Naperville 203 Safety Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Naperville 203 doing to keep students safe?
Keeping our students and staff safe is a top priority in Naperville 203. Over the years, our safety measures have evolved as we learn from best practices and collaboration with local law enforcement, state and federal organizations. During the 2018-19 school year, Naperville 203 schools will be transitioning from a lockdown response to a safety response plan called ALICE.
What is ALICE?
ALICE stands for Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate. If a threatening situation occurs, trained staff will need to rely on the information at hand and their training to determine the safest course of action. The approach is an alternative to the more passive lockdown approach of the past. ALICE is designed to empower individuals to lead others to safety.
ALERT: When someone first becomes aware of a threat, sound an alarm using plain and specific language to alert others to the threat.
LOCKDOWN: Doors should be locked to give all involved time to react. Once secure, practical strategies are shared for how to prepare for other responses if needed, such as Counter or Evacuate.
INFORM: Communicate the intruder’s location and direction in real time using any means necessary so that everyone in the school has access to the information.
COUNTER: Interrupt the intruder's actions by making noise or other distraction with the intent of reducing the intruder’s ability to execute his/her plan. This does not mean fighting, but is rather an attempt to avoid being a target.
EVACUATE: When it is safe to do so, remove yourself and others from the dangerous area. The idea is to get as many people away from the situation as possible.
It's important to emphasize that these strategies are not sequential, and no single response (such as lockdown-only) fits all threatening situations. Law enforcement officials recommend, as best practice, that school personnel be trained in ALICE to respond to a threatening incident.
How have Naperville 203 staff members been ALICE trained?
Staff participated in a three tier training. Each staff member engaged in an electronic learning session where they were provided the rationale behind ALICE and an introduction to the protocol. The next portion of training was a face-to-face classroom lesson conducted by trained Naperville Police Department officers and a certified ALICE instructor from Naperville School District 203. Finally, the staff took part in drill scenarios to put their new knowledge into action. This process allowed each staff member to ask questions, collaborate with others, and experience how to respond in an emergency.
We’ve been doing lockdown drills for years. Was that the wrong choice?
At the time, lockdown drills were considered best practice. Recently, the U.S. Department of Education extensively researched active shooter events and their findings have resulted in a change in guidance to the ALICE approach of response.
How will ALICE drills be communicated to students?
All safety measures are discussed and practiced in a age-appropriate manner with our students. We recognize that discussions around school safety are difficult as parents and guardians, but preparation is a critical component of any safety plan.
What other safety measures are in place in Naperville 203 schools?
In conjunction with ALICE and school safety best practices, Naperville 203 has initiated other safety initiatives including building modifications with updated front entrances with guest screening software; School Resource Officers serving as onsite coordination with local law enforcement; physical environment enhancements including camera systems; IT threat management systems to protect our digital environment, and continuous weather related drills to prepare our students in the event of an emergency, just to name a few.
How should I talk to my student about school safety?
School safety discussions can be difficult for parents and children. We want to reassure our students that school is a safe place to learn. Age-appropriate conversations and activities are key and the message should be a positive one. For example, asking students to identify all the things that they see in their school that keeps them safe will reassure them of the safety measures in place to protect them in an event of an emergency including weather and security. Things like safe and caring teachers, safety drills, locked doors will keep the message positive.