A.L.I.C.E Training ( Active Shooter) for Students Coming Soon

As you may already know ,  all staff in the Georgetown schools have been trained in the active shooter protocol know as A.L.I.C.E.  We began the process last year and continued this fall with training all new staff and our substitute teachers.

In case you don’t know,   A.L.I.C.E stands for Alert, Lock down, Inform, Counter and Evacuate which are the options that a person would consider if faced with an active shooter in our buildings. We hope that we never have to put this training into practice but I think we all feel more empowered now that we have gone through the training and more confident that we would know what to do if presented with this situation.

We are very fortunate to have officers in the Georgetown Police Department who are certified and nationally trained in the A.L.I.C.E protocol and who have been our trainers since we began the program. Sergeant Derek Jones has been the lead trainer and has been an advocate for bringing this training to Georgetown for several years.  As the number of school shootings have continued,  lessons  have been learned.  In our training, we learned of situations where people used the A.L.I.C.E strategies and  lives were saved. We also learned  that strategies like locking down in place and waiting in the corner is no longer recommended nor is it effective.  The preferred strategy is to get away from the situation or barricade in place if it is not safe to leave . Now that we have trained staff, it is time to train students.

Police Chief Cudmore has been a visionary in wanting to bring A.L.I.C.E to the district and he has found ways to ensure that we have the best trainers available working with us. His commitment to a strong partnership with the schools is second to none and this initiative is just one more way that he and his department are committed to safe schools.

The Chief and his command staff along with me and members of   my administrative team have been working on a plan to train students for the past several months and we now have a specific plan to discuss with staff and parents. Of course, we will conduct this training differently depending on the age and developmental needs of the students.  Sergeant Jones has been very helpful in this process since he travels around the country doing this training for other districts.

To ensure that parents are informed and aware of our plans to train their children we are holding  a parent information session  on January 4th at the Middle High School in the auditorium at 6:30 pm.  At this  meeting,  we will answer any questions about the content and the procedures we will use in trainings the students.  We know that particularly with younger students parents might be more  apprehensive so we want the chance to  discuss our plans  prior to any training being done with students.

Right now our goal is to complete the training with all students by early February and conduct drills tailored to children’s development in grades 5-12 this spring. I believe that parents who attend this information evening will feel more confident in the way the district will provide students with these important skills. In districts where this training has been done, students state that they feel more empowered to take actions when they know they have choices that can save their lives rather than locking down in a room and hoping nothing happens. We all regret that in this day and age this type of training is necessary.   However, it has been proven that training and practice of safety procedures like fire drills and other safety protocols increase the likelihood that people will know what to do if a real situation were to occur. We think it is time well spent and I hope you will agree.

Please mark your calendars and plan to attend. I know that you will find it useful and informative.