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UPSD to Hold Meetings to Discuss New Active Shooter Response Protocol
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            The Upper Perkiomen School District is implementing new protocols for dealing with active shooter response. The process to utilize a program from the ALICE Training Institute began during a staff in service in November, according to Superintendent Alexis McGloin.

            Next month, McGloin will host four informational parent meetings on ALICE Active Shooter Training.  Training for the students – and active drills – at each of the district's four schools will be presented before the end of the school year, according to an email from the superintendent.

            At each of the meetings – for parents of students at the high school, middle school, Marlborough and Hereford elementary schools – McGloin will go over the new terminology and detail the shift from the current protocol.

            The ALICE Training Institute – founded by Greg Crane, a  law enforcement officer and security expert with more than 25 years of experience – touts itself as a the first training program in the country that provided staff and students with an option-based response to an active shooter gaining entry into a school, a business or any organization.

            Crane developed the program after the tragic events of Columbine High School of 1999, in which 13 people were assassinated by two shooters, according to the organization's website.

            Since that shooting in suburban Denver, Upper Perkiomen's district policy has been for students and teachers to shelter in place, according to the superintendent. She said that meant they were instructed stay in their current classroom, lock the door and turn off the lights.

            According to McGloin, the ALICE training program – an acronym which stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate – allows teachers and administrators to make a choice about evacuating students or allowing them to remain in place based on the circumstances.

            She said students will learn how to run away from their school building. They will also need to understand what decisions need to be made, according to the superintendent.

            "Students need to be prepared," McGloin said. "Being trained to deal with active shooters is difficult."

            The timing of the change in practice started long before the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Fla. that killed 17, according to McGloin.

            Last fall, district officials initially created a district-wide ALICE response team. She said the program was then rolled out to the entire staff.

            Additionally, McGloin will host a Superintendent's Forum on School Safety & Security at 7 p.m. on Monday in the high school auditorium. She is working to together a panel of experts on these topics, including representatives from local law enforcement and emergency planning agencies, as well as representatives from the district administration, including building principals. Panel members will share their expertise and field questions from the audience.





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