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This last year and summer we have been focusing on safety and improving our response to crisis situations that may occur such as an unwelcome intruder or police activity in our area. We will begin training staff and students on the A.L.I.C.E Response System. Here is some information about A.L.I.C.E.
ALICE is committed to increasing survivability in a violent intruder event through training proactive response options. There are more ways than one to be prepared for a violent event. Whether you are at a mall, in a theater, grocery shopping, attending a game or listening to a concert, you have options. When ALICE response strategies are implemented, unwilling participants in the event are empowered to choose their best survival option. Seconds count during a violent event and the actions taken in between when the event begins, and law enforcement arrives, are significant and can increase survivability.
A.L.I.C.E. Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is A.L.I.C.E.?
A.L.I.C.E. is a school safety program created in year 2000 to offer additional options to students and staff in dealing with an armed intruder situation. Two of the individuals who founded and developed the program are long-term law enforcement professionals. A 30-year educational professional is a member of the team and works to ensure that A.L.I.C.E. teaching/training materials are age-appropriate, psychologically sound, and address the issues of individuals with special needs.
2. What do the letters stand for in the name A.L.I.C.E.?
A.L.I.C.E. is an acronym that stands for:
ALERT: Get the word out that a threat exists
LOCKDOWN: Secure a place to stay as much as possible as a starting point to buy time.
INFORM: Give constant, real-time information throughout the building using all available technology.
COUNTER: This is a last resort. Individuals are unable to escape. Countering may be as simple as creating a distraction to allow opportunities to escape.
EVACUATE: The goal is to move students out of the danger zone. It’s important to be prepared to escape.
3. Does the San Pasqual Valley Unified School District have plans and procedures in place for crisis situations?
Yes. SPVUSD considers the safety of students and staff their highest priority and have developed strong crisis plans and procedures for our schools. Although we hope we will never need to activate these procedures, we conduct regular drills and review our plans annually.
4. Why do we need to add anything more? Isn’t it enough just to lock the building and keep students inside if someone is threatening them?
Traditionally, schools have used a procedure known as “lockdown” which essentially means locking the school building and classrooms and having students and teachers take shelter in their classroom. We believe that offering additional age-appropriate options will allow our students and teachers to be better prepared if a crisis situation occurs. Providing a constant flow of information to everyone inside the building can allow opportunities to safely evacuate the building. Rescue by the police can take some time. An important goal of the A.L.I.C.E. program is to evacuate as many people as possible to a safe place.
5. How much time will the training take away from learning?
A.L.I.C.E. training will take the place of the lockdown drills we’ve been doing. The length of the training time for students may range from 15 to 30 minutes, spending upon the age of the students. Training will take place at least twice a year.
6. How will students be trained?
Training will be age-appropriate and will take place in the classroom with their teacher leading the discussion. Discussions with younger students will be an extension of “stranger danger” discussions and focus on listening carefully to the teacher in case of an emergency and following directions promptly. There is no drill planned as part of this initial training.
7. How many organizations are currently using A.L.I.C.E. as part of their safety protocols?
Nearly 2 million students have been training or are currently being exposed to this program. Although A.L.I.C.E. was started in a kindergarten through grade 12 school setting, the program is now being used in universities, colleges, hospitals, churches, corporations, and government offices.