Dear Reading Elementary School Community:
Over the last several months, the Reading Public Schools has been working with the Reading Police Department to implement an enhanced lockdown procedure called A.L.I.C.E., which is an acronym for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. The philosophy of A.L.I.C.E. is to use technology and information in a way that staff and students can make informed decisions in a crisis, remove as many people as possible from a dangerous situation, and provide realistic training so that those involved in a crisis have a better chance of surviving. A copy of the presentation that was given to the parent community in October and January is located at:
As part of this implementation process, we will be conducting drills at our elementary schools over the next few weeks. Both the Wood End and Killam Elementary Schools will have their initial drill on Wednesday, January 29th and Joshua Eaton, Barrows, and Birch Meadow Elementary Schools will have their initial drill on Wednesday, February 5th. These drills will be developmentally appropriate and help prepare students in a way that is similar to drills that we currently conduct in our schools for fire evacuation, lockdown, and shelter in place. At the elementary level, each classroom teacher will speak with students about the new protocol. Elementary teachers have been provided with a script and a social story that is appropriate for their grade level. Drills at the elementary school will resemble the more traditional lockdown and fire evacuation drills and will not include the use of a person simulating an intruder. The “counter” strategies will not be presented as part of the elementary student drills.
Please feel free to communicate directly with your principal regarding any concerns that you have around how the drill may impact your child. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Reading Public Schools Administrative Offices or your child’s building principal.
John F. Doherty, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools