ALICE Crisis Response Program
At Cedar Mountain, the safety of our students, staff, and visitors is among our highest priorities. We work collaboratively to foster a safe, secure learning environment as we deliver on our mission to educate, inspire and empower all of our students. This year, Cedar Mountain is implementing a more proactive approach when responding to threats of school violence. Such events may include active shooter situations and other imminent threats to safety that require schools to lockdown. District and school administrators, along with all staff, were trained in August on a program called ALICE response. This is a less passive approach to a crisis situation that provides our staff more options based on the circumstances of the incident. The ALICE acronym stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. The threat of an active shooter or intruder in our schools is rare but, in today’s society, a reality. Therefore, empowering our staff with proactive response strategies, rather than a passive one-size fits all approach is a positive change to our district’s emergency response and crisis management plans. Ultimately, we hope to never have to utilize an emergency response plan, but in the event we do, please be assured that staff will be well prepared to act in the best interests and safety of our students.
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. 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 in 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.
4. How much time will the training take away from learning?
A.L.I.C.E. training will take place of the lockdown drills we’ve been doing. The length of the training time for students may range from 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the age of the students. Training will take place about 3 times a year.
5. 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.