Emergency Management Resources

Denver Public Schools Department of Safety logo

The Emergency Management Division functions with the DPS Shared Core Values and the Denver Plan in mind while working to ensure students and staff collaborate in a safe educational environment. Colorado Senate Bills 08-181 and 11-173 establish the need for school districts to adopt a school response framework for emergencies, and the ability to work and communicate with local and state emergency personnel. DPS Board of Education Policies ECA -Safety and Security and KDE-Emergency Management represent the District’s commitment to student, staff, and visitor safety.

Denver Public Schools (DPS) is a national leader among school districts for emergency preparedness.  The Emergency Management Division’s efforts to promote the DPS Shared Core Values of Students First, Equity, Collaboration, Integrity, Accountability, and Fun form its approach to all phases of emergency management. The four phases, Prevention, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery support the vision and actions also outlined in the Denver Plan. In pursuit of the vision as outlined in the Denver Plan to lead the nation in student development and success, ensuring the teachers, students, and staff have the knowledge and skills to prepare and respond to emergencies helps enhance teacher, and principal effectiveness. In working with students and their families on emergency preparedness procedures and policies, the Division is deepening engagement within the community. Working with local and state emergency response personnel helps leverage the partnerships with the City and County of Denver in pursuit of the Denver Public Schools vision.

Need Help?

24/7 Communications Center: 720-423-3911

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an Evacuation?

An evacuation is when students are sent outside of the school building to prevent harm or injury due to a hazardous situation inside of the school, such as a fire.

What is shelter-in-place?

Shelter-in-Place occurs when there is a hazard of a tornado or a severe weather warning and it has been determined by Department of Safety with the assistance of outside agencies that evacuation or early dismissal could possibly place students in danger.

What is a lockdown?

A lockdown takes place when a hazardous threat or a possible hazardous threat has been identified inside of the building or in close proximity of the school. All exterior and interior doors are locked and students are confined to their school. No entry or exit to the school is allowed during this response.

What should I do if a lockdown is occurring at my child’s school?

If you are notified of a school lockdown at your child’s school, do not come to the school. Stay in a location where you are able to be notified with additional information of your child’s school situation. Students will not be released until the incident has ended or the scene is safe for release. Be prepared to retrieve your child at a reunification site.

What is secure perimeter?

A secure perimeter takes place when a threat has been identified in the area of your child’s school. All exterior doors are locked to prevent any hazards or threats to enter the school. No entry or exit to the school is allowed during this response.

What is a reunification?

Reunification occurs when students have been moved from the school facility to an alternate location due to an emergency that has affected the school site or a site on or around the school grounds. During the reunification process students can only be released to an adult listed as an emergency contact with the school. In addition, persons coming to pick up students must bring proper government issued photo identification (example: driver’s license, state ID card, military ID card, or passport).

Engaging the community in the Denver Public School district’s efforts and goals involves ensuring parents can help their children and district employees in the event of an emergency. Parents understand the importance of safety within schools, and the Emergency Management Team is committed as a division of the Department of Safety to increase student, staff, and visitor safety. The schools are a part of the community at large, and working together as district employees and parents can help increase overall safety and security.

The following information is for you, a Denver Public School parent/guardian, to know and follow in the event of an emergency at your child’s school.

Parent/Guardian Preparation for a School Emergency

  • Talk to your child about school emergency response procedures so they know will know what to expect in the event of an emergency or crisis.
  • Update your child’s emergency contact information as it changes. Children will not be released from school to unauthorized individuals.
  • If your child takes medication, make sure the school has a minimum of a 3 day supply.

Parent/Guardian Response In The Event Of a School Emergency

  • DO check the DPS webpage for updated information (www.dpsk12.org)
  • DO call the DPS Family Constituency Hotline at 720-423-3054
  • DO tune into local TV/Radio stations for school news alerts
  • DO listen for information regarding unification with your child (Please remember to bring valid government identification with you to the reunification site)
  • DO NOT come to your child’s school. This will create traffic congestion hampering the efforts of first responders.
  • DO NOT call your child or your child’s school. Excessive phone calls could jam up the phone system and interfere with emergency communications.
  • Communication will be through an auto dialer that will notify you when it is safe to pick up your child and the location for pick up

Relevant Legislation of the Colorado General Assembly

School response framework – interoperable communications. The act adds additional public safety agencies and entities to the community partners defined in the school response framework and clarifies that a school district’s school safety, readiness, and incident management plan includes interoperable communications. The schools will test the emergency communications equipment and its interoperability with state and local emergency personnel.

  • APPROVED by Governor June 10, 2011
  • EFFECTIVE June 10, 2011
  • Colorado Senate Bill 08-181
    • School response framework – required elements. Requires a school district board of education and the state charter school institute to adopt a school response framework with specified elements.
    • APPROVED by Governor May 14, 2008
    • EFFECTIVE May 14, 2008

Relevant DPS Board Policies:

Contact Us


Melissa Craven
Director of Emergency Management

Irving Payan
Emergency Management Specialist – Northwest Region

Jharri Stanford
Emergency Management Specialist – Far Northeast Region


Remington McFadden
Emergency Management Specialist – Near Northeast Region


Joey Trujillo
Emergency Management Specialist – Southwest Region