The safety and security of our students is of utmost importance to staff here in Belleville. We strive to regularly evaluate policies and procedures to help us with this priority. Though we remain hopeful that an event, such as an active shooter, is something that we never have to face, we must do our best to prepare and train for such an event in efforts to provide the highest level of safety for our students. In 2015, after more than a year of study by the District Safety Committee and after being passed by the Board of Education, the School District of Belleville adopted a new strategy known as the A.L.I.C.E. plan for an active shooter event. A.L.I.C.E. is an acronym for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate, and is endorsed by many federal, state and local law enforcement officials. The district’s previous plan for an intruder in a building was to lock doors, turn out lights, minimize sound, and move away from windows. In light of recent school violence, the A.L.I.C.E. plan offers a different philosophy. The philosophy of A.L.I.C.E. is to use technology and information in a way so staff and students can make informed decisions in a crisis, remove as many people as possible from the danger zone, and provide training so those involved in a crisis will have a better chance of surviving. The principles of A.L.I.C.E. are life-skills that will prepare children for safety events in a host of public settings- not simply a school building!
During the month of March, students at the Belleville Elementary and Intermediate schools will be reviewing A.L.I.C.E. procedures with their classroom teacher and will use the book, I’m Not Scared, I’m Prepared, to guide their discussion.
Before a formal A.L.I.C.E. drill is conducted with students later this spring, we want to work with students to help them understand what they are doing and why. It will be explained that teachers have options, and any decision made will be based on the situation and the best information available.
This afternoon, a parent letter was sent via Skylert communicating this lesson topic with families. If you did not recieve this letter via email,a copy of it can be found here.