Norris School District

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Parent Resources » Lockdown/Shelter in Place FAQ

Lockdown/Shelter in Place FAQ

Undoubtedly, you have been made aware of Lockdowns being called throughout town, and even in our local schools. At first glance, this could cause a certain amount of anxiety for us, as parents, if we don’t have a clear understanding of what a Lockdown is, and why it is called. Our local police departments call Lockdowns when a suspected criminal is in the school’s vicinity or a crime is occurring in the same vicinity, the Police call a Lockdown to eliminate the possibility of the suspect using our school as a hiding place. The key point here, is that suspected crimes are occurring away from our campuses. “Lockdown” is a term used by police departments. When a Lockdown is called, we use a procedure called Shelter In Place.

When a Lockdown/Shelter In Place is called, regular instruction continues in our classrooms behind a locked door, and unsupervised student access to the playground and walkways is restricted. Our classroom doors are always locked when students are present, so the only real difference between a regular hour of the day, and an hour of a lockdown, is there is no recess. To better assist you, please refer to the attached Lockdown/Shelter In Place FAQ.


  • What is a Lockdown/Shelter In Place?
    In the Norris School District, a Shelter In Place is when all students are behind closed, locked doors, receiving their regular instruction.
  • Who calls a Lockdown/Shelter in Place?
    The Bakersfield Police Department, or the Kern County Sheriff’s department notifies the affected school’s principal that a lockdown must be in place. The Norris School District applies the procedure Shelter In Place.
  • Why is a Lockdown/Shelter in Place called?
    When a suspected criminal is in the school’s vicinity or a crime is occurring in the same vicinity, the Police call a lockdown to eliminate the possibility of the suspect using our school as a hiding place.
  • When is a Lockdown/Shelter in Place lifted?
    When the Police department notifies the school that the suspect is apprehended or safely contained.
  • Does the Norris School District have control over calling or lifting a Lockdown/Shelter in Place?
    No. This is under the control of the Police department. However, we control what’s happening during the event, that is why we continue to provide regular instruction.
  • Is my child ever in danger?
    No. The event is not occurring on campus. This is merely a precaution. Our classroom doors are always locked throughout the day as per district policy. The main difference between a Lockdown/Shelter in Place and a regular day is that children do not have recess, or go in between buildings without adult escort.
  • Why do I sometimes hear about the Lockdown/Shelter in Place from the media before I hear from the Norris School District?
    The media has the luxury of posting a story as it progresses. We, unfortunately can only report the lockdown after it has been lifted so we can give you the facts reported to us by law enforcement.
  • How will the Norris School District notify me regarding a Lockdown/Shelter in Place?
    When the lockdown is lifted, the Norris School District will send a mass phone call, text, and/or email to every parent/guardian of the affected school(s).
  • If my child has a previously scheduled appointment, can I pick him/her up during a Lockdown/Shelter in Place?
    Yes. It will take a little more time than usual, as we will have an adult escort your child from his/her classroom to the office.
  • What if I’m on school grounds while a Lockdown/Shelter in Place is in effect?
    You too will be on Lockdown/Shelter in Place as is every student and employee. Usually, Lockdown/Shelter in Place last less than an hour.
  • Can my child use the restroom during a Lockdown/Shelter in Place?
    Yes. Your child will be escorted to and from the restroom if the need arises.
  • Can my child eat lunch during a lockdown?
    Yes. Adults will escort your child to and from the cafeteria during his/her normal lunchtime.
  • How can I help in the event of a Lockdown/Shelter in Place?
    Trust that we will keep your child safe. Only call the office if it is an emergency.