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News from 2019-2020

Posted: August 6, 2019

Active Shooter & Evacuation Drills Replace Some Fire Drills

New state law changes the types and number of drills schools are required to conduct each year beginning in the 2019-2020 school year.

School Safety Drills 

During the first four weeks of school, an emergency drill will take place once a week: 

  • One shelter in place drill (active shooter drill) 
  • One off-site evacuation drill 
  • Two fire drills 

Schools are required to conduct four additional drills during the rest of the school: 

  • Two fire drills
  • Two emergency drills determined by the school.  

Safety Protocol

Albuquerque Public Schools safety training emphasizes an active response, teaching students and staff to evacuate and run from danger when possible.

  • APS Police train teachers and staff to proactively handle the threat of an aggressive intruder or active shooter event.
  • Police follow a protocol called ALICE supported by local law enforcement.
  • Through ALICE training, staff and students are empowered to make decisions that include using building infrastructure, movement, noise, and distance to help survive an active life-threatening event.
  • Students will be trained through age-appropriate drills and, at the secondary levels, class meetings. 

Handling Emergencies

If there is a potentially dangerous situation near campus – a police investigation, reports of gunfire, a suspicious-looking individual, even a bear – APS will place schools in a “shelter in place.” During a shelter in place, the school building is locked, and no one may leave or enter, but regular activity may continue inside.

ALICE protocol will be initiated if there is a direct threat on campus. When a school activates ALICE, new procedures may call for staff to barricade and fortify their location or evacuate the campus with their students.

The best course of action will be determined based on the best information obtained about the threat.


Families are notified through phone and email messages through our school-to-home communications tool, SchoolMessenger.

  • Your child's school must have up-to-date contact information on file so we can keep you informed.
  • You can update your contact information anytime using ParentVUE
  • Contact your child's school if you need help updating your phone number, email address, emergency contacts, or other information. 
  • APS also posts essential information and updates to District and school websites to as well as to Twitter. Follow @ABQschools.

Updating Safety at Schools

In addition to the active shooter training, APS is working to improve safety at schools. We continue to:  

  • Install locks that allow staff to secure classrooms safely
  • Improve and add fencing to restrict access to schools
  • Limit entrance points at schools
  • Update alarm and camera systems
  • In some cases, install systems that require visitors to be buzzed into the building
  • Require all volunteers and visitors to sign in, provide some form of ID, wear a badge while at school and return the badge at the end of the visit.


Contact your school’s counselor, teachers, or administrators if you have questions or concerns.