Mundelein High School officials are inviting all parents/guardians of MHS students to attend a special meeting Thursday, January 17 at 6 p.m. in the Auditorium to learn about the training that staff and students are experiencing concerning school safety.
MHS has worked during the past year to enact advanced security measures in order to keep the school safe. Besides implementing a number of physical and electronic security enhancements, students and staff procedures also were revised to drastically increase survivability in the event of certain security issues.
Until this school year, active physical threats within the school were addressed solely with “lockdown” procedures. In this method, students were ushered into classrooms where they were hidden out of sight, doors locked and lights off with the expectation that an armed intruder would not try to harm children who could not be seen.
A new approach to school safety is now being implemented under the guidance of the Federal Department of Homeland Security, US Department of Education, International Association of Chiefs of Police, FEMA, the FBI, the Illinois School Security and Standards Task Force and the Mundelein Police Department.
Mundelein High School has adopted the “ALICE” method of enhancing school security and has become an ALICE Certified School. With ALICE, students and staff are empowered to take the steps necessary to increase survivability. ALICE stands for:
A = Alert. Staff is notified that a threat is present and that defensive action is to be taken
L = Lockdown. As a first defense, students are ushered out of sight and protected behind locked doors
I = Inform. Staff is notified of the nature and location of the threat to build situational awareness
C = Counter. As a last resort, staff and students may work to either physically avoid or engage the threat
E = Evacuate. As a preferred action, staff and students will move rapidly away from the threat.
This school year began with training for all staff in the ALICE method. In August staff viewed videos about school security and saw PowerPoint presentations. In September all staff took part in physical demonstrations and decision-making procedures using the ALICE guidelines. Later this year, students will be trained in the ALICE protocol with a PowerPoint presentation.
During the 2019-2020 school year, MHS will hold an intruder drill where both staff and students will apply ALICE procedures.
“Please understand that in NO WAY are we asking or teaching our students or staff to make any attempt to subdue an armed intruder outside of their secure areas,” Assistant Principal Mike Pope explained. “However, we will provide them with the knowledge that if faced with a life and death situation there are methods that can be applied to greatly improve their chance of survival,” he said.
“We encourage all parents/guardians to attend this important meeting Thursday evening,” Pope concluded.