Skokie School District 73.5 has updated its Safety Crisis Plan for the 2023-2024 school year. The plan includes a federally endorsed safety protocol called ALICE, which will be implemented in the unlikely event an armed intruder enters one of our buildings. ALICE training encourages staff and students to respond based on the actual and immediate threat rather than a standard, generic response to a crisis.
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The letters ALICE stand for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate:
- ALERT: Inform people of the threat and provide as much information as possible.
- LOCKDOWN: Students and staff can choose to barricade and lock down in the room they are in if they determine that evacuating would be unsafe.
- INFORM: Share as much information as possible with 911 dispatchers, first responders, and others who are affected by the threat.
- COUNTER: If an armed intruder is able to get into the space that they are in, staff and students are trained to actively use every effort to stop the intruder rather than being passive victims. This is an effort of last resort.
- EVACUATE: All are encouraged to evacuate the building and remove themselves from the threat if it is safe to do so.
ALICE protocol and training varies according to student age and special needs. Staff and students are oriented to multiple responses to an intruder who is intent on causing harm. In some situations, the “lock the door and hide” strategy might be appropriate. In others, staff and students might take precautions to barricade the entrance(s) to the room. Under certain conditions, the best decision might be for staff and students to flee the building. The purpose of ALICE is to provide strategies that will increase the likelihood that staff and students’ might survive if an armed intruder situation were to occur.
The Skokie Police Department will conduct on-site ALICE training for Skokie73.5 STAFF during non-school hours in September and October. To simulate the unpredictable nature of an armed intruder event, the exact training details will not be shared. Uniformed and plain-clothes officers will be present and police and fire vehicles will be in the area during the training. All drill announcements will begin with, “This is a drill.” There will be no fake guns used or brandished during the training, and no sounds similar to gunshots. The district’s Buildings & Grounds team will post signs to advise the public when safety drills are in progress.
Learn more about ALICE in this K-12 School Case Study from the ALICE Training Institute.