CMS Safety
Emergency Response Terminology

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has a detailed emergency plan which has been developed in collaboration with our local law enforcement and first responder agencies to respond effectively and efficiently to any situation. Should a critical or emergency situation arise, the appropriate response will be initiated. Please be advised that students WILL NOT be released during any emergency response.

Safety Update

When necessary, a Safety Update will be sent to keep parents informed of events or issues that may arise at or in proximity to their child’s school.


An Evacuation is initiated when there are conditions inside the school building that could be unsafe. Students and staff evacuate the buildings to an outside location and assemble at predetermined locations.

Modified Lockdown

A Modified Lockdown is initiated when there may be a danger outside of the buildings or off campus. Students and staff are moved (or remain) in classrooms and perimeter doors remain locked, including the front office.


A Lockdown is initiated when there may be an immediate threat or hazard near or on the school campus. Students and staff are moved (or remain) in classrooms, sit away from sightline of the doors or windows, and doors and windows are locked and covered. The office will be closed and phones will not be answered.

Shelter in Place

A Shelter in Place is initiated when students and staff need to be inside the building for safety. Students and staff are moved (or remain) in their classrooms. The front office is unlocked and open for anyone seeking shelter.

Parent-Student Reunification

Parent-Student Reunification is a process where parents will be asked pick up their children from school or an alternate location in a formalized, controlled release. Students will be released ONLY to parents/guardians or other adults who are listed as emergency contacts and who present a picture ID such as a driver’s license, military ID or passport.

We encourage all parents/guardians to speak with their children about what to do in the event of an emergency or safety situation. This would include the best way to communicate and who or where to meet in the event that an incident occurs before or after school, or as they are going to or coming from school.

P.O. Box 30035
Charlotte, NC 28230-0035
Phone: 980-343-3000
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools website ( is in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any website accessibility concerns may be brought via the following, Email the Web Accessibility Team at WebAccessibility or Call: 980.343.0115. In compliance with Federal Law, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools administers all education programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Inquiries regarding compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities, may be referred to the District's Title IX Coordinator at titleixcoordinator or to the Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education.