City Times Staff
School district officials have announced an upcoming drill designed to prepare students and staff for an intruder event.
The ALiCE drill- Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate- replaces Code React, which had been used in schools in the event of a safety concern, such as an armed intruder or hostage situation inside a district building. ALiCE implements more defined policies for teachers and other district employees to act based on events which actually occur, rather than a “one-size fits all” approach, according to Lee Bush, interim superintendent.
Bush said one such drill was conducted for district employees in late summer prior to the school year. That drill, he said, simulated a real-life armed intruder, but he stressed future drills would be “age appropriate” reflective of each school.
In a letter to parents, Bush likened the drill to fire and tornado drills conducted throughout the year.
“Schools also take time to practice drills where a threat to student and/or safety in the building has occurred,” his letter read in part.
“Between now and winter break, schools will be conducting the first of two ALiCE drills with students; the second drill taking place sometime during second semester,” the letter continued. “Drills will be tailored for students’ age and development and will focus on the new [ALiCE] protocol.”
The new protocols follow:
- When a lockdown is activated an initial message is announced over the school public address system that alerts teachers and staff that a threat to safety is present in the school. Simultaneously, a notice is sent directly to all law enforcement officers on duty in Portage County that the school is on lockdown.
- While on lockdown, teachers and staff are responsible for checking the area immediately outside their door. Window shades are closed, and classroom lights are turned off. Teachers, staff and students begin work to barricade the door if it is determined that the safest place in the building is within the room. Evacuation is also authorized if that is the safest option for students and staff at that time.
ALiCE procedures are meant to recognize that a ‘one-size fits all scenarios’ plan is not plausible, Bush said.
Anyone with questions or concerns should contact Bush directly at (715) 345-5444 or firstname.lastname@example.org