March 10, 2016
Dear Parents/Guardians WHS Staff and Students,
Winchester Public Schools has been in the process of adopting a new strategy for lockdown procedures known as the A.L.i.C.E. plan. A.L.i.C.E. is an acronym for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. Prior to the A.L.i.C.E. plan, lockdown procedures involved the staff locking their doors, moving the students to a part of the room where they could not be seen, and quietly remaining there until an “all clear” announcement was given.
The A.L.i.C.E. plan offers a different philosophy in light of recent school violence. The philosophy of A.L.i.C.E. is to use technology and information in a way so that staff and students can make informed decisions. In a crisis, this program recommends removing as many people as possible from the danger zone, and provides realistic training so that those involved in a crisis have a better chance of surviving.
As part of this ongoing implementation, there have been staff trainings and enhanced lockdown drills. We will be continuing our commitment to safety with an ALICE lockdown drill and training for the students on March 16th. The drill will be structured and sequenced so that students and teachers are able to practice the safety procedures detailed on this day and at previous points throughout the school year. Training props will be used for this exercise and will include a fake gun. The drill will be supervised by teachers and administrators, trained Incident Management Team members as well as our partners in school safety from the Winchester Police and Fire Departments. Students will not know the exact timing of our drill except for the day that it will be held.
We will be reviewing the process at the close of the drill, and dedicating time to answer questions the students may have. We are anticipating two 20 minute assemblies that will be held for grades 9 & 10 then grades 11 & 12. The actual drill will be completed in approximately 30 minutes, and then students will return to their regularly scheduled classes. As always we will have our clinical support staff on hand to support any emotional concerns that could arise as a result of this drill. Our drill will be planned for some time in the coming week.
Please have discussions with your students about this training. If you have any concerns about how this drill may impact your child, please feel free to communicate directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The power point presentation from the trainings will be posted on Winchester High School’s website after the drill has ended. As always, we are committed to our students’ safety.
Interim WHS Principal
and members of our Incident Management Team