Potter Elementary students learning to stay safe with ALICE training

Mar 5, 2019

Potter Elementary students are getting to know the school district’s ALICE emergency protocols through a children’s book and classroom drills.

At the March 4 School Committee meeting, school officials highlighted the work they are doing to equip students with life-saving skills through the ALICE protocol.

It is a set of emergency protocols which gives teachers and students more flexibility to react to emergency situations. It stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate, five of the main pillars of the program.

Last year, the school district began implementing ALICE training in the high school. The district also worked with Dartmouth Police.

“The national average for response time of law enforcement to an active shooter is five to six minutes,” assistant principal Rick Porter said.

To better prepare elementary school students, school counselor Carrie Gregoire has introduced the concepts and protocols to students through the children's book “I’m Not Scared, I’m Prepared” and in-classroom activities that also serve as drills.

“Unfortunately, we really do feel this is a necessity,” Principal Heidi Brooks explained.

The book walks students through what to do if an intruder — in this case, a big bad wolf — enters the building. It touches upon all of the key areas of ALICE. After reading the book with Gregoire, students were given mock examples and practiced drills.