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School board hears ALICE drill reports
School Board

MONROE — Principals from Parkside Elementary, Abraham Lincoln Elementary and Northside Elementary schools recently presented the results of their active shooter safety drills to the Monroe Board of Education during its first October meeting. 

District Administrator Rick Waski said as part of the new state law regarding safety in schools, the administrators of each school are required to report the results of the drill 30 days from the date it takes place.

“They told us that they’re going to be giving us guidelines for what these reports should look like in the near future,” Waski said. “I think we hopefully still are going to be able to just provide them in writing in the format they want. We were given no indication there was going to be some state format we had to follow.”

All three school principals sat before the board Oct. 8 at Parkside Elementary School to share highlights and information. 

Parkside Elementary Principal Todd Paradis said all staff within the building reviewed protocols of the Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate training system meant to be used in active shooter emergencies. The school held its drill with students Sept. 13.

Paradis said the ALICE drill was held in classrooms with an age-appropriate response to explain the roles of students in the event of an active shooter emergency. The drills were performed throughout the day within classrooms, which avoided distraction, Paradis said. 

Teachers helped lead scenarios with different options for the students and children spent time practicing tasks like barricading doors or windows.  

“Some students practiced barricading doors, some students practiced crawling out windows,” Paradis said. “Give them a feel of what different things they could do if they went through an ALICE drill.”

Abe Lincoln Elementary Principal Jenna Trame said the school conducted ALICE drills along with Headstart and the 4K class, which took part with the kindergarten class. Trame said she observed the drills and saw teachers who had adequately prepared students in an appropriate way. 

The group walked to a designated rally point outside and discussed finding helpful adults in the emergency situation. Trame said there was also discussion of conducting more of a live simulation drill as well.

Northside Elementary Principal Amy Timmerman said the school conducted drills on Sept. 24 and noted students there also walked to the rally point designated if an evacuation is necessary because of an active shooter in the building. Timmerman noted there are no windows to escape through or barricade, but said Northside is “lucky” because there are exterior doors in each classroom. 

Timmerman also talked about the book, “I’m Not Scared… I’m Prepared!” by Julia Cook and how it works to relay age-appropriate information effectively, which Paradis said was an important piece of ALICE drill preparation. 

Northside students and teachers also talked about the rally point being a temporary location, and Timmerman said students were told that if the rally point was not safe, they should continue to leave the area until they are in a secure spot. The rally point is an in-between stop for students before they would be moved to an evacuation and reunification site where they could be found by loved ones.