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Superintendent's Message on Safety

Reported by on 8/31/18

Dear District 204 Community,

Safety of our students and staff is always a top priority for our district. We are committed to equipping our schools with the best practices to keep everyone safe, which is why our training for dangerous situations is evolving. Law enforcement officials recommend as best practice that school personnel be trained in ALICE to respond to a threatening incident.

ALICE stands for Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate. The ALICE approach is an alternative to the more passive lockdown method of the past. It is designed to empower individuals and lead others to safety. In partnership with law enforcement officials, our staff is completing scenario-based training to compliment mandatory online training that was initiated in 2017. Staff training will be completed by the end of the school year. There are no guarantees, but the widespread belief and research from law enforcement officials is that these new skills greatly increase the odds of a positive outcome when faced with a dangerous situation. As staff complete training, we will begin to discuss the concepts of ALICE with students, in age appropriate ways. Students will not be participating in scenario-based training.

Discussions about increased school violence are uncomfortable, but we need to change how we respond should an incident happen so we minimize the danger to students and staff. Sadly, as we are seeing in the news, tragic events can happen anywhere. This fall, we will be offering a parent education evening event to provide information on situational awareness and personal safety that can be applied in any situation. We encourage you to consider attending so you can have age-appropriate discussions in your home. We will share the date for this event as soon as we have it confirmed.

For more information, visit the safety section of our website.

Sincerely,

Karen Sullivan
Superintendent

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