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ALICE training almost complete
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MONROE - The Monroe school district will finish training students this week in how to take an active role in their survival in situations with a dangerous person in school buildings.

The training, called A.L.I.C.E., teaches individuals to make decisions during an attacker situation - such as a school shooting - that uses their particular situation to their advantage. It includes communicating with others to track the attacker's movements, making barricades, distracting the attacker or evacuating, depending on what's viable at the time.

ALICE differs from the standard school lockdown by giving students and staff the ability to use the information available to do what they think is best, rather than waiting in a classroom for rescuers.

This is the first year the district has used ALICE.

The program "feels like a very appropriate, common-sense way to deal with a crisis situation," said Joe Monroe, director of pupil services.

He updated the school board Monday on the program's implementation.

All district staff members, including public library staff, have been trained in ALICE. The district is now training students and will be running live drills this week at various buildings. Monroe said all students from 4K through 12th grade will be trained by the end of this week.

Monroe said administrators are also working to train staff at St. Victor School.

Responses from parents, students and staff about the program have been positive with "lots of praise," Monroe said.

"We're feeling pretty good about how things have rolled out," he said.

Monroe said the district might run drills with students more than once a year, like it does with tornado drills. He noted the district will have to address the program annually.

District Administrator Cory Hirsbrunner said the administrative team met with the Monroe Fire Department, EMS and the Monroe Police Department.

"They had input in the plan and are in total support of ALICE," Hirsbrunner said, adding they would continue to meet with the departments regularly.

- Susan Endres