On August 21-22, all Ames Community School District staff will participate in an active shooter training within one of our schools. Due to the content of the training, it was important for us to get it completed before school begins, and to ensure that no students would be present in the buildings during the time of this training. The training will be conducted by officers of the Ames Police Department and will include an ALICE refresher segment followed by unknown scenarios that staff must respond to, and will conclude with debrief sessions with officers.
We understand that this work is never done and we, as District leaders, need to constantly ensure that our buildings are safe and that our staff are adequately prepared for a variety of situations. Our goal is to make this training as applicable as possible, and that all staff walk away from it feeling prepared. But we also understand that this content can be unsettling. We have encouraged our staff to reach out to us at the District level, or to their building principal with questions or concerns.
The Ames Police Department is committed to being a wonderful partner in this process and we appreciate their expertise in this area. In fact, they are using this training as an opportunity to equip their staff as well, and to test their response systems. They told us that putting on a training like this requires courage because it requires us to consider the unthinkable. As a District, it is something that we cannot ignore.
You entrust your children to us every school day, and we are working hard to ensure their safety and your peace of mind. Doing so requires ongoing evaluation of our plans, teacher preparation, and each building’s needs. Over the summer, we have continued work on assessing physical updates that our buildings need, and that work will continue this year. Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security is providing guidance this year on updating security plans that we will take part in.
This training is a continuation of our commitment to school safety and we will continue to update you on this topic moving forward.