May, 2022

Dear HPS Families:

Throughout the month of May, in conjunction with our community safety agencies, Haverhill Public Schools will be conducting A.L.I.C.E. drills in each of our buildings. For more information about A.L.I.C.E., please read the Frequently Asked Question below. Further information is available at: https://www.alicetraining.com/ and https://www.haverhill-ps.org/security/k-6-alice-training-information/.

From the perspective of the students, this will seem like a simulation exercise of having a real threat in the building. Haverhill Public Schools will conduct drills in each one of our schools sometime during the month of May. Similar to fire drills, we are not able to share the exact date of each A.L.I.C.E. drill in advance, however, the school will inform families following each drill.  

Please understand the successful implementation of A.L.I.C.E. throughout our school community is essential for the safety and well-being of our students and staff.  To better prepare for any of these events, our staff and students will be trained in what to expect and how to react. Our goal of A.L.I.C.E. training is to replace fear and hopelessness during emergencies with preparation and readiness in the face of adverse circumstances.

Again, please be reassured, we are conducting these drills as part of our yearly A.L.I.C.E. training where our students and staff practice evacuating the school building to better prepare them for various emergency scenarios.

A.L.I.C.E. Frequently Asked Questions

What is A.L.I.C.E.?

A.L.I.C.E. is a school safety program created in 2000 to offer additional options to students and staff in dealing with an armed intruder situation. Two individuals who founded and developed the program are long-term law enforcement professionals. A 30-year educational professional is a member of the team and works to ensure that A.L.I.C.E. teaching/training materials are age-appropriate, psychologically sound, and address the issues of individuals with special needs. 

What do the letters stand for in the name A.L.I.C.E.? 

A.L.I.C.E. is an acronym that stands for:

  • ALERT: Get the word out that a threat exists
  • LOCKDOWN: Secure a place to stay as a starting point to buy time.
  • INFORM: Give constant, real-time information throughout the building using all available technology. 
  • COUNTER: This is the last resort. Individuals are unable to escape. Countering may be as simple as creating a distraction to allow opportunities to run.
  • EVACUATE: The goal is to move students out of the danger zone. It’s essential to be prepared to escape. 

Why do we need to add anything more? Isn’t it enough to lock the building and keep students inside if someone threatens them?

Traditionally, schools have used a procedure known as “lockdown,” which essentially means locking the school building and classrooms and having students and teachers take shelter in their classrooms. We believe that offering additional age-appropriate options will allow our students and teachers to be better prepared if a crisis occurs. Providing a constant flow of information to everyone inside the building can help in safely evacuating the building. Rescue by the police can take some time. An essential goal of the A.L.I.C.E. program is to evacuate as many people as possible to a safe place. 

How many organizations are currently using A.L.I.C.E. as part of their safety protocols? 

Nearly 2 million students have been trained or exposed to this program. Although A.L.I.C.E. was started in a kindergarten through grade 12 school setting, the program is now being used in universities, colleges, churches, corporations, and government offices. Haverhill area police departments, school districts, and other organizations are adopting this program to enhance their current safety protocols.