Drill/Evacuation Procedures 


The fire drill/evacuation procedure for leaving the building is available in each area of the building. Specific instructions regarding the route to be followed and the location of the assembly area outside the building is provided. It is extremely important that these specific routes are followed and that groups assemble far enough away from the building so the fire department has access to the school. Teachers should periodically review the procedures with their students throughout the school year. 

Whenever the fire alarm sounds, everyone must evacuate the building immediately. It is unsafe and illegal for anyone to delay the evacuation process by getting coats or other forms of outerwear before leaving the building. Students are not permitted to go to their lockers for any reason. 

  • Students must leave classrooms immediately after attendance is taken and form a double line close to the wall outside of the classroom. They will remain in the hall until everyone has vacated their classroom and all windows and door(s) have been closed.
  • The teacher or supervisor will lead the students along the designated route to the designated area outside of the building. Groups must be taken far enough away from the building to permit easy access by the fire department.
  • Order and quiet must be maintained at all times.
  • State law prohibits smoking during a fire drill/evacuation.
  • Stay with the class. Ensure that the private property of school neighbors is protected and that all school rules are respected. All school rules are in effect during a fire drill. All streets, alleys and drives must be kept clear so that fire department equipment can move around the building.
  • PE: Fieldhouse or 1 West Gym evacuate to closest exit, East or West pool, Exit poll. Stay in the area unless imminent danger, smell of smoke or fire, other PE areas evacuate to your closest exit.
  • The teacher will check attendance upon arrival at designated areas using the red/green card system. If a student violates the code of conduct (smoking, leaving the area, etc.), the teacher will refer the student to the Dean of Students after the drill is over.
  • When the signal is given to re-enter the building, everyone must return to their rooms via the reverse route used to exit the building. If a significant change in the schedule is necessary, a modified schedule will be announced on the emergency speaker system and/or distributed to all rooms.

NOTE: If an alarm sounds at a time when students are not in designated classes (i.e. passing periods, assemblies, etc.) all students must evacuate the building in an orderly fashion and wait outside until the signal is given to re-enter the school. 


When the school has been notified that a “warning condition” exists or a Tornado Drill should commence, a special alarm will be sounded throughout the school building and the outside campus. 

  • Everyone is to remain in the building. Those individuals that are outside of the building at the time the alarm sounds must move into the building immediately.
  • Students will proceed to the designated shelter area after attendance is taken. Some classes are assigned to remain in their rooms while others are assigned to move into interior corridors. Students should check the attached shelter area assignments for their classroom’s location.
  • Order and quiet must be maintained at all times.
  • •Upon arrival at the assigned shelter location, students are expected to crouch down on their knees and cover their head. Students will practice this posture for at least one minute during the drill. They should remain in this posture during a real emergency.
  • Everyone must remain in the assigned location until the “all clear” announcement is given on the P.A. Once this announcement is given, classes assigned to the interior corridors may return to their classrooms. In case of an actual emergency, an emergency announcement may be given with additional instructions.

Hard Lockdown 

A Hard Lockdown Condition means that a substantial conflict/disturbance has begun or is imminent, i.e. hostage, gunman or an explosive device. A Hard Lockdown Condition requires a tight lockdown response. Anyone can initiate a Hard Lockdown if he or she observes an extremely dangerous situation: call the emergency line 2222. They will call 911. 

Once the P.A. System notifies the school of a Hard Lockdown Condition, staff will assume the lockdown position. 

  • All doors and windows will be locked.
  • Lights will be turned off.
  • Everyone will be instructed to move away from the doors and windows and sit quietly on the floor.
  • Order and quiet must be maintained at all times.
  • Students and staff should remain in their classroom/offices until notified by a uniformed Police Officer that it is safe to leave the room. The Police will give instructions regarding what to do next.

Note: no one will be allowed to leave his/her area during a hard lockdown drill/ condition. 

Soft Lockdown 

A Soft Lockdown Condition means there is a need to keep everyone in their rooms, e.g. protest, threat outside of the school but nearby, etc. 


  • Students in the nearby hallway and bathrooms should be brought into the classroom or office.
  • All doors and windows will be locked, but leave all window coverings open unless otherwise advised.
  •  Take attendance
  • If outside the building, immediately return to your classroom or office areas.
  • Remain in classroom or office areas and continue with normal activities until further notice.

Note no one will be allowed to leave or enter the building during a soft lockdown without authority of administration. 

Emergency Closing of School 

If it becomes necessary to close the high school because of inclement weather or other emergencies, metropolitan radio and television stations will be notified. Watch and/or listen for periodic announcements relative to the closing. The school district will be identified as Oak Park and River Forest High School, Cook County, District No. 200. Information will also be posted on the school's website, www.oprfhs.org.