ALICE system

Recently, the school took a day to train students in the new ALICE procedures.

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ALICE system

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Over the past year or so, schools across the United States have been debating upon ways to combat a growing issue: school threats. Recently, Minnesota has taken a new approach to this issue by imposing a different way to solving this problem known as ALICE.

I thought it was good to do it in all classes for those situations and techniques”

— Kristina Lincoln

On October 11th, 2018, Cannon Falls Schools spent their PLC day discussing ALICE — a new system of approach against school threats. The acronym stands for Alert, Locate, Inform, Counter and Evacuate, and throughout the day students were informed about what would be the best course of action depending on where the threat was in the building. Each class period, classes would practice ALICE. The intercom would turn on, and someone in the office would announce where the threat was located (ie, the high school hallway, the fieldhouse), before ending the message with “Activate ALICE”. From there, depending on what class they were in and where the intruder was, students and their teachers would discuss what they could do. Most students thought the day went pretty well. Some had responses like Kristina Lincoln, who stated, “I thought it was good to do it in all classes for those situations and techniques.”

Unlike the students, this wasn’t the teachers’ first time discussing ALICE. Mr. Strauss and Mr. Quinlan were some of the teachers who attended a training over the summer. According to Mr. Strauss, the training that they did “took place over the course of two days”, and “There were several of us from the district that went up to get trained. We were with other teachers, principals, and law enforcement from other parts of the state. We learned about what ALICE is, why it’s a good option, how to train other staff and students, and also took part in many drills”.

Overall, the training on Wednesday was tedious, but Ms. Mellesmoen stated that, “It might have gotten boring for the students and some teachers to have the same type of conversation over and over again for the day, but each room and space has its own quirks, so it was good for students to start considering their different surroundings in order to handle different emergencies better”.  

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