Emergency Response Guide

Statistics consistently show that schools are among the safest places to be due to the strong commitment of educators, families, and our community to our students and schools. We strive to be proactive rather than reactive.

The information below outlines the key elements of Middletown Public Schools’ state of preparedness. We hope that it will answer questions concerning our actions and intentions in the event of an emergency.


For consistency, we have developed the following terms to use:

  • Drill: An activity that practices a specific safety circumstance and is designed to prepare staff and students to act quickly and minimize fears should an emergency take place. The Connecticut State Department of Education requires fire and other emergency drills, including an unannounced lockdown.

  • SRO: School Resource Officer; a uniformed Middletown Police Department officer assigned to schools to help build and maintain relationships between police, students, families, and employees.

  • Reunification Site: Area where students and employees are transported to later be reunified with family members.

  • Student Release Area: Location designated at a school or reunification site where families may pick up students. This location would be communicated to parents/guardians at the time of an emergency.

Secure the Perimeter: Get inside. Lock Outside Doors.

Secure the Perimeter is called when there is a threat or hazard outside of the school building. Secure the Perimeter uses the security of the building to act as protection against something that is happening in the neighborhood surrounding the school. Instruction continues in a secure building. Secure the Perimeter can be called by the Middletown Police Department, the school/building administrator, or a district administrator.

Secure the Perimeter requires that all school occupants remain in the classroom/building. Movement within the building is at the discretion of the school/building administrator. Approved visitors (e.g. a parent coming to pick up their child, a community partner providing services, etc.) may enter and leave the building, but all must maintain heightened and situational awareness.

Lockdown: Locked Doors. Lights off. Out of sight.

Lockdown is called when there is a threat or hazard inside the school building. Lockdown uses classroom and school security actions to protect students and staff from the threat that is happening inside the school.

Lockdown requires all occupants to remain in rooms or areas that are secured. There is no movement within the building. No one is allowed into the building.

Update Contact Information

As soon as possible, please:

  • Make sure that your contact information in the Parent Portal | PowerSchool is up-to-date and accurate, including who is authorized to pick up your student.

    • We will use this information and multiple communication channels (phone call, email, and text message) to provide accurate and timely information in the event of an emergency.

    • If necessary, we may also use our District website (www.middletownschools.org), district social media (Facebook, X/Twitter, and Instagram) to provide accurate and timely information in the event of an emergency. Local news outlets may be asked to broadcast information, as well.

During an Emergency

What you can expect if an emergency occurs:

  • The emergency plan will be implemented and the district/school emergency teams will respond.

  • The school/district leaders will work with all appropriate emergency response agencies.

  • Depending on the situation, students and employees may be secured within the building or relocated to a reunification site. Students will not be allowed to take their property (e.g. coat, backpack, etc.) with them in an emergency.

Families will be informed on the situation with as much detail and as frequently, as possible.

Please understand that we have an ethical obligation to communicate accurate information in a timely manner. Sometimes, this means that very little information is provided. We will always share what we have confirmed to be accurate and we will share it quickly.

The official way for us to contact parents/guardians in an emergency is first by text and email, then an automated phone call. Please only rely on these official communications channels for information; please make sure your contact information is up to date in the Parent Portal | PowerSchool. (To learn more about our official communication channels, please read this webpage.)

Please don't call the school. In an emergency situation, phones are needed to manage the situation and lines must remain open.

Please refrain from calling the school, district, and/or the cell phone of someone located within a school or district property. Calling could also put students and employees at risk in an intruder situation. For example, if they did not have time to turn down their ring volume, your call could potentially reveal their hiding spot.

Please don't approach the school. You will not be allowed on school grounds during an emergency.

Emergency personnel responding to the situation need the roads and area around the school/building to be clear to do their job. Middletown Police Department will not allow parents, guardians, or family members to approach the school.

After emergency responders determine that a safe student release is possible, arrangements will be made to reunite students with their families. This may occur at a reunification site.

After an Emergency

What you can expect after an emergency occurs:

  • You may be directed to a reunification site, where you will need to show photo identification.

    • Students will only be released to a parent, guardian, or other adult listed on the student’s Emergency Information Form, which you complete at the beginning of the school year. The individual picking up the student will be asked to complete a Student Release Form. This procedure is designed for your student’s protection and for your peace of mind.

    • Please be aware that reunification can be very time-consuming. We appreciate your patience.

See or Hear Something, Say Something

All Middletown Public Schools employees, students, families, and community members are encouraged to report anything they see, hear, or are made aware of that may impact a school.

If you see or hear something, say something.

Call 911 or the Middletown Police Department at 860-638-4000. To submit an anonymous tip to Middletown Public Schools, please do so here: https://www.middletownschools.org/page/say-something

  • More details is better. When providing information, please be as detailed as possible. Include the name of the school(s), person(s) involved, type of alleged activities, when they occurred/may occur.

  • All threats are taken seriously. Police are notified, and officers and school administrators work together to thoroughly investigate any threat, whether it is made verbally, in writing, email, text message, or online. The earlier we know about a potential threat, the earlier an investigation can begin.

  • Anyone who makes a threat against a school could face criminal charges. If a student is involved in making a threat, the school/district will respond as outlined in the student handbook.

Additional Information

How we respond to an emergency is greatly influenced by the specifics of an incident. Our plans do not replace the authority of emergency personnel. Our employees work in full cooperation with these agencies. 

For security reasons, components of our emergency plans are not publicly available.