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School Lockdown Meeting Scheduled for Monday

The meeting is scheduled for Monday at 7 p.m. inside Birch Meadow School.

School and police officials are working to perfect lockdown procedures.
School and police officials are working to perfect lockdown procedures.
It's a scenario no parent, student, school official, or police officer wants to face. But a school lockdown is also a scenario each of those people should be prepared for.

That's the reason Reading Public Schools, the Reading Police Department and the Reading Public Schools Safety Committee are joining forces on Monday night to inform residents on plans to change the current lockdown procedures.

Town officials are in the process of adopting a new strategy for lockdowns, called A.L.i.C.E. The acronym stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate.

According to a press release from Superintendent of Schools John Doherty, the philosophy of A.L.i.C.E. is to use technology and information in a way that allows staff and students to make informed decisions.

"In a crisis, this program recommends removing as many people as possible from the danger zone, and provides realistic training so that those involved in a crisis have a better chance of surviving," said Doherty.

Prior to A.L.i.C.E., Reading's lockdown procedures required staff to lock their doors, move students to a part of the room where they could not be seen, and they would remain there until an all clear announcement was given.

A.L.i.C.E. will be implemented during the upcoming school year. On Monday at 7 p.m., parents are asked to come to the Birch Meadow cafeteria to learn more about the changes.

During the meeting, members of the Reading Police Department and Reading Public Schools Safety Committee will explain how the program works.
Paul Roy January 06, 2014 at 04:32 PM
Curious why the Fire Department is not involved. This is a public safety concern. If something does happen there will be no direction when the FD is not part of the process.
t January 09, 2014 at 01:37 PM
I was not in town to attend the meeting but I hope the Fire Department was included as there will be a variety of medical issues that will arise. Using the ALICE program is a good start, its not a ending point.

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