Over the past several years, the Peters Township School District has taken many steps to help improve the safety and security of the students and staff in all of our buildings. In addition to the two Peters Township Police Officers who we have in our buildings throughout the day, we utilize the Raptor Visitor Management system for all guests, and we engage all visitors prior to allowing them entrance into the building using video phones in all of our schools. Planned and surprise drills are completed throughout the school year on both evacuation and lockdown procedures so that our staff is familiar with the plan and ready to act in the event of an emergency. On an ongoing basis, our safety plans evolve as we examine past events in other districts and work to improve our procedures. We continually review and test our safety plan and processes to ensure that we are enacting the most up-to-date safety and security efforts.
As a result of this planning, Peters Township has implemented of the ALICE system. You may have read about this in the media as this training has been adopted in many local schools and is overwhelmingly recommended by police departments across the country.
ALICE focuses on providing options during a crisis. The acronym is defined below with brief explanations of the steps.
||Get the word out! Using clear and concise language, alert as many people as possible to the danger in the building.
|Secure your location by locking and barricading the entrances.
|Communication continues throughout the incident to allow staff to make decisions.
||Apply skills to distract, confuse and possibly detain the intruder. Please note, this is an option only when lockdown and evacuation are not viable.
||Evacuate Removing the number of potential targets by moving as far from the intruder as possible.
Using the options above, staff and students will be trained that in the event of an emergency they are to:
Listen carefully to the information being provided (will likely include location and type of event)
- Go to and/or remain in a secure area until it is safe to evacuate.
- As soon as it is safe to do so, evacuate the building.
- If an armed intruder would invade their location, apply the tactics to distract, confuse and possibly gain control.
ALICE Training stresses that these steps and options are not linear – they may occur in any order based on the information provided and the specifics of the threat. In no way are we asking our staff or students to subdue an intruder outside of their secure area. Our primary goal is to provide them with
options to remove them from a dangerous situation, and to share tactics that can be applied if they are faced with a life and death situation that have been shown to greatly improve their chance of survival.
Understanding that our communication with students will vary by age level, our safety teams and elementary counselors are working to create age appropriate lessons for our students. Our safety drills are being redesigned to reflect these new options, and students and staff will receive ongoing training during each school year.
Several members of our administrative team, along with High School Resource Officer Jim Stevick, have become certified trainers in the ALICE method. Our partnership between the District and the Peters Township Police is the hallmark of all of our safety efforts. Our ALICE trainers have led our training efforts and work with counselors and other staff members as we communicate with students.
Our hope is that we will never need to utilize these methods in our schools. It is our responsibility, however, to be prepared. We believe ALICE training, in conjunction with our other safety efforts, will give us the tools to create the best chance for survival.
The District has created a safety training video to help train staff and older students in the ALICE approach to school safety. This video will serve as a reminder of the options provided in ALICE and will be supplemented by training drills. A link to view the video is below.