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School Safety

Albuquerque Public Schools has a plan in place to keep students and staff safe.

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, students and staff are empowered to make decisions that include using building infrastructure, movement, noise, and distance to help survive an active life-threatening event.
  • Students are trained through age-appropriate presentations and drills.  

School Safety Drills 

State law dictates the types and number of drills schools are required to conduct each year. 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.  

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." The school building is locked during a shelter in place, and no one may leave or enter, but activity may continue inside the classroom. 

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 through our school-to-home communications tool, SchoolMessenger.

Updating Safety at Schools

In addition to the active shooter training, APS is working to improve school safety. 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. Please remember that volunteers are required to complete a background check

If You See Something, Say Something 

School safety is a community responsibility, and we encourage students, staff, and neighbors to alert us when they learn of potential threats to our schools. We take every possible threat seriously and work closely with law enforcement to keep our campuses safe. We all have a role to play in ensuring our schools remain safe places for learning. Remember: If you see or hear something, say something to a teacher, counselor, administrator, school police officer, or another trusted adult at school.