Given the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last week that left 20 children and seven adults dead, it is timely Richmond schools get new emergency lockdown procedures next month.
However, it is simply a coincidence that the school district has been working with the RCMP since the summer to make improvements to procedures that dictate what staff does in the event of an incident, said Monica Pamer, Richmond's superintendent of schools.
"By the spring, each school will have to conduct a full lockdown drill. There will be two drills per year - one in the fall and one in the spring," said Pamer.
Components of the drill include announcements over the PA with a colour-coded system for different situations that ensure students stay safe in classrooms, and establishing safe site protocols for students coming back from off-grounds such as during field trips.
"We had lockdown drills already, but we have been working on improving it and making it better. A lot has happened since we first implemented this and we thought 'Can we make this better?'"
Although not a response to Friday's horrific events, Pamer said schools are aware of the impact felt by both students and parents and have made resources available.
"Resources like how to address this with children, how to monitor them and how to talk to them about it," she said.
Richmond school trustee Debbie Tablotney said a similar tragedy is unlikely to happen in Richmond, but schools cannot be too prepared.
"Our administration will be going over each procedure with a fine tooth comb.
Keeping our students safe is of key importance to us, but I don't know that you can really prepare for evil," said Tablotney.