In order to maintain the highest level of safety possible, Olympia has adopted procedures for our staff and students. We have always used a variety of strategies for student safety, depending on the source of danger. We will continue to evacuate using the fire alarm for smoke or fire, use the shelter in place for severe storms, and duck under desks for an earthquake. We will also continue to use lockdowns for a potentially dangerous situation, such as a dangerous person in the area. However, for an intruder that is actively attempting to injure staff or students, we will activate ALICE – Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. This set of protocols empowers staff and students to use any, and all methods, to stay safe. The steps can be done in any order. They are simply ordered in this manner to have an acronym for memory purposes.
A - Alert - Use all available means to notify administration, and other staff that an active dangerous intruder is present and attempting to hurt people.
L - Lockdown - If immediate evacuation is not possible, close and lock the door, and keep everyone away from it. Use available resources to barricade the door to keep a dangerous person out.
I - Inform - Provide as much information as possible to administration and other staff members. Location of threat, nature of threat, and any other pertinent information can be shared through all available means.
C - Counter - If confronted by the dangerous person, use all available resources to distract or dissuade the intruder.
E - Evacuate - Getting out of the building is the best method to stay safe. If you have the chance to escape, do it.
The ALICE method has been suggested by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, The U.S. Department of Education, and the Association of Chiefs of Police, based on extensive research on acts of school violence. Olympia staff members have all been trained on its implementation, including mock drills.
Over the next few days and weeks, we will be talking to our 6th-12th grade students about this plan. The elementary students will be taught that the term ALICE means there is a dangerous situation and they need to follow the teacher’s directions.
We appreciate your support in keeping our schools safe. If you have any questions about the ALICE methods, or our plans related to them, please contact your building principal, or Assistant Superintendent Josh Olsen. We will be happy to discuss this in further detail.