Safety and Best Practices
Safety is our priority at all times. Each year, under the guidance of our Safety Committee, we assess our policies and procedures as they relate to safety and best practices.
Front Door Access
The vestibule door is locked at all times with the exception of arrival and dismissal. Visitors are required to ring the doorbell. Someone will unlock the door from the front desk, or come to the door and open it for you. Anyone visiting the premises will be asked to sign in and wear a visitor badge.
Parent Notification System
ASM utilizes a parent notification system to alert the community of a school cancellation due to inclement weather, or other potential emergency situations. We are judicious in our use of this system and reserve it for just the most important messages. The service enables us to send a message via phone and email to our entire community.
Emergency and Fire Drills
We hold emergency drills periodically through the year in addition to several fire drills. The Andover Fire Department visits three times per year to conduct an unscheduled fire drill. These drills allow children and staff to practice emergency procedures in a quiet and orderly manner.
All faculty and staff are trained in the ALICE protocol, now widely accepted as the “best practice” in school safety.
What is ALICE?
- Alert – alert as many people as possible to the danger using plain and specific language
- Lockdown- barricade the room, prepare to evacuate or counter if necessary
- Inform – communicate specific, up to date information about the intruder in real time
- Counter – create noise, movement, distance and distraction to reduce the shooter’s accuracy
- Evacuate – when it is safe, remove yourself from the danger zone
The ALICE steps are not meant to be sequential and are utilized dynamically depending upon the situation.
If there is ever a need to evacuate the school for any reason, our meeting place is: Faith Lutheran Church, 360 South Main Street, Andover. Phone: 978.475.4059.
The Andover Police Department has assured us that this is the best reunification spot for our families. In an emergency, South Main Street would be blocked by police in both directions, thus allowing our students to walk safely to the church. Entrance to the church would be permitted for our families and officials only.
Directions to the Lutheran Church: From ASM, turn right and follow Rte. 28 north for approximately 0.3 miles. The Lutheran Church is on the right.
Safe Playground Practices
ASM students are introduced to playground rules at the beginning of each school year. These rules were developed several years ago by a group of kindergarten and elementary students. Teachers uphold these rules during recess to create a safe and peaceful environment for our students.
Upon dismissal, parents must accompany their child to the playground area. We kindly ask that you do so and make sure that your child is in view at all times. Maintaining our playground rules reinforces what your child has learned during the school day.
Please review our Playground Rules which include the following guideline areas:
- Rules of Respect
- Playground Equipment Rules
- General Rules
Most importantly, we want ASM to be a fun and safe place for our children, and our parents, to learn, play and be part of a vibrant community!
Footwear at School
It is important for children to wear footwear that is appropriate for outdoor play during warm and cold weather months. Sneakers are preferable for running and climbing on the playgrounds. In addition, all students should have a pair of indoor shoes to wear in the classroom. This helps keep our environment clean.