Safety - ALICE Elementary School Training

Dear QCSD Parent/Guardians:

QCSD administrators and staff members have been participating in learning the most current 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.

The A.L.I.C.E plan adds components to our previous safety plan that involved locking doors, moving to a quiet and unseen place in the room and waiting for an all clear announcement. The A.L.I.C.E plan adds the components of Inform, Counter and Evacuate. These added steps are designed to help staff and students make decisions during a crisis situation and remove as many people as possible from the danger zone.

The A.L.I.C.E plan is implemented in all QCSD schools. At the elementary level we ensure all staff and students feel supported and confident knowing what to do in the event of an active crisis. 

We have our first drill in the fall and subsequent drills throughout the year.  It is important to thoughtfully prepare students and staff without unduly alarming anyone, particularly younger students.

Here are sample announcements made prior to a drill:

First morning announcement:
"Staff and students, (this morning or this afternoon) we will have an intruder drill. An intruder is someone who should not be in the school. Students, when you hear the announcement later, it is very important that you look to your teachers for direction and listen to what they tell you. This will just be practice."

Announcement before drill:
"Good morning/afternoon, may I have your attention please? 
This is a practice intruder drill. Students, look to your teachers for direction and listen to what they tell you. We are pretending an intruder is (location reference)."

Our goal for elementary students is to look to their teachers for guidance and direction. Based on location, staff will guide students to evacuate or barricade. The drill's end is announced in a matter of minutes.

You will receive a SchoolMessenger message in advance of each drill so you can support your child through these drills.

Here's an age appropriate video for students:


Elementary Principals


As parents, it is important to talk with our children about the challenging topic of violence in schools. Experts say that avoiding the topic can actually make it seem more imminent and threatening in children’s minds. Here are some tips from mental health experts about talking to your children about school violence.

• Experts also say that when it comes to traumatic events in general, a child does not have to personally experience it to feel the negative effects. With such widespread media coverage of recent tragedies in schools, many children anxiously watched footage of these events along with their families. Even if you tried to shield your child from the horrific events, it is likely that he/she will hear about it at school or learn more details through friends or social media.

• Start the conversation and listen carefully: Begin by asking what your children know about the topic of school violence. Listen closely for misinformation, misconceptions, and for underlying concerns and fears.

• Reassurance is the key: Children need to hear that you are doing exactly what you need to do to keep them safe at home and that school officials are taking every precaution necessary to keep them safe at their school. They also need to be reminded that their only job at school is to focus on learning and enjoying their time with their friends and classmates.

• Encourage questions: Without dwelling on frightening details, provide your child with accurate answers to questions, and gently correct misinformation or misconceptions when possible. Do not make this a one-time conversation; additional questions are likely to arise for your child as he or she learns more about this challenging topic. Also, do not be afraid to acknowledge that you do not have all the answers.

• Limit media exposure: According to experts on child trauma, it is important to limit your adolescent’s exposure to repeated images and sounds of violent situations. For younger children, experts say to not allow them to see or hear any shooting-related TV/radio messages. What may not be upsetting to an adult, may be very upsetting and confusing to a child. Be aware that if the TV or radio is on, children of all ages are likely to be tuned in, even if they do not appear to be paying attention. It is also important, as adults, to limit our media exposure related to violent situations, for our own mental health.

• Share your feelings: It is okay to express our sadness and empathy for victims of violence. At the same time, it is important to share ideas for coping. Consider ideas on what you can do as a family.

• Look for signs of anxiety and stress in your child: In times of stress, children and teens may have difficulty with their behavior, concentration and attention. If your child’s reaction to violence or any other traumatic event continues, contact your pediatrician or family physician for a referral to a mental health professional.
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