January 9, 2018
In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing.
The next best thing you can do is the wrong thing.
The worst thing you can do is nothing.
-- Theodore Roosevelt
A safe and supportive school environment is a central focus of our school mission and district’s strategic plan. This encompasses many things including, but not limited to; social emotional learning at all grade levels, reducing student stress, and having procedures and protocols in place for emergencies. We believe that the best response in an emergency is a calm, prepared reaction. Preparation comes from a regular rehearsal of the required protocol. All students (and their caretakers) are familiar with fire drills that regularly take place during the school day to learn how to exit the building safely. We have even practiced shelter-in-place drills during extreme weather conditions such as the unexpected tornado warning we had a few years back. For many years now, we have also taught the children how to enter into lockdown should there ever be an immediate threat in the school. Although we hope we never face the unlikely event of an armed intruder in one of our buildings, we realize that our best defense is to prepare and train staff and students for such an event.
This year, the district is expanding our lockdown procedure to encompass the state and federal endorsed safety protocol of A.L.I.C.E which is also supported by the Newburyport Police Department. The letters ALICE stand for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate:
● Alert – inform people of the threat, giving as much information as possible.
● Lockdown – Students and staff can choose to lockdown and barricade the room that they are in if they determine that it is not safe to evacuate.
● Inform – pass on as much information as possible to others and to First Responders, including calling 911.
● Counter – an effort of last resort, if an armed intruder is able to get into the space where they are, individuals can counter with distraction or other tactics. Staff are being trained to use every effort to stop the intruder, instead of relying on the traditional lockdown and hide response.
● Evacuate – If it is safe to do so, all are encouraged to evacuate the building, and remove themselves from the threat.
We are hosting a parent/guardian information session on Thursday, January 18, 6:30-8:30 PM in the Nock/Molin Auditorium. Administrators from all buildings will be presenting along with members of the Newburyport Police Department.
The A.L.I.C.E program works to teach kids about safety without making them scared. Please join us on January 18th to learn how A.L.I.C.E will be implemented at the Bresnahan School in a developmentally-appropriate manner for young early childhood and elementary students.
Kindly reach out with any questions or concerns.
Very Truly Yours,
Kristina Davis, Karina Mascia and Amy Sullivan