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A131 - Active Shooter Exercises

 Administrative Letter #131 clearly defines the District's position on active shooter exercises in school facilities using personnel.

Active Shooter Exercises

This letter is drafted to clearly define the Washington County School District’s (WCSD) position on Active Shooter Exercises in our schools and facilities. When WCSD personnel wish to conduct an Active Shooter Exercise, administrators must ensure that the content of this letter is both read and understood. Additionally, the following list should not be considered comprehensive and may be added to as practices or concerns arise that present inherent safety risks to staff, students or the community.

Please advise: Active Shooter Exercises should not be confused with Lockdown and Lockout drills. A Lockdown or Lockout drill must be conducted each school year at each school. Information regarding Lockout and Lockdown drills may be accessed at



  • Active Shooter Exercise
    • A drill or exercise wherein a school or facility utilizes simulated gunfire, mock weapons, or violence to give personnel experience to know how to react in the event of an active shooter emergency.
  • Lockdown Drill
    • A drill or simulation wherein a school or facility practices the procedures that should be followed in the event that the site is faced with an imminent threat. These drills include locking down the interior doors, turning off classroom and office lights, and hiding out of sight.
  • Lockout Drill
    • A drill or simulation wherein a school or facility practices procedures that should be followed in the event that the site is faced with a nearby threat. These drills include locking the exterior doors, and securing the perimeter of the facility.
  • Appropriate Distance
    • The area/distance in proximity to a school or facility that may hear simulated gunfire, yelling, PA system announcements or other audible dramatizations that may be utilized in the course of an Active Shooter Exercise.



  • Schools and facilities that desire to hold Active Shooter Exercises at their sites must first reach out to the District Risk Manager to coordinate the drill. Active Shooter Exercises cannot be conducted without coordination with the school district office.
  • Schools and facilities that desire to hold Active Shooter Exercises at their sites must reach out to the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over their site. Active Shooter Exercises must be coordinated with local law enforcement.
  • Exercise dates will be selected using the following criterion:
    • Must be on a day when students are not in school.
    • Must provide sufficient time to notify homes and businesses within an appropriate distance of the school or location.



  • Community
    • Homes and businesses located within an appropriate distance of a school or facility must be given written notice of a drill within 2 business days of an exercise. Such notices mitigate the liability of concerned citizens approaching facilities or contacting emergency services while a drill is in progress.
    • Written notice shall include the following criterion:
      • A brief explanation of the event
      • The scheduled date and time
      • The anticipated duration
      • School or facility contact information should they have any questions
  • Faculty and Staff
    • A meeting shall take place immediately preceding the commencement of the Active Shooter Exercise with all faculty and staff within the school or facility. The meeting should include a detailed breakdown of the exercise and a briefing of what participants should expect.
    • An administrator will verify that all people within the school or facility are present at the meeting, and are briefed on the drill.
    • An announcement shall be made over the PA system immediately preceding the exercise to ensure that all people within the building are aware that the exercise is about to begin.
    • All people within the school or facility shall participate in the exercise. Individuals who decline to participate should not be on site.
  • Active Shooter Exercises are always scheduled; they are never performed spontaneously or without coordination with local law enforcement and the District office.



  • A list of participants must be generated before the exercise is conducted.
  • All participants over 18 must sign a participation waiver
  • All participants under the age of 18 must sign an informed consent form
  • WCSD Personnel
    • WCSD personnel are encouraged to participate in Active Shooter Exercises.
  • Students
    • No students under the age of 16 may participate in the exercise.
    • The Superintendent must approve participating students.
  • Community volunteers
    • Emphasis should be placed on running these exercises with WCSD personnel. Non-WCSD personnel may be used should a need for additional participation arise.
    • Volunteers must sign a participation waiver.



  • Active Shooter Exercises shall be executed primarily by local law enforcement in coordination with the District Risk Manager. Procedures, techniques, directives and protocols will be expressed and governed primarily by local law enforcement.
  • Participants in the exercises are expected to be actively engaged, and follow the directives received from law enforcement officials.
  • Signage
    • Signage shall be posted at every entrance of the school or facility indicating that an Active Shooter Exercise is in progress.
    • Access to grounds and facilities during the event must be limited to personnel, volunteers, law enforcement and other Active Shooter Exercise participants.
  • Execution of Active Shooter Exercises will be done in accordance with the Utah State Risk Management . These protocols are available by contacting WCSD Risk Management.

Employees who willfully disregard these established safety procedures may place themselves or others at risk of serious injury or harm. WCSD personnel are expected to diligently follow the practices outlined in this letter for their own safety, as well as the safety of students.

Signed by Superintendent Larry Bergeson on May 16, 2018                                                                                         

Link to signed letter



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