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Emergency Response Drills

The safety and welfare of our students and staff is one of our highest priorities in District 103 and the thought of a hostile intruder in our schools is not a pleasant one. We have worked collaboratively with local law enforcement officials to review our safety plans and identify ways in which we can strengthen our safety procedures. As a result of these reviews, we have updated our guidelines and procedures regarding State required emergency response drills for the 2021-2022 school year.

Specifically, we have adopted procedures for school lockdowns that we, as well as our local police department, and the Office of Homeland Security, believe are more effective in the unlikely event there is an armed intruder in one of our buildings. This program is called ALICE.

ALICE is an acronym for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. It is an enhanced lockdown technique that calls for making active decisions. We believe the ALICE protocol provides options to our staff and students in an emergency situation. Below is an overview of the ALICE protocol. More information can be found by visiting the ALICE Training Institute Parent Resources website.

Alert ~ Use of clear concise language to convey the type and location of the event.

Lockdown ~ Doors are locked to provide a time barrier and give students and teachers time to recognize the threat and decide how to react.

Inform ~ If possible keep teachers, students, and police up to date on the location of the armed intruder inside the school.

Counter ~ Apply skills to distract, confuse and gain control.

Evacuate ~ Leave the premises and get away from the danger as soon as possible.

On Tuesday, October 19, we will work with the local police department to practice ALICE in a way that is grade level appropriate. Students are permitted to ask questions during the drill so they can be better prepared in the event of an emergency. Drills will take place at the following times:

  • Sprague - 9 a.m.

  • Daniel Wright - 9:45 a.m.

  • Half Day - 10:30 a.m.

If you would like to opt out of your child participating in the Emergency Response Drills, please fill out this Google Opt Out Form by Friday, October 15, 2021.

How ALICE works at Sprague

  • Similar to our fire and tornado drills, it is important for us to practice what to do if there is a danger in or around our school building.

  • Teachers will lead an introductory lesson in their classrooms to learn what to do when we need to lock down at Sprague to be safe. We will provide a lesson in the current classroom setting where students already feel safe as part of our learning community. This lesson will provide a developmentally appropriate presentation and include a reading of the book, "I'm Not Scared, I'm Prepared." This lesson focuses on students listening to their teachers and following directions. We do not use the term “active shooter.”

  • We will be using a set of common terms for consistent understanding throughout the lessons.

  • Students will only practice a traditional lock down. We will not evacuate or counter as this is not developmentally appropriate.

How ALICE works at Half Day

  • Teachers will educate students about ALICE, including a reading of the book, “I’m Not Scared, I’m Prepared."

  • Similar to our fire and tornado drills, it is important for us to practice what to do if there is a danger in or around our school building. There could be an unknown visitor to the school building or a big accident on a street near Half Day School. If there is a danger, we need to know what to do. If students hear over the announcements that we are in a lockdown, it will be time to remember what we have learned about ALICE, look and listen for clues. and decide the best course of action. It is important that we use what we know, stay calm, and listen for directions.

How ALICE works at Daniel Wright

  • During the drill, some DW teachers, building staff, and students will practice evacuating the building.

  • Others will practice barricading the classroom door and discuss using evasive distractions to counter (and get away from) an armed intruder.

An important reminder is to know that the best way to deal with an armed intruder is to not deal with them at all. This is most effectively accomplished through information sharing. Many of the tragedies that have occurred in schools were preceded by acts or statements that either were not shared by people who knew about the possible crisis or were not taken seriously enough by those who were informed.

Here in District 103, our students can trust that they will be taken seriously should they overhear strange conversations and decide to tell someone in authority, i.e. parents, teachers, police, principals. If you have any questions about the ALICE drills, please reach out to your child’s principal.