The Londonderry School District is dedicated to the safety of our students and staff. Details of our emergency plans are confidential for security reasons, but we wanted to answer some FAQs in response to the latest act of school violence.
What is EOP?
Several years ago, we formed our Emergency Operations and Planning Committee (EOP). At that time school administrators were trained through FEMAs NIMS training and adopted the NH7 response system. That system created actionable plans and concise language for school emergencies including an active shooter, fire or other evacuation needs, secure campus for outside threats and medical situations, natural disasters and other hazardous events. Both representatives from LPD and LFD have been on our EOP.
What Training/Response Methods have been completed by the District since EOP’s creation?
In 2018, the District provided training for all staff from Londonderry Police Department on ADD – Avoid, Deny, Defend in the case of any active threat inside the school. In the fall of 2019, the District provided gunshot awareness training, again led by LPD.
During this time, with support from the Londonderry community we enhanced the safety of our building facilities by creating a single point of entry vestibule at each building, increasing camera systems, and numbering all doors and fields. We added flashing lights outside the building to inform visitors of a lockdown in the building.
We reviewed the report and recommendations from the 2018 NH School Safety Preparedness Task Force with our SRO and made adjustments based on feedback.
We added a security technician to the staff in July 2019.
How do we stay current with our District Emergency Planning?
We always look at the latest information, technology, and recommendations available on school safety to ensure we are creating the best possible preparedness plans. To that end, in collaboration with Londonderry PD, we are moving from ADD to the ALICE model as our response to violent critical incidents. A violent critical incident is any event when a person or persons attempt to harm innocent people by any means.
We have a safety committee made up of teachers, support staff, administrator and DO staff that walk each building monthly to ensure buildings are meeting all safety standards.
What is ALICE?
ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. The program is broken down into two components: communication /situational awareness and response. The ALICE strategies prepare an individual to be empowered to participate in their own survival.
Alert and Inform are the critical components of communication; having the technology to receive and send this communication is critical, when seconds matter most. Alert is a person’s first notification of a critical incident. Training explains that it is essential for individuals to recognize an alert. Inform is using real time clear language about the violent intruder.
The LCE components are the strategies for response. The ALICE model allows for individual staff and students to make informed choices based on the current situation and provides training on when to make those choices and how to carry out the ALICE strategies. ALICE strategies are not sequential but are based on an individual’s proximity to a violent critical incident.
A key differential of ALICE is the concept of lockdown. In the ALICE model, the strategy calls for an enhanced lockdown when evacuation is not an option. In enhanced lockdown, while doors are locked, they are also barricaded and individuals prepare to counter or evacuate if needed. Counter is NOT fighting, but preparing to distract and control through noise, movement, and distance.
At each of the school levels (elementary, middle and high) the students are taught developmentally appropriate pieces of the ALICE model.
You can learn more about ALICE by clicking this link https://www.alicetraining.com/our-program/alice-training/k12-education/
How are students with special needs accounted for?
All special education staff will be trained in the extra component through ALICE for students with disabilities. This component is also available to all staff. We recognize that, for students with any communication, regulatory, sensory and mobility needs, performing enhanced lockdowns and evacuations are more challenging, and while we hope we never have to employ ALICE in a real situation, we are prepared for that scenario.
There will also be additional modules for school bus drivers, coaches and to train all new staff.
How will ALICE Training roll out in the District?
Throughout the 21-22 school year the school district has been training in the ALICE model. Nineteen of our school administrators, and three SROs have gone through the initial ALICE training and have become certified ALICE instructors.
We have now rolled out the hybrid training to all staff with the goal of becoming a certified ALICE trained school district. All staff, including teachers, support staff, dining services, building and grounds and bus drivers will be trained in ALICE. There is an online e-learning classroom component that teachers are completing now and an in-person classroom and scenario component that will be completed over the summer.
An ALICE certified organization requires organization certification through the e-learning, on-site training, and policy documentation that complies with Federal guidelines. We are eager to complete this school wide initiative in keeping students and staff safe in school.
What are SROs and how are they utilized in schools?
We have three SROs through LPD, and the elementary campuses share one who rotates through each of them. They are a part of our emergency operations team, they know our protocols, and they are the law enforcement professionals training our staff in ALICE, along with certified district instructors. We have a great relationship with them. In addition to these three assignments, Londonderry Police Officers are often seen walking our buildings during their shifts to become familiar with our buildings, students and staff.
How can parents receive more information?
We will be scheduling a parent/community evening to discuss ALICE in our schools at the beginning of the new school year.