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CHARLESTON -- Procedures "beyond a lockdown" for dealing with school intruders will be the focus of a presentation to the Charleston school board at its meeting Wednesday.

The board will hear about training district administrators and others received in a program called ALICE, Superintendent Jim Littleford said.

That stands for "alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate" and staff from the Medina, Ohio-based program conducted a workshop at the district's office last month, Littleford said.

He said ALICE started a few years ago to develop "proactive strategies" in case of a school intruder. The program recommends steps in addition to locking down a school, such as barricading doors and evacuating a building if needed, he explained.

"It advances some things beyond what we're doing," Littleford said.

The district's school assistant principals -- Tim Keefe from Charleston High School, Brad Oakley from Charleston Middle School and Patti Murphy from Carl Sandburg and Jefferson elementary schools -- will make the presentation to the board Wednesday.

Littleford said the district contacted the ALICE program after hearing about it from local law enforcement. District administrators will now oversee training at the district's schools, he said.

Eighteen administrators and staff from the Charleston district attended last month's workshop, which also had representatives from other school districts and others attend, Littleford said.

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The $595 per-person fee to attend the workshop come from the district's federal funding for staff professional development.

Also at Wednesday's meeting, the board is scheduled to vote on a contract with a multi-district insurance trust for health insurance coverage.

Littleford said the district's reserves to cover health insurance claims have been depleted, leading to the decision to move away from being self-insured.

The new provider, the Egyptian Area Schools Employee Benefit Trust located in Shiloh, is made up of 140 school districts, which spreads the cost and claims risk, Littleford explained.

He said the district's premium payments will remain the same, pending any changes from upcoming employee contract negotiations. The district contributes $550 per employee, per month to health insurance coverage.

Littleford said he also plans to update the district on the schedule for hiring a new financial consultant. Current consultant David Kuetemeyer plans to leave the position in December.

The deadline for applications for the position is Oct. 30, Littleford said. Candidate screenings and interviews will take place next month and the board should be able to vote on hiring a new consultant during its Nov. 18 meeting, he said.

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Contact Fopay at dfopay@jg-tc.com or 217-238-6858.

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Dave Fopay is a reporter for the JG-TC who covers Coles County, the local court system, Charleston schools and more.

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