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Adams 12 School District weighs changes for lockdown drills

Adams 12 School District is considering altering policies for lockdown drills held each fall and spring.
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Adams 12 School District is considering altering policies for lockdown drills held each fall and spring.

Adams 12 School District is considering altering policies for lockdown drills held each fall and spring.

Current district policy mandates two lockdown drills each school year, Superintendent Chris Gdowski told the Adams 12 Board of Education during its meeting on Wednesday.

While prior notification is provided to parents for the initial lockdown drill in the fall, Gdowski said the second semester drill is done in real time without informing families or staff.

“In the moment someone gets on the microphone and we start the drill,” he said.

This fall, Adams 12 District Policy Council will consider a recommendation for the school security team to also include prior notice for the spring drill, Gdowski said.

“What research is showing is ... in terms of preparedness and having kids take these things seriously that we can accomplish that in an announced format,” he explained.

Based on an increased number of active shooter incidents in academic settings, Gdowski said holding lockdown drills without advance notice can cause students to experience intense trauma and stress.

In 2022 there have been 30 school shootings that have resulted in 87 deaths or injuries, according to EducationWeek.org. Since 2018, the study reported 122 school shootings have occurred, with the highest number, 34, occurring last year.

“The recommendation is let’s not bring the stress and tension that come with unannounced drills when it doesn’t feel like any appreciable benefit in preparing kids and staff for how to respond,” he said.

The Adams 12 District Policy Council will consider changing the approach in the next couple of months.

“By second semester I would anticipate a good chance that there would be a change in practice,” he said.