Connellsville Area School District- Connellsville, PA

Connellsville Area School District is stepping up security measures for its schools with new products and training. Along with the new system, the school board approved the district’s director of security, Mike Parlak, to attend a nonviolent crisis intervention training program known as ALICE. ALICE stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter, evacuate. “In a nutshell, it’s a set of strategies to survive a violent-intruder event,” Phil Martell, the district’s temporary superintendent of schools/director of finance and operations said. Parlak will attend the training Jan. 26-29 and will return to train the entire district staff. The program teaches individuals to participate in their own survival while leading others to safety, increasing the odds of survival. “It’s a pretty comprehensive program nationwide,” Martell said, adding that the program has been endorsed by police departments, the Department of Homeland Security and the Attorney General’s Office. Martell said it’s unfortunate the district had to move forward on the programs without grant approval but administrators didn’t want to hesitate on safety in an age of school shootings and child predators. “It’s better to err on the side of caution,” Martell said. Read more