Standard Response Protocol
In MMSD, the Standard Response Protocol, developed by the "I Love You Guys" Foundation, guides our emergency response. Standard Response Protocol offers clear, distinct, common language among first responders, students and staff, not just throughout Madison but across the state and beyond.
It incorporates best practices in the Final Report of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission. In addition, the Standard Response Protocol is endorsed by the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Office of School Safety.
Each protocol has specific staff and student actions that are unique to the action (“Lockdown,” “Lockout,” “Evacuate,” “Shelter” and “Hold”). In the event of an emergency, the action and appropriate direction will be announced.
Each school year, students receive age-appropriate instruction on what to do in each of these scenarios through lesson plans, slide presentations, class discussions, videos and more.
It is important to note that the Standard Response Protocol materials we use in our schools differ slightly from the original posters, handouts, presentations and training supplements supplied by the "I Love You Guys" Foundation. We have built on them and customized them for our district.
“Get inside. Lock outside doors.”
Lockout is called when there is a threat or hazard outside of the school building. In a Lockout, staff ensure that all students return to the inside of the building and take attendance to account for all students. While staff increase their situational awareness, the school day goes on as normal.
You can read more details about what happens during a Lockout in the Lockout section of the Standard Response Protocol Operational Guidelines.
“Locks, Lights, Out of Sight”
Lockdown is called when there is a threat or hazard inside the school building. In a lockout, staff and students move away from sight and remain silent. Teachers lock classroom doors, turn lights off and account for all students.
You can read more details about what happens during a Lockdown in the Lockdown section of the Standard Response Protocol Operational Guidelines.
“To the Announced Location”
Evacuate is called to move students and staff from one location to another. In an evacuation, staff lead students to the evacuation location. Students and staff bring their phones and leave other belongings behind.
You can read more details about what happens during an Evacuation in the Evacuation section of the Standard Response Protocol Operational Guidelines.
“For a Hazard Using a Safety Strategy”
Shelter is called when the need for personal protection is necessary. Examples include tornadoes or hazardous materials exposure. Shelter strategies include sealing classrooms, evacuating to shelter areas and “drop, cover and hold.”
You can read more details about what happens in a Shelter situation in the Shelter section of the Standard Response Protocol Operational Guidelines.
“In Your Classroom or Area. Clear the Halls.”
There may be situations that require students to remain in their classrooms. For example, an altercation in the hallway may demand keeping students out of the halls until it is resolved. In a hold, students and staff remain in their classrooms, even if there is a scheduled class change, until the all clear is announced.
You can read more details about what happens during a Hold in the Hold section of the Standard Response Protocol Operational Guidelines.
- MMSD's family letter introducing the Standard Response Protocol
- MMSD's 8.5" x 11" Standard Response Protocol classroom posters
- Grades 6-12 Standard Response Protocol training presentation screencast
- Grades 3-5 Standard Response Protocol training presentation screencast
- Grades 4K-2 Standard Response Protocol lesson plans
- All classrooms are equipped with an Emergency Procedure Flip Chart, which can also be easily accessed online at mmsd.org/BeSafe. You can save the online version of the flip chart to your phone's home screen using these simple instructions.