Thursday, March 1, 2018

School Safety message

March 1st, 2018

Dear parents, friends and families,

In light of yet another horrific school shooting, I want to assure you that safety of our students is always our highest priority. We are reviewing all our safety and security measures at STrEaM. Steve Millions, the Wayland Baptist Building Manager and I met with the ASD Safety Coordinator last week here at STrEaM to review our processes and procedures. We came away with a list of recommendations and suggestions, on which we are following up. We will do everything possible to keep our school safe. 

As you know we follow the ASD safety framework called "ALICE." ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. A simplified way to look at this is, in order, "Get out, Hide out, Take out." We teach students first and foremost to evacuate the building in the case of an armed intruder. Our "rally point" is across the park, in the turnout on Northern Lights across from Carrs. If students can't "Get out" and evacuate the building, we enhance the traditional lockdown with "barricade" measures including securing handles and piling furniture in doorways, which we had students practice earlier this year. The last measure, as a last resort, is to "counter" using distractions such as yelling, throwing objects, even swarming an attacker if possible. This is the most frightening and controversial part of ALICE, so it is important to emphasize it is the last resort in a life or death situation. 

All our staff are ALICE trained, and we do quarterly drills practicing aspects of the framework. This week in our staff meeting Mrs. Staker, our trained ALICE instructor, reviewed our protocols and procedures and gave instruction to teachers. Teachers will review the ALICE framework and present an armed intruder scenario to students on Friday in Advisory. Students will think-pair-share responses to the scenario. Later this year we will practice a full evacuation, through the park to our rally point. We have ALICE and school safety as a recurring agenda topic for our staff meetings, and will look at different aspects of the framework each time we meet. 

We are sending out an ALICE flyer for all parents with this message. We are doing everything in our power to keep our school safe.  This topic is a terrible reminder of the dangers in our world, but I have hope knowing that each child we reach and build a relationship with will help make this world a better place. STrEaM Academy students are becoming the engaged citizens and leaders who can change this dynamic for the better. Please email, call or come by if you have any questions at all

Thank you all,

Adam Mokelke, Principal

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