Active Shooter Triangle depicting universal strategies including disaster & emergency services coordinator, local emergency planning committee, local law enforcement, Montana Behavioral Initiative, Montana Safety Rubric, Montana School Resource Officer Association, School Climate & Student Wellness, Sign-in/Sign-out Procedures, Staff, Substitutes, Student, Guest Training; targeted which includes drills & exercises, emergency operations plan, reporting procedures, and threat assessment protocols; and Intensive, which represents the active shooter response.

Active Shooter Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

The Office of Public Instruction understands schools’ need for reliable and useful resources to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a potential school shooter event. Schools can prepare for a possible school intruder by engaging in a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS). Preparation well before an event will not only reduce the risk of an intruder targeting your school, it will also reduce the loss of life and property in the event of an incident. The following four principles will help guide you:

  • Develop and maintain a working Emergency Operations Plan (EOP)
  • Develop and maintain a working partnership with local law enforcement, including scheduling active shooter trainings with them since they will be the first to respond.
  • Develop and maintain a working partnership with your Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), and join their regular meetings to collaborate with the numerous local emergency management organizations
  • Develop and maintain a working relationship with your local Disaster and Emergency Services (DES) Coordinator



  • Disaster and Emergency Services (DES) Coordinator:  The DES Coordinator creates the county’s Emergency Operations Plan. Your county’s DES coordinator can provide county emergency management information that may be important while your school develops a school emergency operations plan (EOP).  The DES coordinator can also help you to coordinate and collaborate with other county emergency management organizations.
  • Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs): School representatives may join your local LEPC to coordinate efforts to help in preparing for potential emergencies. Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) must develop an emergency response plan, review the plan at least annually, and provide information about chemicals in the community to citizens. Plans are developed by LEPCs with stakeholder participation. There is one LEPC for each of the more than 3,000 designated local emergency planning districts. The LEPC membership must include (at a minimum):
    • Elected state and local officials
    • Police, fire, civil defense, and public health professionals
    • Environment, transportation, and hospital officials
    • Facility representatives
    • Representatives from community groups and the media

To find your LEPC, please contact your local DES Coordinator.

  • Local Law Enforcement:  In the event of an active shooter, your local law enforcement will be the first to respond. It is vital that you have a working relationship with law enforcement on an ongoing basis. Law enforcement can conduct a walk-through of your buildings to familiarize themselves with the unique characteristics of your buildings and answer questions such as the following: 
    • How will law enforcement enter the school if it is under a lock down? 
    • Who will communicate with law enforcement?
    • What are law enforcement's expectations of your school’s staff and students during an incident?  
  • Montana Safety Rubric: This document will guide school districts working to prioritizing their ESSA Title IV-A funds through a self-assessment of their school’s safety structure including physical, culture and climate, psychological and emotional health before, during, and after an emergency.
  • Montana School Resource Offers Association
  • School Climate & Student Wellness
  • Sign-In/Sign-Out Procedures: Things to consider are: What are the school’s sign-in and sign-out procedures? Where do visitors sign-in/sign-out? Who provides them access? Where do they access the building to pick up their children? What are the procedures to determine if the person is allowed in the building? How are children signed-out at the end of the day? Who can pick them up? Does the school offer after-school activities? How are children signed-in and out after the regular school day
  • Staff, Substitutes, Student, Guardian, and Guest Trainings: Trainings and “Need-to-know” information regarding a school intruder should be provided to all the necessary members within the school community. Talk with your local law enforcement for guidance on information that is appropriate to share with each group.
  • US Homeland Security (Site Assessment Assistance): The Protective Security Advisor (PSA) in Montana can work with your school district to assess the vulnerability of your schools internal and external infrastructure to help you plan for necessary safety and security updates for your schools. This is a free program. For more information you can contact Randy Middlebrook, PSA.



  • About School Shootings: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA)
  • Active Shooter: How to Prepare for an Active Shooter Incident: A FEMA guide to prepare for and respond during and after an active shooter incident
  • - Describes what to do if you find yourself in an active shooter events, how to recognize signs of potential violence around you, and what to expect after an active shooting takes place. During an active shooting, remember to RUN. HIDE. FIGHT.
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency: Emergency Management Institute (EMI): IS 907 Active Shooter: What Can You Do? (Coursework)
  • FEMA multi-hazard planning for schools: Checklists, documents, and other useful information for a wide array of potential emergencies including an intruder
  • Department of Justice: Federal Bureau of Investigation: Active Shooter Resources
  • I love u guys Foundation
  • Resources for Dealing with Traumatic Events in Schools:
    • The national Center for School Mental Health has compiled a list of web-based resources to assist school administrators, educators, health and mental health providers, parents/guardians, and other caring adults to better support students following traumatic events such as school shootings. They hope that these resources can help communities to cope with, respond to, and heal from crisis events. In addition, some of the resources offer recommendations on how schools and communities can work together to promote safe and supportive learning environments in every school. For more information, contact 406-444-0773 

  • REMS TA Center:
    • Active Shooter Situations - "Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Because of this, individuals must be prepared to deal with an active shooter situation before law enforcement officers arrive on the scene." 
    • Active Shooter Situations: Describing Unique Challenges Involved in Preparing for, Responding to, and Recovering from a School-based or Post-secondary Instituation Shooting