Winchester High School – Winchester, MA

Safety measures at Winchester schools are now as common as textbooks, pencils and playgrounds. Staff is trained in emergency procedures, students at all levels practice drills regularly – lockdown, shelter in place, intruder in the building – and there are buzzers at each building to get through the front door. “I think the general message is if there was ever any sort of risk or danger that is present, we want to make sure that we have a plan,” said Grant Smith, principal at Vinson-Owen Elementary School. “But we use developmentally appropriate language and are also sensitive to the fact that we don’t need to provide the specifics that might come out in conversations with adults but still be reassuring,” Smith said. Winchester schools have used the training program ALICE – for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate – since 2007 following the shooting at Virginia Tech, according to Sgt. David Perenick, a school security specialist with the Winchester Police Department. The program shows civilians how to escape and protect themselves or even stop an active shooter before first responders arrive. Read more