Students to complete ALICE response training

In the spring of last school year, teachers were trained in ALICE, an active shooter response training. After spending a year making sure that all staff including substitutes, ETC and maintenance were trained, the district is beginning to extend the training to students.

ALICE, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Confront, and Evacuate, was created after the Columbine shooting in 1999. The goal is to evacuate students and staff and take action, rather than remaining on lockdown.

“Unlike the previous protocol for lockdowns, which had a step-by-step set of actions, ALICE requires that staff and students be able to make the best decisions given the situation in which they find themselves,” superintendent Deborah Hamm said.

The district plans to begin training students in early May to familiarize them with the system and different possible options. Parents were informed about the training process at a meeting on March 12 at the high school.

“There was a powerpoint that went over what ALICE is, why the district has gone to ALICE, and the acronyms. Then, there was a couple of scenarios. It will probably be a two day training where we will talk about what the lockdown is, what the barricade is, the confront and the evacuation. That will happen during seminar,” assistant principal Greg Dietz said.

Not only will the high school be training students, but all other students throughout the district will as well. This includes elementary students with training that is adapted to fit their age.

“At the high school was you could easily get some people to move some desks and barricade the door. At an elementary level you cannot. They are second and third graders so they are going to have to problem solve to see what they can do,” Dietz said “But, If you’re a 1st or 2nd grader it’s pretty scary, it’s pretty traumatic.”

Although ALICE is a step to making the school safe and secure, there are still many changes around the corner. According to Dietz, these changes may include another SRO in the school as well as a buzzer system. All new changes will continue to ensure the safety of students and staff.

“The district is committed to making further improvements to processes, protocols and facilities in a continuing effort to do all that is possible to create and maintain a safe learning environment for all students, staff members, and patrons,” Hamm said.

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