Head of School’s Letter

School Safety: ALICE

Posted by Joanna on September 10, 2015

Safety is my top priority for our school community. Each school year begins with a myriad of safety classes for faculty and staff. We receive training in CPR, first aid and administration of Epi-pens. We practice evacuating the building in the event of a fire. Next week, we will practice with our students in anticipation of our first fire drill which will be conducted by the Andover Fire Department.

In addition, we 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.

You should know that if there is ever a need to evacuate the school for any reason that our meeting place is the Faith Lutheran Church at 360 South Main Street. I have met with Detective Higginbottom from the Andover Police Department who assures me 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.

We are sensitive to the needs of our children and do not want them to feel frightened when practicing a drill. Yet, it is critical that we are all prepared to react appropriately in emergency situations. I want to insure that our community is as safe as possible and, as such, we will continue to educate, practice and test our readiness in order to respond any situation that may arise.

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