Missing student protocol steps

Not all steps of this protocol may be followed due to the complexity of this type of event and each occurrence will be different. The presence of law enforcement may also alter the school's response.

Alert phase - Staff

When you are aware a student is missing:

  1. Alert the office immediately.
  2. Lock down the school and have all teachers take roll.
  3. Note time of day and other details.

Notification/data collection phase - Office

  1. Call student over the intercom system.
  2. Notify parents of missing student.
  3. Notify school resource officer or law enforcement.
  4. Search buildings, grounds and local community.
  5. Identify a spokesperson to respond to questions.

Notification/data collection phase - Staff

  1. Check with other staff members to verify student has not been found.
  2. Gather information on the student's age/grade, clothing, hair and eye color, etc.
  3. Speak with staff and student's friends to determine where the child was last seen, what he/she was doing, was he/she talking with anyone, what direction did he/she go, was a car seen, etc.
  4. Provide descriptions to the office.

Search phase - Office

  1. Call parents to come in and assist with description of student.
  2. Continue searching premises.
  3. Provide information for law enforcement that was gathered from staff, registration information and any other pertinent information.
  4. Assist law enforcement with whatever they need.

Evaluation phase

The school should discuss what happened, review all information and go over how to prevent situations in the future. The process should be evaluated to see what areas went well and what should be improved. The school should share the results with staff and other schools in the area.

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