La Crosse schools to receive school safety grant funding

School safety grants awarded

La Crosse schools are included in the list of 147 schools and school districts that have been awarded in the next round of grants through the Wisconsin Department of Justice School Safety Grant program.

According to Attorney General Brad Schimel, the 147 schools and school districts will receive $10,253,487 to be spent on building safety improvements, as well as training for faculty and staff.

Below is the complete list of schools:

More grants will be awarded soon.

“The DOJ Office of School Safety is moving fast to award school safety grants,” said Attorney General Schimel. “The nearly $10 million grants being awarded to large and small schools across the state, incentivizes school officials and law enforcement to make meaningful improvements to Wisconsin school safety through physical improvements and a focus on mental health training for school faculty.”

Grant dollars are divided into two categories: the Primary School Safety Grant and Advanced School Safety Grant. DOJ’s Primary School Safety Grants focus on baseline improvements to schools, including door locks and hardening school entryways.

The Advanced School Safety Grants are awarded to schools that have met minimum security thresholds. In addition to making upgrades to school buildings, one of the School Safety Grant prerequisites is providing all full-time teachers, aides, counselors, and administrators with a minimum of three hours combined training in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and Trauma Informed Care/Trauma Sensitive Schools (TIC/TSS) before the end of the 2018-2019 school year; or demonstrate that staff has already received such training.

Highlights from the school safety grant applications[1] include such improvements as:

•         Securing school entry areas with shatter resistant film;
•         Improving visitor screening through internal and external security camera, video/audio surveillance, key card access, door fob, an entrance buzzer system and reconfiguration of entry doors;
•         Updating internal classroom locks, including electronic locking devices;
•         Increase communication throughout the entire school through PA system upgrades, intercom capabilities, and panic buttons;
•         Installing playground security fencing; and, 
•         Training for all staff on trauma sensitive schools, threat assessment and prevention, youth mental health, and armed intruders.

"The School District of La Crosse is extremely excited to be in consideration for this grant. We would like to thank Governor Walker, AG Schimel, our local legislators and the entire DOJ Office of School Safety for making this happen,” said Scott Johnson, project director for the La Crosse School District school safety grant. “With this award, our district will be able to enhance important safety and security projects to protect our students, staff and community. It has been a great pleasure working closely with our local law enforcement agencies in the City of La Crosse, the Town of Campbell and the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Office. Our district safety committee is proud to have been a part of school safety, long before the grant came out and long after the award. Moving forward, the School District of La Crosse will continue to use our resources gained through this program to ensure our district, environment is not only inviting for student learning, but also safe and secure."

La Crosse School Safety Initiative received $266,373.

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