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The Ultimate Guide to ALICE Training® for Schools

It is important to note that 70% of active shooter incidents last only five minutes or less, often ending before law enforcement arrives. This means it’s crucial that students, faculty, and staff know exactly how to respond to increase their odds of survival in these types of events. ALICE Training® was developed to empower individuals of all ages and abilities to participate in their own survival when they become unwilling participants in acts of violence.

ALICE Training® is the original civilian active shooter response training that can be used by anyone, anytime, and anywhere in the face of violence. This research-based program takes a multi-options approach to active shooter response and blends both online and in-person instructions to ensure all stakeholders within the school district are prepared. The skills learned from ALICE Training® can make all the difference in those critical moments between when the incident begins and help arrives.

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The Ultimate Guide to ALICE Training for Schools

Discover how the ALICE research-based active shooter response program empowers students and staff to respond and survive.

ALICE Active Shooter Training

An Empowering, Research-Based Active Shooter Response Program

The ALICE Training® strategies empower faculty, staff, and students within your school district to make life-saving decisions in the face of extreme danger rather than hiding and waiting for the situation to resolve itself. ALICE’s research-supported, proactive, options-based approach to violence can increase the survivability of violent critical incidents in a school. The unique delivery of this program blends eLearning with hands-on training and meets the needs of individuals of every age and ability within the school system.

Building a Multi-Option Response to Active Shooter Procedures on Campus

If your district is running school lockdown drills, it’s a step in the right direction, and indeed, an enhanced lockdown can be an appropriate response when there’s an active threat in the vicinity. However, modern research indicates that school lockdown procedures alone simply are not enough, and federal and state agencies no longer consider a lockdown-only approach as a preferred response. A lockdown-only approach puts staff and students in potentially vulnerable positions that otherwise could be avoided. The truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all response to emergency situations—each threat is unique, and having multiple response options is integral for survival. ALICE’s multi-option response training can be tailored to any scenario and includes active responses rather than passive actions. These active responses can be easily recalled thanks to the ALICE acronym:

  • Alert – Become aware of a threat. A speedy response is critical to survival; quickly recognizing and accepting signs of danger allows one to make the best survival decision for the situation.
  • Lockdown – When evacuation is not an option, barricade entry points into the room and prepare for the next response strategy.
  • Inform – Communicate real-time information about the armed assailant. Identifying the exact location of the threat using a PA system, 911 call, or another channel can give others an opportunity to escape.
  • Counter – Create a dynamic environment to foil the shooter’s ability to harm. Counter is a strategy that includes creating noise, movement, distance, and distraction to lessen the chance of the shooter hitting a target.
  • Evacuate – When safe to do so, retreat to an area that is out of harm’s way. ALICE Training® includes many useful techniques for safe and strategic evacuations.
ALICE Training

Developing Situational Awareness in the Classroom & Beyond

Situational awareness is a key component of the ALICE program and refers to being aware of one’s surroundings, recognizing threats, and knowing what response options are available. Situational awareness applies to all of the ALICE program strategies as follows: Alert (recognizing and accepting signs of threat), Lockdown (knowing how a door can be locked and barricaded), Inform (communicating the intruder’s specific location in real time), Counter (finding objects in your vicinity that can be used to distract, allowing time to evacuate), and Evacuate (identifying where exits are located). ALICE’s situational awareness teaches people to be aware of their environment and ready to accept danger if it should occur.

Situational Awareness

Blending eLearning With Hands-On Education

ALICE Training® involves a blended model of both online lessons and in-person training for active shooter response, a key differentiator from other options-based programs that ensures the comprehension of the program for a more fluid recall during an emergency. How it is delivered:

ALICE eLearning


The courses in the Navigate360 Preparation & Response Training provide schools with the certificated ALICE Training® on-demand curriculum that empowers individuals to participate in their own survival using proactive options-based strategies in the face of violence and lays the foundation for hands-on training.

Private on-site training

One of ALICE’s national trainers will visit a facility in your district to work directly with your staff, reinforcing key concepts of how to apply ALICE strategies in your environment.

Private on-site training
ALICE Certified Instructors

ALICE Certified Instructors

School staff or the school resource officer takes an immersive two-day ALICE Instructor Certification course to learn how to enable and empower individuals in your school with the hands-on portion of the ALICE program. Internal ALICE Certified Instructors are subject matter experts who ensure a consistent delivery tailored to your school environment.

ALICE’s blended approach helps individuals absorb and retain course materials and makes the information easier to recall when needed. By blending hands-on education with online active shooter training, ALICE offers life skills that everyone can benefit from.

Incorporating All Ages & Abilities in Active Shooter Response Training

ALICE Age Appropriate Training

ALICE ensures that all members of your school district, including both staff and students, receive training that is specific to their needs and abilities. For instance, ALICE provides role-specific active shooter response training for school staff—a bus driver will have different training than a food service worker—and resources for teachers to ensure students are learning in the most appropriate way for their age and ability level. ALICE active shooter response training for students takes into account cognitive and developmental abilities, as well as physical capabilities and special needs considerations, for students at every grade level. Indeed, ALICE Training® empowers every stakeholder within your school district to make the right decisions in active shooter situations.

Why Schools Need a Trauma-Informed Approach to Active Shooter Response Training

ALICE’s trauma-informed practices ensure that active shooter response training is not a traumatic experience for those in the program. It recognizes that individuals may have experienced trauma in the past and seeks to teach them how to manage fear and anxiety when confronted with a critical threat without re-traumatizing them. ALICE Training® incorporates the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s four Rs of a trauma-informed approach:


Understanding what trauma is and how it can affect not just the victim but all members of the family, school, or community

Being cognizant of the diverse background of faculty, staff, and students across the school district

Applying trauma-informed practices to all emergency preparedness training

Avoiding virtual enactments or other training that could interfere with the healing process for those who have experienced trauma

According to the National Association of School Psychologists, trauma-informed schools promote feelings of physical, social, and emotional safety in students. ALICE’s trauma-informed approach offers a safe way for everyone within the school system to receive emergency response training without fear of triggering past trauma.

Prepare to Survive Beyond the School Setting

Skills learned through ALICE active threat response training are for more than just school campuses—they’re skills for everyday life. A violent attack can happen anywhere and at any time. Students and staff in your school district can carry their training with them outside the educational environment and apply it to any situation where they feel they are in danger. Listen to Stephen Weiss, an educator with more than 20 years of experience, describe how he was able to survive a shooting incident at his synagogue thanks to the active threat response training he received from the ALICE program.

Learn More About ALICE Training®

Schools are where most emergency responses (fire and tornado drills, for example) are taught, and the sooner you implement ALICE active shooter response training in schools within your district, the better prepared your faculty, staff, and students will be if a dangerous situation arises. To learn more about the multi-options threat response strategies of ALICE Training® and how this research-based program can save lives within your school district, contact Navigate360 today.