ALICE Training for Schools: A Complete Guide  

ALICE Training for Schools: A Complete Guide  

Now, more than ever, it’s important to make sure our schools are given every advantage and opportunity to defend students in the event of a hostile intruder situation. While Law Enforcement will be on their way as soon as possible in an emergency, the gap between a 911 call and police arrival is a critical period. Across the country, schools are looking for ways to prepare themselves and teach students and staff exactly what to do before law enforcement arrives.

One of the most popular methods of preparing schools for these types of incidents is the ALICE training method. If your school has been considering a proactive training solution in line with federal and state government recommendations and supported by major law enforcement associations, the ALICE training method may be right for your school. In this blog post, the school safety experts at School Safety Solution will cover the basics of what school administrators, teachers, and parents need to know before choosing the ALICE method.

What is the ALICE method?

ALICE is an organization that has been operating for over two decades with the goal of teaching students and staff what to do when they are faced with an armed intruder in their school. The ALICE school safety program was developed by two former long-term law enforcement officers. Since the program’s founding in 2000, they have prepared over 18 million individuals and 5,500 school districts in intruder preparedness methods, as well as over 10,000 businesses, law enforcement agencies, government buildings, healthcare facilities, and places of worship.

The goal of ALICE Training is to provide age-appropriate and psychologically sound preparedness in the even an active shooter incident ever occurs. It is an alternative to the “lockdown only” method of intruder response.

What is ALICE basic certification for schools?

ALICE basic certification for schools is a certification your school can receive stating that you have completed the ALICE basic school safety training for intruder response and preparedness protocol. Over 5,000 school districts have received an ALICE certification.

What are the elements of an ALICE enhanced lockdown?

ALICE has five elements; in fact, A.L.I.C.E. is an acronym that stands for:


The ALICE organization states that “alert” is the period of time in which the school first becomes aware of the threat. A quick response time is critical to a safe outcome. The ALICE method emphasizes that the “alert” element means “overcoming denial” and “recognizing the signs of danger” while “receiving notifications about the danger from others.”


In this stage, students and staff barricade their classroom and get ready to either evacuate if possible or counter an attack if necessary. Training includes education on when lockdown is preferable, how to not create an easily identifiable target out of a barricaded classroom, and more. Trainers teach staff and students methods for barricading their room, what to do with their mobile devices, and how best to communicate with law enforcement, among other crucial items.


In this stage, staff and students are taught the most safe and effective methods of communicating information about the intruder’s location and potential direction of travel through the school. The ALICE organization writes that “armed intruder situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly, which means that ongoing, real time information is key to making effective survival decisions.”


The “counter” stage is not about posing a counterattack by fighting off an intruder; rather, this stage is about creating distance between students and an intruder and causing a distraction through movement and noise. The ALICE program details that both distance and distraction decrease the intruder’s ability to shoot accurately. ALICE training is not about actively confronting violent intruders. The goal of the “counter” stage is to create “a dynamic environment” that reduces the intruder’s “chance of hitting a target and can provide the precious seconds needed in order to evacuate.”


In this stage, staff and students are taught safe evacuation techniques, including when evacuation is safe and how to best evacuate without making themselves a target. The goal is to eliminate all contact with an intruder. Students and staff are given instructions on breaking windows from a top corner rather than the center, information on how to evacuate from high floors, and many other crucial tips that could make a major difference in an emergency.

Are students scared or prepared after ALICE training?

ALICE Training is delivered with a trauma informed, age-appropriate approach. For the student focused section of ALICE training, teachers lead their classrooms and use the ALICE children’s book, “I’m not Scared, I’m Prepared.”

The training is designed to take minimal time away from learning and development activities. Training length typically ranges from 15 minutes to half an hour and replaces the lockdown drills that are already in place at schools.

A 2020 article in an international journal of evidence-based research and policy, “Victims and Offenders,” sought to answer the question of whether students are “scared or prepared” after active assailant training, including ALICE training. According to the joint research conducted by Xavier, Seattle, and Northern Kentucky Universities, over 85% of students that go through ALICE training either do not change how they feel after the training or feel more prepared, confident, or safe after the training. And of the children who felt more scared after training, the study concluded that “students are generally no more fearful of ALICE than other crisis/emergency preparedness practices, particularly tornado drills and Stranger Danger discussions.” It’s safe to say that overall, students feel prepared, not scared, after ALICE training.

Support Your School’s Safety Preparedness Program with the Help of School Safety Solution:

At School Safety Solution, our number one priority is ensuring the highest level of security and safety possible exists on your campus. That’s why we founded School Safety Solution: to keep you and your children safe by providing reliable, high-quality, and life-saving equipment. We understand that a minute can change everything. Our safety solutions are proactive in nature and simple to use in the event of a disaster.

If you would like to review your school’s safety and security equipment, the tools available to your school’s staff, or any other security consideration, we would love to assist you. You can call our team of safety experts any time at 888.733.0406 or send us an email at for more information.