Parents/guardians complete reunification form, which is used to ensure the whereabouts of students is tracked and to ensure they are only released to authorized persons.
    • Runner recovers student from the student staging area, and brings them to the reunification area.
    • Parent and student are reunified and tracking and accountability are ensured using the reunification form.
    • Medical or investigative contigencies are anticipated.

    In 2019, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 11 to address a number of school safety issues due to the rising number of school attacks around the country, including the attack at Santa Fe High School. As a part of Governor Abbott’s school safety action plan, SB!! made changes to the Texas Education Code Section 37.109 by requiring that each school district must establish a School Safety and Security Committee (SSSC) that is comprised of various members of the school district and surrounding communities that offer differeing perspectives on school safety and security.

    At a minimum, the SSSC must consist of individuals from the following areas:

    • one representative of an office of emergency management in the district’s county or city;
    • one representative of the local police department or sheriff’s office;
    • one representative of the district’s police department, if applicable;
    • the school board president;
    • a school board member other than the president;
    • the superintendent;
    • one or more designees of the superintendent, one of whom must be a classroom teacher in the district;
    • if the district partners with an open-enrollment charter school (OECS) to provide instruction to students, a member of the OECS board or board’s designee;
    • two parents or guardians of students enrolled in the district.

    Texas Education Code §37.109(a-1)

    The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) and the Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University (TSSC) have collaborated to create guidelines that help Texas school districts in creating and managing SSSC’s. You can click on their names to view the guidelines and frequently asked questions.

    website picture13

    Click on the image to report any threats made to harm anyone on campus, any suspiciious activity on a campus, bullying and cyberbullying, cheating on schoolwork, dating violence/abuse, depression, self-harm/cutting, drug/tobacco/vaping/alcohol use on campus, eating disorders, or family abuse/neglect. 

  • Any time there is a concern for an inclement weather event, we use the following protocol to help drive the decision-making process to either delay the start of school or cancel school. The concern for student and staff safety always serves as the main driver when these decisions are made, and we always strive to err on the side of caution. Each weather incident is unique, and will demand unique considerations.

    We know that when we delay the start of school or cancel the school day completely, it has a significant impact on families. We also want to ensure that we are making decisions that minimize any negative impact on student learning. In other words, when there is no safety concern in getting to school, we want to make sure that our students are at school. This is the balance we constantly weigh when making school delay or school closure decisions.

    Note: Any OFFICIAL communication will only be distributed via the normal McDade ISD communications methods (phone calls, text messages, district website, original posts on McDade ISD Facebook). Please beware of copies or imitations.


    How is the public notified?

    We post the announcement on the district website,, and social media platforms (Facebook) and send texts, emails and automated phone calls to parents of registered McDade ISD students and staff. (That’s one reason we always need up-to-date contact information.) The district does not send out emails or other forms of communication if there are no changes to the regular school day.

    When is the decision made?
    We try to make the decision by 5:30 a.m. or earlier the day of the incident so we can notify local media and post the information on our website and start the automated texts, emails and phone calls by 6 a.m. If we believe that the forecasts won’t change during the overnight hours, we may make the decision to delay school or cancel school the night before. Our first buses leave the transportation center around 6:15 a.m., so we work diligently to make the decision as soon as possible. Finally, we know that waiting much later in the morning limits parents’ options when they are making childcare decisions.

    How do we make our decision?
    We make our decision to open or close schools in bad weather based on careful analysis of as many relevant factors as we can gather, including:

    • Numerous consultations with our local emergency management consortia and weather experts. In the days leading up to a possible weather incident, we monitor local forecasts, both in the evening before the incident and in the early morning hours. We will talk to Bastrop County officials.
    • Information on road conditions from transportation staff and local law enforcement officials. We must give careful consideration to the most dangerous roads in the district. Even if the street in front of your house looks clear, travel elsewhere in the district may be dangerous. In addition, we must consider the risk to our least experienced drivers, our high school students.
    • Amount of snow or ice accumulated and projected accumulations. We also consider whether or not precipitation is continuing.
    • Building conditions, such as whether there is any interruption in our buildings’ electricity and heat.
    • Parking lot conditions. We try to monitor the clearing and treating of parking lots and sidewalks.
    • Temperature and wind chill. Some of our students walk to and from school and some have to wait outside in the elements at their bus stop.
    • Weather predictions. We prefer not making our decision solely based on weather predictions, which are not always accurate, but sometimes it is unavoidable.If this is the case, we may make the decision the evening before.
    • Consideration to what area school districts and universities are doing. While every district has its unique situations, we do stay in touch with other districts to help guide decision-making.

    Who makes the decision?
    The superintendent is responsible for the final decision, based on the above factors and recommendations from district staff, including the facilities and transportation departments.

    How does McDade ISD’s automated calling system work?
    McDade ISD uses School Messenger, which is a communication system that calls parents’ phone numbers when the district needs to relay an important message. Parents provide the phone numbers in this database when they fill out the student registration/emergency card. Parents should receive the McDade ISD automated phone call at the phone number that parents indicated as primary contact (usually a home number), in addition to the other numbers parents listed.

    During inclement weather (such as delays or cancellations due to icy conditions), the School Messenger system will attempt to call phone numbers for both primary and secondary contacts.

    If district officials mark the call as an “emergency” then ALL contact phone numbers for a student will be called with the same message. This would include a parent’s home, work, cell or any phone numbers they have listed. In addition, an email message will be sent to all email addresses for the student. If the parent has opted in for SMS text messages, they will receive a text message also (but only in cases of emergency will texts be used).

    Read more about the McDade ISD’s text messaging system.


    If I know bad weather is expected in our area, what should I do?
    Because weather updates can happen rapidly and to avoid miscommunication, please check the McDade ISD website at for the latest accurate information.

    How do I find out if my child’s after-school activity has been canceled?
    For campus-related information, such as revised class/bell schedules please check the McDade ISD website.

    How will the district make up missed days?
    If the district must cancel school for a day, the first (in calendar year order) “bad weather day” designated on the McDade ISD School Year Calendar will become an instructional day. If the district must subsequently cancel school for another day, the second “bad weather day” designated on the calendar will also become an instructional day. If school is canceled for more than two days, the district will either add days at the end of the school year or follow directives from the Texas Education Agency.

    If school is delayed due to weather, what happens to Pre-K classes or breakfast meals being served?
    If McDade ISD starts school later in the day due to bad weather, no breakfast meals will be offered for that day. 

    McDade ISD Cold Weather Outdoor Recess Policy
    Outdoor recess is an integral part of the school day and provides students with a break from structured classroom time. Recess promotes opportunities for physical exercise and social development.

    Children are expected to come to school prepared to participate in outdoor recess. When winter weather conditions exist, it is essential that children have the proper clothing to prevent hypothermia. Hypothermia may result if the body’s heat loss is greater than its rate of producing heat. Appropriate outerwear such as a pair of gloves or mittens, a warm coat, and hat is essential for healthy and safe outdoor play.

    The outside temperature including wind chill helps to determine cold weather safety. When the outside temperature including wind chill is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, recess will be held indoors.