Unity's Safe Entry Program
The Safe Entry Program is a component of the District's Safety Plan. All exterior doors are locked during the school day. The District Office, High School Office, and the Elementary Office doors are shut and locked from 8:30am-3:20pm. Individuals have to identify themselves on the video camera and can only be buzzed in by one of the office secretaries. Visitors must then proceed to the immediate office and log in to the visitor's system. The visitors management system is a computerized check-in process for all who visit (contractors, vendors, and guests). Visitors must bring their state issued idenfication card, which is scanned into the computer system. The system automatically logs when a visitor checks-in. It can also track volunteer hours. The Safe Entry Program helps keep our students safe and compliments the District's extensive Safety Plan.
All About ALICE
Student safety is a top priority at Unity School District. Recently, the District adopted ALICE procedures which are implemented in the event of an armed intruder. ALICE procedures have been adopted and promoted by government agencies, law enforcement organizations, and associations such as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, The International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the N.Y.P.D. As of June, 2013, the U.S. Department of Education stated in their Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools, recommendations that schools need to plan beyond lockdown, and provide guidance for all options such as evacuation, barricade and counter, run, fight, and hide. Unity implemented the ALICE training in the summer of 2015 for all District staff. Additionally, District students have received training in a developmentally appropriate way.
ALICE is not designed to be sequential but rather to be utilized dynamically in each unique situation.
• ALERT: Use plain and specific language to Alert others to the danger.
• LOCKDOWN: Barricade the room. Prepare to Evacuate or Counter if needed.
• INFORM: Communicate the violent intruder’s location and direction in real time.
• COUNTER: Create Noise, Movement, Distance and Distraction with the intent of reducing the shooters ability to shoot accurately. Counter is NOT fighting.
• EVACUATE: When safe to do so, remove yourself from the danger zone.
The above ALICE method we will teach our students and staff in the event of an armed intruder/active shooter: 1. Listen carefully to the location and type of event. 2. Get to and/or remain in a secure area until it is safe to evacuate. 3. Should an armed intruder/active shooter evade their area, apply skills to distract, confuse and gain control. 4. As soon as it is safe to do so, evacuate.
For clarification, in no way are we asking our staff or students to make any attempt to subdue an armed intruder. However, we will provide them the knowledge/methods that, if faced with a life or death situation, can be applied in a manner that would greatly enhance their chance of survival.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Department has been instrumental and supportive of this new approach to school safety. Unity’s School Resource Officer (SRO) will be the local liaison with the Polk County Sheriff’s Department. The SRO will work cooperatively with school district administration to prepare and communicate the details of the District Safety Plan.