Providing a safe and secure learning environment for your child is one of Racine Unified’s top priorities. To ensure we accomplish this, we regularly review and update our safety and security procedures. As a result, we have updated our lockdown procedures, which are set into motion in the unlikely event that a threat of danger exists in or around our schools.
ALiCE is an active shooter response training program, (i.e. alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate) in all of our schools. Security experts across the country believe, as do we, that the use of these additional procedures will enhance student and staff safety.
All RUSD staff members including principals and teachers, took part in ALiCE training. The following is a brief overview of what ALiCE is and what students and staff are taught.
If an intruder enters the building, students and staff should:
- Stop, look, listen and take appropriate action.
- Get to and/or remain in a secure area and barricade until it is safe to evacuate.
- Use sensory information to determine when and if it is safe to evacuate.
- Distract the intruder if it becomes necessary to do so.
- Do not be a stationary target.
Students in all grades will undergo age-appropriate ALiCE training so they are prepared to react appropriately in the unlikely event of an intruder or violent situation at their school.
Q: What is ALICE and ALICE training?
A: During ALICE training, staff and students are trained in different options for responding to a school intruder. In certain circumstances, the “lock the door and hide” strategy might be appropriate. In some cases, the teacher and students might take precautions to barricade the entrance(s) of the classroom. Under certain conditions, it might be the best decision for the teacher and students to evacuate the building.
Q: What does ALiCE stand for and what do the words mean?
A: ALiCE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.
Alert – inform people of the threat, giving as much information as possible.
Lockdown – Students and staff can choose to lockdown and barricade the room that they are in if they determine that it is not safe to evacuate.
Inform – pass on as much information as possible to others and to First Responders, including calling 911.
Counter – an effort of last resort, if an armed intruder is able to get into the space they are in, individuals can counter with distraction or other tactics. Staff are being trained to use every effort to stop the intruder, instead of relying on the traditional lockdown and hide response.
Evacuate – If it is safe to do so, all are encouraged to evacuate the building, and remove themselves from the threat.
Q: Are teachers and staff expected to follow ALICE in order? Are you supposed to Alert, then lockdown, then inform?
A: ALICE is not intended to be a checklist of things to do. It is a list of choices, with accompanying strategies that are options for our staff to ensure everyone stays safe in the unlikely event of an armed intruder.
Q: Why implement ALiCE in my child’s school?
A: The safety of our students and staff is one of RUSD’s top priorities. To ensure our schools remain safe places, we want to ensure our students and staff are equipped with the tools necessary to know what to do if an armed intruder is in a school. All our schools are equipped with a number of safeguards, some seen and others unseen, to keep our students safe. There is a new standard-of-care which emphasizes the need for proactive, options-based, strategies, which means that we have a responsibility to those in our care to do all we can to prepare them for this rare event.
Q: What does it mean to “counter”?
A: The main intent of Counter is to distract the intruder, not try to physically take on the intruder. An example of Counter would be to throw objects at an intruder for a distraction. How each staff member chooses to respond if directly confronted by a violent intruder is a personal choice.
Q: How will parents be notified if their child’s school is experiencing a real emergency?
A: Emergency notifications will be sent out using all methods of RUSD’s communication, including a phone call and text message from our robocall system, website updates, media alerts and social media. Families are encouraged to login to the Infinite Campus Parent Portal and make sure their emergency contact information is up to date and accurate.
Q: How will we know my child will be safe after the emergency?
A: In the event of a full evacuation, children would be transported to safe evacuation sites off of school grounds where they will be reunited with parents/guardians. Parents/guardians will be informed about these locations through direct communication from their child’s school.
Q: Where can I go for more information about ALICE?
A: The ALICE training institute guides the District in our training approach. Additional information is available at their website https://www.alicetraining.com/our-program/alice-training/k12-education/. If you have specific questions, regarding your child’s school, please contact your school principal.