Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Summers, Kelly H.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations (LEPF)


This exploratory descriptive research study examined elementary school staff perceptions of ALICE active shooter response training and how participating in the training impacted staff perceptions of their own preparedness and their perceptions of their school’s level of safety. This study also examined elementary staff experiences of ALICE training. Participants answered a pre-survey, engaged in a half-day, scenario-based ALICE training, and then answered a post-survey. Results showed that participating in ALICE training had an overall positive impact on elementary staff perceptions of preparedness, confidence, and empowerment in regards to responding to an active shooter incident at their school. Elementary staff expressed an overall positive perception of the training’s value and found aspects such as the scenario-based format, the classroom training setting, and law enforcement officers acting as trainers to be beneficial. Implementing ALICE training with students emerged as a concern of staff. Findings from this study were used to create recommendations for leaders and trainers who may be considering or planning to implement an options-based approach to active shooter drills, such as ALICE, in an elementary school setting. A key recommendation involves creating a communication plan that is clear, consistent, and helps participants to know what to expect during training and to understand what information will be shared with their students. Other recommendations include the importance of having a well-planned and consistent training protocol, skilled trainers, and an overall comprehensive school safety plan. The physical and emotional safety of staff and students are the over-arching consideration of all recommendations and ensuring that any involvement of elementary students in active shooter drills is carefully considered and age-appropriate is of the upmost importance.


163 pages




Northern Illinois University

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