USD 416 implements ALICE to help bolster student and school safety
To the Parents of USD #416,
Our school district’s top priority is school safety. To help with this goal, our district has adopted a new strategy for lockdown procedures known as ALICE. ALICE is an acronym for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. Prior to the ALICE plan, our lockdown procedures have involved students and staff locking the doors, moving all other persons to another part of the building where they could not be seen, and remaining quiet until the all-clear announcement was given. The ALICE plan offers a different strategy in the light of recent school violence. The philosophy of ALICE is to use technology and information in a way that our students and staff can make informed decisions in a crisis, remove as many people as possible from the danger zone, and provide realistic training so that those involved will have a better chance of staying safe and out of harm’s way. The ALICE plan will be implemented at USD #416 in several phases. School Resource Officer Curry has trained our staff about the ALICE procedures. To help train our students, we plan on our first drill being conducted before the end of October. Teachers will provide direction to the students on what actions needs to be taken. It is very important that all students listen and follow directions as instructed. The drill will not be as predictable, like a fire drill or tornado. Before the first drill is performed, the individual classroom teachers will use a common set of guidelines to address this topic and to teach their class the ALICE plan. Our district’s School Resource Officer will also be assisting in teaching the ALICE plan to the students in the classroom and through planned assemblies. The first drill performed by the end of October will include an ALERT in the form of an announcement from the principal notifying all staff and students of the location of the “danger zone”. Those in the area of the building within the “danger zone” will practice LOCKDOWN and discuss alternate exits from the classroom, but will not physically exit the school during the first drill. The principal will continue to INFORM the building of any changes in the “danger zone”. The COUNTER portion of the plan will be introduced in a subsequent phase during the school year. The areas of the school not in the “danger zone” will practice the EVACUATE portion of the plan if the hallways and exits are safe. Teachers will not know the location of the “danger zone” prior to the drill so that they can practice developing a strategy that provides for the safest outcome for their students. Therefore, it is very important for the students to listen to the directions given by the teachers as the course of action during these drills will never be the same. Students need to use safe practices in order to make good decisions related to their personal safety and the safety of others. Details about upcoming phases and additional drills will be communicated via email, Skyward notifications, and the district website. Once again, we continue to keep our schools as safe as possible for all staff and students. ALICE is another way that we are protecting our staff and students against acts of potential violence. Please contact the district’s School Resource Officer or the principal, at your student’s school, with any questions or concerns.