EWSD Receives Nearly $225k in State Grant Award for School Safety Projects
January 2, 2020
On December 12, nine EWSD schools received a total of $224,944 investment to strengthen safety. The Vermont Department of Public Safety announced School Safety and Security Program funding for a total of 150 infrastructure projects around the state. For each project, schools were required to provide a 25% local match.
The funding comes as a part of Act 42, Bill H. 542, which allowed schools to apply for grants to improve the safety of school infrastructure through capital-eligible equipment. The funding sought proposals aimed at “planning, delivery, and installation of equipment for upgrades to existing school security equipment and for new school security equipment identified through threat assessment planning and surveys designed to enhance building security.” A total of $1,388,751 was awarded to schools statewide.
“In our continuing, proactive efforts to ensure safe and secure learning environments for our students, it is necessary to maintain the structural integrity of our school buildings," said Bill Laware, EWSD Director of Safety & Security. "We need to ensure that all exterior doors will always close, latch and lock during a school emergency. Yearly maintenance on our aging school buildings is imperative.”
Schools in the EWSD will use the funds to install a standard District-wide door alert and monitoring system in each building. The sensors will alert Safety & Security personnel when exterior doors are propped open or fail to close fully during school hours so staff can respond. This system will provide students and staff the confidence that buildings are secure. In addition to software, hardware, monitoring stations, and system implementation, the grant covers the necessary training for employees using the system.
“In order to teach and learn, our school community must feel safe. The security of our facilities, along with our focus on social-emotional learning, is intended to create a space where everyone can be their best and achieve at high levels,” said Brian Donahue, EWSD Chief Operating Officer.
At the end of the day, leveraging the grant funding and local school share means a $299,925 investment toward improving the infrastructure of EWSD schools. This opportunity will give the essential resources needed to support the District’s overall effort to ensure a safe learning environment for all students and staff.