CMS Safety

Lockdowns in schools are initiated when any situation or incident requires students and staff to seek secure shelter and protection from intruders or violent acts occurring on campus. In a lockdown, buildings and locked doors are used to protect students and staff from harm until law enforcement arrives to investigate and respond as needed. The safety of students and staff are top priorities and guide all decisions and actions during an emergency.



  1. Doors Locked
  2. Voices Off
  3. Out of Sight

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 sight line of the doors or windows, and doors and windows are locked and covered.  Classroom activities cease until the incident concludes.  The office will be closed and phones will not be answered.


  1. Move away from sight
  2. Maintain silence
  3. Listen to directions from teacher or staff


  1. Ensure all interior doors are locked
  2. Cover windows, maintain silence
  3. Ensure no movement inside & outside of buildings
  4. Move away from sight
  5. Secure ALL persons in a room (includes office staff and security personnel)
  6. Take attendance and account for students


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.  Classroom instruction continues as normal, and necessary movement can occur within a building. Law enforcement will typically notify administration when the All Clear can be given. 



  1. If outside, return to classroom
  2. Listen to directions from teacher or staff



  1. If outside, all students and staff return to classrooms
  2. Increased situational awareness
  3. Instruction as usual
  4. Take attendance and account for students 

Steps in a Lockdown

  • Administrator or law enforcement determines threat or possibility of a threat 

  • Law enforcement and emergency responders are notified.

  • Lockdown notice is given over the intercom. 

  • Students and staff go to any nearest room with a locking door.

  • Door(s) are locked and barricaded if possible.

  • Blinds are closed and lights are turned off.

  • Students and staff remain inside room in an area not visible through windows. 

  • Students and teachers are silent.

  • Families notified of lockdown through voice message and texts as available.

  • Families should await updates and instructions from official CMS channels.

  • Updates as needed are provided through calls, texts and on CMS social media.

  • During a lockdown, no one is allowed on to or off of a campus.

  • Lockdown is lifted by law enforcement when campus is secure and safe.

  • Return to normal schedule and movement or dismissal.

CMS will notify parents of dismissal and procedures as necessary to ensure safe, orderly, efficient and efficient reunification. 

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.