A critical incident is an event (something we directly experience as opposed to simply hear or read about) that is so emotionally significant to us that it affects our ability to function normally. Examples of such events include deaths or near-deaths and acts of physical and psychological violence. School communities can be deeply affected by critical incidents. The North Vancouver School District has a comprehensive critical incidents response plan to support students and staff. The primary goal of a critical incident response plan is to help all those affected, and the system as a whole, to return to pre-incident functioning, or optimally to achieve even greater integration and functioning.