AG Schimel: Provides nearly $5 million in school safety grant funding to 81 school districts

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. – Attorney General Brad Schimel today announced 81 schools and school districts that combined will receive $4,771,686 from the first round of the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) School Safety Grant program. Recently, Attorney General Schimel announced plans for a second round of grant funding by utilizing the approximately $45 million in remaining school safety money available. The second round of funding will focus on advanced initiatives to bolster student mental health, the creation of local School Safety Intervention teams, and additional physical security upgrades. K-12 schools, both public and private, are encouraged to apply for the next round of grants, which will be awarded starting in October.

“We have no greater responsibility than providing safe school environments, free from violence,” said Attorney General Schimel. “DOJ, school officials, mental health professionals, and law enforcement are putting real solutions into place so kids can learn, teachers can teach, and families will feel confident that when they put their children on the bus in the morning, they are sending them to the safest schools in the nation.”

A list of schools and school districts that were awarded school safety grants on July 30, 2018 is at the bottom of this press release. More grants will be awarded to schools that applied for the first round of grant funding soon.

“The Eau Claire Area School District is deeply grateful for the safety grant,” said Dr. Mary Ann Hardebeck, superintendent at Eau Claire Area School District. “The grant promotes the well-being of our students and staff, which is critical to their sense of security and to a supportive learning environment. These resources will certainly help us in our longstanding partnership with local law enforcement to strengthen our safety plans and to complete projects developed to protect our students, staff and community. We have a close working relationship with the Eau Claire Police Department and Sherriff’s Office. We continue to work together to safeguard our campuses so that everyone can be safe in our schools. We very much appreciate the work that Governor Walker, AG Schimel, our local legislators and the entire DOJ Office of School Safety did to make these grants possible. “

In March 2018, the Wisconsin State Legislature and Governor Scott Walker to passed and signed 2017 Wisconsin 143 into law, establishing the DOJ Office of School Safety and providing $100 million for school safety. 735 schools and school districts, 97% of public schools and approximately 40% of private schools statewide, applied for the first round of funds, and all are expected to receive grant funding. Once all first round grant funds are approved, it is estimated that approximately $45 million will remain.

The second round of grant funding, utilizing the remaining $45 million, will advance baseline mental health and physical security improvements made in the first round of grant funding through advanced training for teachers on mental health; the creation of local teams of educators, counselors, and law enforcement to develop School Safety Intervention Teams that will assess threats and identify students in need of support; and additional physical security upgrades. Schools interested in applying for the second round of grant funding must submit a mandatory “intent to apply” to the OSS by August 13, 2018.

Schools applying for the second round of grant funding must agree to send 10 percent of full-time teachers and counselors to DOJ-approved 12-hour Adolescent Mental Health training by August 31, 2020, and schools may use grant funds to pay expenses incurred (tuition, travel, lodging, meals, substitute teacher pay, etc.). Schools applying must also establish a School Safety Intervention Team (SSIT), based on a model set by the U.S. Secret Service, which will engage in behavior monitoring, threat assessments, and intervention. Funding will also be available for more physical security improvements.

Schools and school districts that applied for the first round of grants are eligible for the second round of grants, and will apply for the second round through a simplified grant application process. Schools and school districts that did not apply for the first round of grants are eligible for the second round of grants, but will need to satisfy all prerequisites of the first round and second round of grant funding.

Under the second round of grant funding, grant funding will be awarded on a per-student formula, according to student enrollment as reported to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). No awardee will receive less than $10,000 nor receive more than $2.5 million, in order to ensure all applicants receive sufficient funding to make meaningful physical security improvements. The final award amount will depend on the number and size of schools that apply. Interested schools can find more information on the DOJ Office of School Safety website.

Highlights from the school safety grant applications[1] being awarded on July 30, 2018 from the first round of grant funding include such improvements as:

  • Training for all staff on Trauma Informed Care (TIC), Trauma Sensitive Schools (TSS), Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), Peaceful Warriors, PREPaRE, Threat Assessment and Active Shooter Response training (ALICE);
  • Secure the entry areas, sidelites, and interior classroom windows with shatter resistant film, updated doors and locks;
  • Install and or upgrade public address system management and controls; and,
  • Install interior and exterior surveillance cameras and recorders with a visual monitoring system.

DOJ has consulted with numerous stakeholders in the fields of education, security, law enforcement, and mental health. These specialists, listed at the end of this press release, worked with DOJ’s own security experts to develop how the School Safety Grant Initiative will create sustainable improvements in Wisconsin schools. Grant applicants are required to partner with law enforcement agencies to ensure that proposed expenditures, visitor protocols, and school safety plans will be effective and provide students with the safest learning environment possible.

In addition to helping keep schools safe from violent attacks, DOJ will be closely monitoring for behavior that could affect a school’s ability to pay market rates for products like door locks and shatter-resistant film for glass. DOJ will review and investigate any instances of inappropriate pricing behavior so the benefits of the program are not reduced.

Following is a list of organizations who have met with DOJ staff, and consulted on the creation of the Office of School Safety and the grant process and criteria.

  • Association of Wisconsin School Administrators
  • Badger State Sheriffs Association
  • CESA 4, 7, 10
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • NAMI-WI
  • Wisconsin Association of School Boards
  • Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials
  • Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators
  • Wisconsin Association of School Nurses
  • Wisconsin Catholic Conference
  • Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association
  • Wisconsin Council of Administrators of Special Services
  • Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools
  • Wisconsin Department of Administration
  • Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
  • Wisconsin Education Association Council
  • Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association
  • Wisconsin Juvenile Officers Association
  • Wisconsin Professional Police Association
  • Wisconsin Retired Educators’ Association
  • Wisconsin Safe and Healthy Schools Training & Technical Assistance Center
  • Wisconsin School Music Association/Wisconsin Music Educators Association
  • Wisconsin School Psychologists Association
  • Wisconsin School Public Relations Association
  • Wisconsin School Safety Coordinators Association
  • Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association

For more information on DOJ’s Office of School Safety, please visit: https://www.doj.state.wi.us/office-school-safety/office-school-safety.

A list of all 735 schools and school districts that have requested grant funds in the first round of grant funding is available on the DOJ website. To date, OSS has reviewed all first-round applications. All schools that applied have either received their awards, or OSS is waiting for a response from the applicant. OSS understands that many delays on the part of applicants may be due to summer vacation and hours.

List of schools awarded grants on July 30, 2018:

  • Alma School District, $41,650;
  • Amery School District, $80,000;
  • Beecher-Dunbar-Pembine School District, $41,233;
  • Berlin Area School District, $58,870;
  • Black River Falls School District, $83,368;
  • Bonduel School District, $61,428;
  • Bruce School District, $56,312;
  • Butternut School District, $60,000;
  • Chetek-Weyerhaeuser Area School District, $50,604;
  • Christian Life School (Kenosha), $21,035;
  • Clinton Community School District, $65,153;
  • Columbus Catholic Schools (Marshfield), $71,927;
  • De Soto Area School District, $60,879;
  • Divine Mercy School (South Milwaukee), $15,708;
  • Eastside Evangelical Lutheran School (Madison), $20,595;
  • Eau Claire Area School District, $388,795;
  • Edgar School District, $58,618;
  • Edgewood High School of the Sacred Heart, $14,500;
  • Elcho School District, (Elcho), $50,665;
  • Fall Creek School District, $63,970;
  • Florence County School District, $33,214;
  • Fox Valley Lutheran High (Appleton), $23,379;
  • Genoa City J2 School District, $35,307;
  • Germantown School District, $127,602;
  • Glendale-River Hills School District, $41,980;
  • Good Shepherd Lutheran School (East Troy), $20,009;
  • Granton Area School District, $41,470;
  • Hales Corners Lutheran Schools, $22,466;
  • Herman-Neosho-Rubicon School District, $39,490;
  • High Point Christian School (Madison), $17,000;
  • Holy Wisdom Academy (Milwaukee), $17,850;
  • HOPE Christian Schools (Waukesha), $140,000;
  • Hortonville Area School District, $122,229;
  • Hudson School District, $188,385;
  • Isthmus Montessori Academy (Madison), $20,484;
  • Janesville School District, $420,000;
  • Lakeside Lutheran High (Lake Mills), $20,989;
  • Linn J6 School District, $20,225;
  • Manawa School District, $44,596;
  • Marshall School District, $85,686;
  • Marshfield Unified School District, $160,000;
  • Mayville School District, $60,000;
  • NTC Christian Academy (Merrill), $19,993;
  • Omro School District, $86,096;
  • Plymouth Joint School District, $74,273;
  • Racine Christian School, $11,317;
  • Redeemer Lutheran Grade School (Fond du Lac), $20,345;
  • Regis Catholic Schools (Eau Claire), $100,945;
  • Rio Community School District, $36,867;
  • Sacred Heart Grade School (Reedsburg), $14,637;
  • Saint Alphonsus Grade School (Greendale), $19,999;
  • Saint Bernard Grade School (Watertown), $16,226;
  • Saint Charles Grade School (Burlington), $19,028;
  • Saint Eugene School (Fox Point), $19,880;
  • Saint John Lutheran School (Plymouth), $20,763;
  • Saint John’s Lutheran School (Portage), $20,436;
  • Saint Joseph Parish School (Prescott), $13,475;
  • Saint Matthew Elementary (Oak Creek), $22,400;
  • Saint Paul Evangelical Lutheran School (Lake Mills), $12,257;
  • Saint Paul Lutheran School (Stevens Point), $10,852;
  • Shawano School District, $85,725;
  • Shorewood School District, $102,804;
  • St. Anthony Catholic Montessori School (Menomonee Falls), $14,911;
  • St. Francis Xavier Catholic Schools (Appleton), $84,427;
  • St. John – St. James Lutheran School (Reedsville), $19,550;
  • St. John’s Lutheran School (Pardeeville), $8,460;
  • St. Martin Lutheran School (Clintonville), $15,660;
  • Stone Bank School District, $20,000;
  • Tomahawk School District, $63,990;
  • Tomorrow’s Children, Inc. (Waupaca), $16,529;
  • Trinity Lutheran School (Sheboygan), $20,233;
  • Twin Lakes #4 School District, $15,585;
  • Two Rivers Public School District, $79,405;
  • Union Grove UHS School District, $20,000;
  • Viroqua Area School District, $99,195;
  • Washburn School District, $64,545;
  • Wausaukee School District, $59,371;
  • Westby Area School District, $83,669;
  • Winnebago Lutheran Academy (Fond du Lac), $21,107;
  • Wisconsin Rapids School District, $249,060;
  • Yeshiva Elementary (Milwaukee), $20,000.
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