Emergency Preparedness and Support

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) takes proactive measures to protect the safety of all our students and staff members. FCPS representatives sit on the Fairfax County local emergency planning committees and emergency management teams, the groups that are planning our community’s responses to potential threats. Our plans, which have been cited by both the US Department of Education, the US Department of Homeland security and the American Prepared Campaign as national models, are made in concert with all other local emergency preparedness plans.

The school division and all FCPS school facilities have safety and security plans. The plans are designed with the help of school security staff members, as well as local law enforcement, emergency management, and public health officials. Plans are regularly reviewed and updated. These plans include procedures to respond to critical incidents, such as fire or tornado, and school system personnel practice these drills regularly.

Fairfax County Public Schools works in close collaboration with local, state, and federal health, safety, and emergency personnel to develop and maintain plans for coping with a variety of emergency response situations. These plans involve efforts to protect all students while they are at school. FCPS also is a key resource for facilities and transportation in regional emergency response situations.

The actions taken during any type of emergency situation depend a great deal on the specifics of the incident. For example, one or more schools may evacuate, lock down, or initiate a shelter-in-place response, according to the nature of the threat. The main objective is the protection of the students and staff members. School administrators have a variety of "tools" to use and have received training on how to work with each of these. The ability to remain flexible is a key component of each school's plan and of divisionwide preparations. Additionally, FCPS would follow direction from public safety officials.

If you have questions about your child or about your school's safety and support responses, please contact your principal. Everyone in Fairfax County Public Schools continues to work to make all our schools safe and secure environments for all our students.

Emergency Messages

FCPS broadcasts emergency messages, when necessary, using a number of media. General emergency messages and early and late school openings and closings can be found on the school system public web home page and on cable Channel 21. Emergency messages are sent by e-mail to subscribers of FCPS Keep In Touch. Emergency messages are transmitted to local media, and parents are encouraged to listen to the radio or television.

DISCLAIMER: This web page contains links to one or more web pages that are outside the FCPS network. FCPS does not control the content or relevancy of these pages.


Other Resources


Crisis Terms 101
Crisis Terms 101

These standardized emergency response terms help protect students, staff and the community.
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Webpage Curator

Nancy Moy

Last Updated

September 4, 2015