SWASD is ALICE certified

The ALICE Training Institute authorized the South Williamsport Area School District as an official ALICE certified organization as of late January. The school district has completed all of the necessary training needed to receive this important certification.

ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. Each area is a means of survival if there is an active shooter. The program encourages everyone to choose the safest option during a life-threatening situation.

To become an ALICE certified organization, school staff had to complete an online training session, participate in active shooter drills and implement ALICE procedures into emergency protocols.

Every school district staff member has completed the necessary training to protect themselves and their students, said superintendent Mark Stamm. They must do the online training once a year and do active shooter drills which the district plans to do often alongside students. There is one planned for this spring.

“The great part about ALICE is that the skills are portable,” he said. “It’s a sad but necessary part of living today.”

Alongside becoming ALICE certified, the school district is putting many new security enhancements in every building. One that was recently installed is the security system to enter the front offices.

Previously there was only one locked door to get through, but now there are two locked doors to enter the building that can only be unlocked by a staff member in the front office or a key fob.

“This is an industry best practice,” Stamm said. “It creates an extra layer of security for our students and staff.”

The next district-wide safety enhancement is installing Nightlocks on every door in every building. Nightlocks are locks specifically designed to prevent intruders from entering rooms.

A handle connects two mounts, one on the floor and one on the door, to prevent the door from opening. The device is an easy way to create an additional layer of protection for everyone in the school district.

They are installed on every door at Central Elementary School and will be installed at Rommelt Elementary School and the South Williamsport Area Junior Senior High School this spring.