Ensuring a safe learning community is of utmost importance within the Birmingham Public Schools. Ongoing reviews of our standing procedures and facilities through the lens of our evolving environment inform our continuous improvement. We have worked diligently to address immediate concerns through:
- New secure entry vestibules at each school
- Over 1000 new "smart cameras" with 24-hour video surveillance covering the interior and exterior of our buildings
- A new emergency communication system for local police municipalities that improves response time and provides first responders with relevant information
- Our investment in safety improvements and focus on procedures with local law enforcement has led us to partner with the ALICE Training Institute.
ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) is the nation’s leader in preparing everyone with proactive, options-based strategies for a violent intruder event, while remaining age and ability-appropriate. ALICE is a program designed to allow individuals or groups to make informed choices in instances of a violent intruder. ALICE Training uses a Blended Model of eLearning and hands-on training by ALICE Certified Instructors for long-term learning retention. Already, our staff members have participated in 45-55 minutes of eLearning centered around ALICE modules (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate). This was followed by an intense, two-day training of liaisons from each of our buildings. Professional development continued with an all-staff, in-person meeting with the Birmingham Police Department to deepen our understanding of the program. This work will be ongoing and built into our professional development each year. It is not a one-time course, but a living, breathing part of our safety procedures within the district.
Earlier this year, we shared with you our gradual shift to ALICE, an options-based program providing strategies for a violent intruder event, while remaining age and ability-appropriate. ALICE is a program designed to allow individuals or groups to make informed choices in instances of a violent intruder.
Throughout the year, we have engaged our staff and community in forums and follow-up Q&A sessions. Staff members participated in eLearning and in-person learning sessions. Many parents attended one of three informational sessions with local law enforcement presenting side by side with our deputy superintendent. We are now ready to move to the next phase of implementation. We invite you to view the ALICE presentation our staff received from the Birmingham Police Department, also linked below.
Family Resources from the State of Michigan Department of Education
Excerpts from memorandum dated December 9, 2021 from Dr. Scott Koenigsknecht, Deputy Superintendent, Department of Education
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network offers guidance for families and school personnel on helping their children after a shooting. This fact sheet describes common reactions children may have, how parents can help them, and self-care tips after an event through the resource document, "Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth after a Recent Shooting."
Child Trends has produced a document, "Resources to help children in the wake of a school shooting", that includes strategies for talking to children from infancy through adolescence as well as other helpful advice and resources.
The National Association of School Psychologists has produced resources intended to support parents and teachers, "Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers", in addition to several resources to address school violence.
The National Parent Teacher Association works to promote the safety and well-being of all children and youth, including the provision of family resources for family and school safety. This resource included resources for parents and PTAs, including questions for families, how to mobilize family stakeholders, and a webinar for families on mobilizing for change.