The following information was reviewed at the parent informational meeting about the ALICE model that was held on September 18, 2019. We know that not everyone was able to attend and would like to share with you some of the important information that was relayed to parents at that meeting.
As mentioned in a previous letter, PVASD will utilize the ALICE critical incident response method beginning this school year. We will be teaching students the various principles of ALICE and practicing each principle throughout the school year. The description of each principle is below. Please understand that this is not a model that is followed sequentially. If a critical incident were to occur, students and teachers are asked to use the information available to evaluate the situation and proceed in the way they feel will give them the best chance of staying safe. During our drills, however, we will be following a specific schedule so that our students have the opportunity to practice each principle and also so that we can share specific information with you the day the drill occurs. This will help to ensure that you can talk with your students about the drill they participated in and understand the process they used. A description of the principles, which is also available on the ALICE training website (www.alicetraining.com) is below.
A - ALERT
Alert is your first notification of danger.
Alert is when you first become aware of a threat. The sooner you understand that you’re in danger, the sooner you can save yourself. A speedy response is critical. Seconds count.
Alert is overcoming denial, recognizing the signs of danger and receiving notifications about the danger from others. Alerts should be accepted, taken seriously, and should help you make survival decisions based on your circumstances.
***Our younger students at PVASD have practiced stopping, not talking, and listening to the teacher if the teacher announces that there is an emergency. We understand that they might not be able to make decisions independently and will need to rely on the teacher to decide which course of action makes the most sense in a particular situation.
L - Lockdown
Barricade the room. Prepare to Evacuate or Counter if needed.
If Evacuation is not a safe option, barricade entry points into your room in an effort to create a semi-secure starting point.
Our training explains scenarios where Lockdown may be the preferable option and dispels myths about passive, traditional ‘lockdown-only’ procedures that create readily identifiable targets and makes a shooter’s mission easier. ALICE trainers instruct on practical techniques for how to better barricade a room, what to do with mobile and electronic devices, how and when to communicate with police, and how to use your time in lockdown to prepare to use other strategies (i.e. Counter or Evacuate) that might come into play should the active shooter gain entry.
I - Inform
Communicate the violent intruder’s location and direction in real time.
The purpose of Inform is to continue to communicate information in as real time as possible, if it is safe to do so. Armed intruder situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly, which means that ongoing, real time information is key to making effective survival decisions. Information should always be clear, direct and in plain language, not using codes. If the intruder is known to be in an isolated section of a building, occupants in other wings can safely evacuate while those in direct danger can perform a barricade lockdown and prepare to counter.
Video surveillance, 911 calls and PA announcements are just a few of the channels that may be used by employees, safety officers, and other personnel to inform others.
C - Counter
Create Noise, Movement, Distance and Distraction with the intent of reducing the shooter’s ability to shoot accurately. Counter is NOT fighting.
ALICE Training does not believe that actively confronting a violent intruder is the best method for ensuring the safety of those involved. Counter is a strategy of last resort. Counter focuses on actions that create noise, movement, distance and distraction with the intent of reducing the shooter’s ability to shoot accurately. Creating a dynamic environment decreases the shooter’s chances of hitting a target and can provide the precious seconds needed in order to evacuate.
E - Evacuate
The ALICE Training Institute provides techniques for safer and more strategic evacuations. Evacuating to a safe area takes people out of harm’s way and hopefully prevents civilians from having to come into any contact with the shooter.
Did you know that you should break a window from the top corner as opposed to the center? Many useful techniques that civilians do not know exist and can save your life. We teach strategies for evacuating through windows, from higher floors and under extreme duress.
If you have any questions about the above principles or the district’s plan for working with students to practice these principles, please contact your child’s building principal for further information.