TORONTO - School lockdowns and pupil and student safety was discussed during Thursday's city school board meeting.
A new program, known as A.L.I.C.E. - Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate - to help students, pupils and staff survive during an emergency was explained, according to Fred Burns, superintendent.
"Maureen Taggart (junior/senior high school principal) gave a presentation on A.L.I.C.E.," said Burns, adding the program was taught to staff by Toronto Patrolman Tony Porreca. "This is a five-step process for changing how we do lockdowns.
"It gives pupils, students and staff a chance to take action during an emergency instead of doing nothing," Burns continued. "It gives teachers and students a structured way to react in case of an emergency situation. They don't have to remain passive. (The program) has been approved by law enforcement."
Burns said Porreca has studied the program.
"He's been trained, and he taught the teachers the program during an in-service," Burns said. "He's going to be teaching students. Also. he also will be working with the elementary pupils on a different level geared to their age."
In other matters:
- Burns said school board members examined the district's five-year forecast during the meeting.
"We're spending now more than we're bringing in. However, we expect that to change with our open enrollment. We are 60 pupils and students over what we were last year. I'll give a final report on that in November."
- Burns said the online auction of items leftover from the former high school in September netted the district $47,105.
"All of that will be used to help complete the high school stadium lighting project," said Burns, adding the amount was close to what he estimated it would be. "We got our check (from the auction house) in early October."
- "We studied an update on the (possible leasing) of oil and gas rights," Burns said. "We're still negotiating with two companies for those rights on 32 acres of land (belonging to the district)."
- The board approved school cancellations and delays would be announced on WOGH-FM, WTOV-TV, WTRF-TV, WOMP-FM, WEIR-AM, WCDK-FM and WWVA-AM. Announcements will be made to the above radio and TV stations by 6 a.m. or before, if possible. Parents and students are asked not to call the school for cancellation and delay information. The district also will be using the PK-12 phone notification system for delays and cancellations.
- Burns said board members approved the installation of wall and ceiling acoustic tile in the new high school cafetorium. He said the district had the funds to do so, and installation will cost about $20,800.
- The next board meeting will be at 5 p.m. on Nov. 21 in the Karaffa Middle School library.