ALICE and ALICE Training
The North Cape School District updated its safety plan in the Spring of 2017 with the training of several members of the Crisis Team and implemented those changes in the beginning of the 2017-18 school year. As part of this initiative, the safety protocol called ALICE was implemented in the unlikely event of an armed intruder in one of our school buildings. This training encourages staff and students to respond based on their situation, rather than rely on centralized instructions in dynamic times of crisis. ALICE is a federally endorsed safety protocol. We continue to teach and practice ALICE every year as do the surrounding districts.
The letters ALICE stand for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate:
Alert – inform people of the threat, giving as much information as possible.
Lockdown – Students and Staff can choose to lockdown and barricade the room that they are in if they determine that it is not safe to evacuate. Safe evacuation is always the best defense.
Inform – pass on as much information as possible to others and to First Responders, including contacting 911.
Counter – an effort of last resort, if an armed intruder is able to get into the space that they are in; middle school students are encouraged but not required to yell and throw things and then run in an attempt to stop the intruder instead of being passive victims.
Evacuate – If it is safe to do so, all are encouraged to evacuate the building, and remove themselves from the threat. Students have been taught where our rally points are located.
Under ALICE training, staff and students are oriented to different options to respond to a school intruder who is intent on doing harm. In some cases, the teacher and students might take precautions to barricade the entrance(s) of the classroom. Under certain conditions, it might be the best decision for the teacher and students to flee the building. It is the intention of ALICE that the strategies we provide will increase the chances that our staff and students might survive if a terrible circumstance of an armed intruder ever were to occur.
ALICE Frequently Asked Questions
Are people expected to follow ALICE in order? Are you supposed to Alert, then lockdown, then inform?
ALICE is not intended to be a checklist of things to do. It is a list of choices, with accompanying strategies, that are options for our students and staff to help them stay safe in the highly unlikely event of an armed intruder. Some may choose to evacuate and some may choose to lockdown and barricade. Others may be forced to counter (age appropriate) if an armed intruder is able to enter the space they are in. ALICE trains people to know they have options in an emergency situation.
I thought our school was safe and our drills were working well. Why change to these different protocols?
We believe that school is a safe place for our students to be. Just like practicing what we should do in a fire with our monthly fire drills, we want to be sure that we will know what to do if an armed intruder is in a school. Our school is equipped with a number of safeguards, seen and unseen, to keep our students safe. In addition, since we know all too well that violence is all too frequent in our world, the strategies and mental preparation we use within ALICE are transferable to any public venue our students may find themselves in where such tragedies may occur.
Does the “Counter” part of the protocol mean fighting back?
The main intent of Counter is to distract the intruder, not try to physically take on the intruder. An example of Counter would be to throw objects at an intruder or yell at them for a distraction. Elementary students are not trained to counter and it is not required of anyone. Passive responses have typically not shown to be an effective response in most Active Shooter events. There are examples within recent events of school violence where the difference of passive and active responses determined survival chances. A different approach is needed to help keep our students and staff safe.
Will the Racine County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) be in schools to help teachers practice scenarios and possibilities for an active shooter situation?
The RCSD have already trained staff in the ALICE Protocol. This training included different scenarios and drills that imitated an Active Shooter situation. Staff will share what they have learned with our students and teach them the ALICE procedures through the course of the year. The RCSD is part of our School Safety initiative and we consult with them on a regular basis.
How will the information be presented to children at the Elementary and Middle School levels?
All drills and training will be age appropriate. The District and the RCSD are working together to be sure that we do not scare or confuse any students while at the same time getting them the information they need if an event occurs. We teach fire and tornado drills and ALICE has become part of that training. We teach students to be prepared, not scared. All learning will be staff-directed and student-centered. Parents are encouraged, if they wish, to contact their Principal or School Counselor with specific questions and concerns.