After the tragic incident at the high school in Parkland, Florida, last year, the Wisconsin Department of Justice announced a new school safety grant to help districts increase the level of security in their schools. To qualify for the grant, the state required districts have letters of support from their local law enforcement and the following two assurances:
“The Fontana Jt 8 School District had to certify that entrances to the school are locked during the school day, and that a designated staff member is present to visually screen everyone entering or exiting through unlocked points of access prior to, during, or immediately after the regular school day” (as of June 27, 2018).
The Fontana Jt 8 School District must arrange for at least three hours of staff training in Trauma Informed Care/Trauma Safe Schools (before the end of the summer of 2019).
In addition, there were two levels of security, primary and advanced, identified by the state. The primary conditions were to be met before a district could apply for more advanced security measures. Since the school already had locks on all doors, the only measure that had to be addressed to meet the primary conditions was to install shatter resistant film to all exterior glass doors and any glass immediately adjacent to them. The district safety team, consisting of law enforcement, fire/EMS, a board of education member, support staff, guidance counselor, school psychologist, administration, and teaching staff, identified the following priorities:
All glass ingress/egress doors (approximately $6,000)
Communications system: 30 two-way radios approx $12,000 (currently have 19, ten of which are fully functional)
Safety/evacuation signage: approx ($1600)
Requested: $19,971 Rewarded: $19,654
A second round of DOJ school safety grants was announced this summer. The district safety team met again to discuss the next set of priorities, and the district is currently in the application stage.