Arlington Public Schools welcomes members of the larger community into our facilities as appropriate. As a visitor you may be unaware that Arlington Public Schools has procedures and plans in place to respond to emergencies and when facilities are able to be accessed. Review the resources on this page to learn more about the programs and services Arlington Public Schools provides to Guests. Contact Administrative Services if you have any questions about emergency preparedness. Not a visitor? Don’t worry, we’ve prepared resources for everyone in the Arlington Public Schools Family. Visit our home page here to find your audience appropriate page.
Arlington Alert is an alert system that allows the County to contact you during an emergency. Employees are encouraged to sign up for Arlington Alert here. Arlington Alert allows you to choose how to be notified during an emergency, pick what notifications you want to receive, and specific particular times during the day you would prefer not to receive notifications.
In addition to lighted EXIT signs in every school, additional signage is posted that we recommend you become familiar with to be prepared for emergencies.
Emergency Procedures Posters
Large blue and yellow Emergency Procedures posters (PDF) are posted throughout schools. These posters provide basic guidance on how to respond to potential emergencies on campus.
Indicate primary and alternate exit routes, the location of emergency equipment and provide the physical address of each building.
Area of Refuge
Indicate areas in which individuals who are unable to evacuate are taken to await emergency personnel to be safely evacuated from the school.
Schools within the Arlington Public School District are equipped with emergency equipment including but not limited to; fire extinguishers, automated external defibrillators (AED), and first aid kits. Clinic staff may have additional equipment to address basic life support medical concerns.
Personal Emergency Kits
During emergencies, resource availability may be limited and environmental conditions may change established patterns. Members of the Arlington Public Schools family should have an emergency kit at home, at work and in their personal vehicle. Our locations have kits you should too. For instructions on how to build your own emergency kit and suggestions for what to include, visit readyvirginia.gov.
Arlington Public Schools maintains a comprehensive Emergency Management program. In an emergency, teachers and administrators convene and utilize emergency plans to coordinate response activities and provide support to local responders and those impacted by the emergency. Plans are designed to protect students, employees and visitors.
Emergency Response Information
You will be notified of an emergency within a school facility via public address (PA), Arlington Alert, or by an administrator or operator of the facility. When notified of an emergency, it is important to remain calm and follow any instructions you receive from teachers, administrators, and emergency responders. During emergencies, cell phone towers are frequently overwhelmed by large call volume which may prevent others from calling for help. If possible, use text messaging to communicate during emergencies to leave phone lines open for those who need them most.
Arlington Public Schools maintains a collaborative relationship with Arlington County Police Department and Arlington County Fire & Rescue to provide a safe and secure environment at our schools. Police, Fire & Rescue, and school administrators meet on a regular basis to discuss emergency response to individual schools.
Fire Drills are conducted at each school in accordance with the Arlington County Fire Code, Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code, and Department of Education Standards for Accreditation. Drills are held in all buildings and are unannounced. Fire drills are conducted one per week during the first month of school and at least one fire drill each month for the remainder of the school year.
Lockdown Drills are conducted at each school in accordance with Code of Virginia and Department of Education Standards for Accreditation. Drills are held in all buildings can be announced or unannounced. Lockdown drills are required to be conducted twice during the first 20 days of school and two additional during the remainder of the year, of which one must be held in January. Lockdown drills are in compliance with the Arlington County Fire Code and the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code.
Each year, Arlington Public Schools participates in the statewide Tornado Drill. This drill is designed to promote awareness of tornado and severe weather response procedures. The drill is announced via School Talk and internal public-address systems at each school. Participation is required and does not interfere with classroom instruction.
September of each year, Arlington Public Schools participates in the Great Southeast Shakeout Earthquake Drill. This drill is designed to promote awareness of earthquake response procedures. The drill is announced via School Talk and internal public-address systems at each school. Participation is required and does not interfere with classroom instruction.