ALICE at Southern Lehigh School District
The Southern Lehigh School District will continue to implement the safety and security program called ALICE. The acronym stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate, and is a strategy that fits the run, hide, fight recommendations of federal and state law enforcement during crisis situations, especially those that involve active shooters or others intending to do physical harm.
Teachers, administrators, and staff members who work in public education have been charged with the safety of children in their care. A responsibility exists for those individuals to anticipate potential danger and take precautions to protect students. In the past, government agencies have recommended a lockdown only approach in the event of an active threat, with students and staff members hiding so as to be out of sight of classroom doors and hallways. However, extensive research of active shooter events by law enforcement and the U.S. Department of Education has resulted in a change in this guidance as the only approach.
ALICE helps prepare individuals to proactively handle the threat of a crisis situation by teaching individuals to participate in option-based strategies that assist in their own protection and leading others to safety. The program was developed by a police officer to keep his wife, an elementary school principal, and the children under her supervision safe after the tragic events in Columbine. ALICE is the leading active shooter response plan in the United States, and is used in schools, higher education, law enforcement, healthcare, government and houses of worship. Learning ALICE and practicing its components creates new skill sets that greatly increase the odds of survival in situations where someone is meaning to do harm.
Over the past two years, all staff and students were trained in ALICE and practiced drills employing its concepts. During the upcoming school year, students will continue to learn the concepts of ALICE in developmentally appropriate ways given their age. They will practice the concepts within their classrooms with the support of staff members and will participate in drills that will employ the skills they have learned. Each school will communicate to parents/guardians/families the schedule of when the learning will take place and practice will occur so that you will be empowered to reinforce the learning with your children.
The enclosed materials contain additional information about ALICE and guidance on having discussions with your children about violence. We thank you for your continued support as we strive to make Southern Lehigh School District a safe and supportive environment for students to learn, develop and grow.
Kathleen T. Evison, Superintendent
Michael Q. Roth, Assistant Superintendent