PWES Crisis Drills
Dear Piper West Families,
At Piper Elementary, we have put in place drills and protocols to help keep all of our students safe. We conduct 4 fire drills during the school year where students practice getting out of the building and away from danger. We practice 2 severe weather drills during the year as well where students practice going to a safe place in the building away from the dangers of outdoors. This year as a new state mandate we are required to conduct 3 crisis drills.
Later this week, we will practice our lockdown “safety drill” at our school which we will have students practice methods and actions to help if an unwanted stranger comes into the school. Three years ago, Piper School District changed their method for reacting to a stranger from a traditional “Lockdown” method by adopting the ALICE method. ALICE is an acronym standing for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. Whereas a traditional “Lockdown-only” method only gives teachers and students one possible action, ALICE allows teachers and students to choose actions based on their specific situation at the time. The ultimate goal of ALICE is to get students and sta out of the building and away from danger. However, sometimes, based on the information available, that is not always the best choice at that moment. ALICE teaches us what to do if “Evacuate” is not possible at the time. For details about what the ALICE program is all about, please visit www.alicetraining.com.
During the month of September, PWES will conduct a "Lockdown" crisis drill with our students and staff. Our staff have already received ALICE training, so now it is time to inform the students. Before the September crisis drill, Officer Dave will read an ALICE book specifically written to teach ALICE to elementary-aged students. (You can view the book on this video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKRS7shr3qs&t=1s.)
During our September "Lockdown" crisis drill, we will conduct the drill that will inform students and staff to “lockdown.” Teachers and students will practice locking the door, turning o the lights, and finding items in their classroom that can used for barricading or countering purposes. This drill will NOT contain an active “stranger” and will not even have a person pretending to be a bad person. (We will have administration checking to ensure doors are locked, but not pretending to try to break in.) This is simply a drill to allow the students to become accustomed to keeping their classroom safe. In the future, we may conduct a drill like the first drill mentioned in the book where students practice the “Evacuate” method, but we will take this one step at a time and begin with basic lockdown/barricade/counter principles.
Please take the time to review the materials we have given to you so that you are aware of exactly what your children are being told. This may also open up a conversation for you to have with your children about your own personal plan of evacuation at your house. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at PWES and we will help find any answer you may need.
Mrs. Grable & Officer Dave