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Langton: Prioritizing school safety

Community voice

The safety of our children is a top priority for Addison School District 4. 

Our schools have always practiced emergency drills (fire, bus, lockdown, severe weather) to ensure that our students and employees are aware of procedures that will increase their safety during a crisis. 

Research has shown the successful response to any crisis incident in a school can often be determined by the decisions staff and students make during the first few minutes before law enforcement or other first responders arrive.

Based on recent incidents in schools across our nation, we have learned that all schools need to rethink how they respond to threats. The basic lockdown may not always be enough to ensure the safety of our students and staff.

Our elementary school district hosted a two-day ALICE school safety training for 40 of our employees and representatives from Addison Trail High School and the Wood Dale, Villa Park and Addison police departments. The acronym ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. 

This “train the trainers” session provided participants with a mastery of the tenets for successfully responding to a school crisis incident. Our certified school district trainers will then train the rest of our staff in late August and early September. More information about ALICE can be found at

The school district Safety/Crisis Committee evaluates the safety protocols each year to consider changes for improving the safety of our students and employees. If you have questions regarding the safety procedures for all of the District 4 elementary schools and Indian Trail Junior High School, contact the Superintendent’s Office at 630-458-2425.

John Langton is the superintendent of Addison School District 4.

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