Keeping Our Schools Safe

How Are We Ensuring Student and Staff Safety?

ALICE is a type of emergency response protocol which provides preparation and a plan for individuals and organizations on how to more proactively handle the threat of an aggressive intruder or active shooter event. ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. During the 2016-2017 school year, several UPSD professional staff, district administrators and building administrators received training in ALICE procedures. Over the summer of 2017, all district and building administrators were trained in ALICE. So far this school year, under the leadership of our multi-hazard planning committee, Upper Perkiomen School District has trained all staff in ALICE procedures, including paraprofessionals, custodians and food service staff.

Understandably, this training was emotionally trying for many of our professional staff. However, the teachers, secretaries, guidance counselors, and all other staff members took this training very seriously. We had a few reports from Upper Perk teachers who stated that this was the most beneficial professional learning experience they have ever participated in.

The multi-hazard planning committee has been continuing to meet in order to develop a plan for communication on school safety and ALICE procedures at Upper Perk. Parents have received communication about ALICE information and school safety over the past few weeks. Throughout April, the district is hosting several parent evenings in order to inform our parents and community about the procedures. During these workshops, parents will have an opportunity to learn about ALICE procedures, the experiences their children will participate in and ask questions about the process.

How are we Improving School Climates in All of Our Buildings?

School climate refers to the quality and character of school life. It is based on people’s experiences of school and reflects norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures” (NSCC). A positive school climate undergirds academic achievement and creates a supportive context for personalized learning to flourish. At a recent board workshop meeting, the building principals shared the results of the Climate Survey from PA Safe Schools. This survey was given to students and professional staff in the school district this past fall in order to garner information around four domains: social emotional learning, student support, high expectations/academics/ challenges and safe school climate.

The administration of the climate survey is one step in a larger framework of school improvement. This five-step process include a readiness, assessment and analysis, action planning, implementation and reflection.

You can check out the images below to see the climate survey results and action plans for each building or you can see the full presentation from the board workshop on the district website.