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The difference between a Lockout and Lockdown

CASTLE ROCK – In our Standard Response Protocol two of the actions are Lockout and Lockdown. While the names may be very similar, what happens during a Lockout and Lockdown is very different.

During a Lockout, the perceived danger is outside of the school. School administrators move all students and activities inside and ensure the building’s perimeter is secured.

“It may be a situation with animals outside or there might be police activity in the area,” explained DCSD’s Director of Safety and Security Rich Payne.

While the Lockout response encourages greater staff situational awareness, it allows for educational practices to continue with little classroom interruption or distraction.

“We go about our daily business,” Payne said.

It is important to mention that Douglas County Schools operate daily in a near-Lockout situation. Perimeter doors are locked and visitors are screened at the building’s entrance. Generally, at our elementary and middle schools, visitors are expected to ring a door bell in order to be buzzed in and then need to sign in at the office. At high schools, security personnel generally greet visitors.

During a Lockdown situation, the perceived danger is inside the building.

When a Lockdown is announced, the Standard Response Protocol “Locks, Lights, Out of Sight” is initiated.

Classroom doors are locked, lights are turned off and students are moved away from windows and doors. Students are encouraged to remain quiet.

“We go into a secured location and keep the hallways cleared, so that law enforcement can come into the school and take action,” Payne explained.

He says that by placing barriers between attackers, our students and staff buy additional time for law enforcement to respond and neutralize the threat.

The Standard Response Protocol was created following the tragedies at Columbine and Platte Canyon High Schools in order to improve communication within schools and with emergency responders.



Threat outside school
Students moved inside
Perimeter is secured
Inside activities continue as normal

Threat inside school
Classroom doors locked
Lights turned out
Students moved away from windows and doors


September 10, 2014 | By rmbarber | Category: Safety and Security

District News

graduates standing in line outside, smiling

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Graduation rates in the Douglas County School District (DCSD) continue to climb. Data released today by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) shows the on-time, four-year graduation rate is now 90.4 percent.

DCSD students also made an impressive showing at graduation. The class of 2017 earned more than $82 million in scholarships.

DCSD has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area. According to CDE, DCSD graduation rates have risen steadily from 81.9 percent in 2009 to 90.4 percent in 2017.

Five female students standing on stage smiling and laughing at the awards ceremony

The top two-percent of female athletes in Douglas County School District (DCSD) were honored at the annual Girls and Women in Sports Luncheon last week at Chaparral High School. This year represented the 30th national celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day, created to encourage and promote the participation of girls in athletics. The girls who were honored were selected by their school’s coaches, athletic directors and principals for their outstanding achievements.

Superintendent Search text based logo

Working through the recent winter break, the Douglas County School District Board of Education has kicked off its search for DCSD’s next permanent superintendent. Following a thorough vetting of potential search firms, Ray & Associates (no relation to Board Director David Ray) has been hired to conduct the national search. The cost of the firm, excluding travel expenses, is $40,000. The money will come from the school board's budget, which is used for costs such as legal expenses and conferences.