Posted by Michelle on November 1, 2018
Safety is my top priority for our school community. Each school year begins with a series of safety classes for faculty and staff. We receive training in CPR, first aid and Epi-pen® administration; this year we added “Stop the Bleed Save a Life“. ASM develops comprehensive safety plans for our community with input from the Andover Fire and Police Departments. The Fire Department conducts three drills each year and they are always impressed with our quick response time. We also practice lockdowns and evacuating the building so that we are prepared for any type of emergency.
Five years ago, Andover safety officials recommended that ASM adopt the ALICE protocol, which is now widely accepted as the “best practice” in school safety. Since then, we conduct yearly training for faculty and staff.
What is ALICE?
Alert: Alert people to the danger using plain and specific language
Lockdown: Barricade the room, prepare to evacuate or counter if necessary
Inform: Communicate specific information about the intruder in real time
Counter: Create noise, movement, and distance to reduce a 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 executed depending upon the individual situation.
You should know that if there is ever a need to evacuate the school for any reason, 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 will continue to conduct practice drills throughout the remainder of the school year so our children learn how to respond to emergency situations in a calm and systematic manner.