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EACS invites parents to learn about new safety program

Parents are invited to learn more about a program for school safety that could soon have East Allen County Schools teachers, students and staff changing the way they handle safety situations.

The program provides safety training for school districts through the ALICE Training Institute, which provides tools and strategies on how individuals can respond to potentially dangerous situations.

The ALICE training program teaches students, teachers and staff to take safety into their own hands with an alternative way of responding to a crisis situation, Superintendent Ken Folks said.

ALICE is an acronym that represents an alternative way of responding to a crisis through five concepts -- alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate.

The training emphasizes that the best way to survive an active shooter is to escape, Folks said, but when that isn’t possible, having students and staff prepared will help save lives. Folks said the new program will not mean arming teachers or staff.

The public is invited to attend a presentation during Tuesday’s school board meeting to learn more about the program, Folks said.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at New Haven High School’s auditeria and visitors are asked to enter through door 2 on the south side of the building.

If approved by the board, training for staff will begin at the end of April. Folks said he expects the program to be fully implemented at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.

"East Allen County Schools is committed to providing the safest possible environment for our students and our staff," Folks said. He said parents and guardians "trust the schools daily to keep students safe and we take that very seriously."

Jeff Studebaker, EACS school safety manager, said the training will cost about $12,000.