No more huddling in corners. During crises, staff to implement ALICE training.

New ALICE training is now being implemented in all Londonderry schools within the school district.

Created by Alisha Khalil

New ALICE training is now being implemented in all Londonderry schools within the school district.

Following school safety concerns across the country, all Londonderry schools that are part of the Londonderry School District are now proceeding with ALICE training for their staff and students.

“Over the past few decades, unfortunately, school shootings have become too common,” LHS Resource Officer Michael Tufo said. “Too many people have lost their lives during these incidents. A way to mitigate loss of life during a critical incident is to prepare members in schools: teachers, students, admin, to participate in their own survival.”

 According to LMS Resource Officer, Sean Benoit, ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform Counter, and Evacuate. 

“ALICE is a response model to a critical incident,” Officer Benoit said.  “ALICE gives everyone the empowerment to participate in everyone’s survival if they are ever encountered during a critical incident.”

ALICE training has been conducted since June and ended at the end of August. After staff went through training in the summer, many feel safer and more empowered to make quick, life-saving decisions.

“I think I gained a sense of confidence about it,” LHS Social Studies Maria Jarzabek said. “If we do some sort of training, or God forbid some violent situation happens, I feel more confident in knowing how to prepare my students and making sure that we are safe using those three steps of evacuate, lockdown, and counter.”

If there is ever an alert (example: someone carrying a weapon), staff will be able to share information answering the “big three” questions: Who, What, Where? 

“Say if you are in class in the 600’s and God forbid there is an intruder in the 100’s, we can use ALICE to communicate quicker with information regarding the intruder,” LHS Principal Jason Parent said. “It would allow staff and students in any area of the school to make an informed decision with their teachers to save their lives as opposed to only being limited to the option of ‘lockdown’. ALICE allows for more specific language surrounding incidents, which I am very pleased with.”

The ALICE model is designed for the purpose of increasing chances of survival in the event of a “violent critical incident”.

“This is empowering teachers and staff members to be more proactive and not wait for instructions that may never come,” Elementary School Resource Officer Dan Perry said. “So if they have the ability to get out, they can do so on their own, without having to get permission.”

The Lockdown, Counter, and Evacuate components of ALICE differ based on the age of students.

“The nice thing about ALICE is that it is developmentally appropriate. ALICE training takes into account the age of the kids,” Interim Superintendent Dan Black said. “We are on track to meet the threshold of having 75% of staff trained by fall. Once staff is trained, the district will be engaging with students and families.”

High school students can take part in all aspects of ALICE training: evacuation, enhanced lockdown, and counter. 

As kids get younger, ALICE takes away further responsibilities for the students: 

  • 6-8 Grade: not fully responsible for counter moves. Certainly can distract an intruder and are more involved in setting up advanced barricades.
  • 4-5th Grade: just evacuation and lockdown
  • K-3rd Grade: teachers will be in control of the entire situation

According to Mr. Parent, students will start participating in ALICE training late fall/early winter.