Dept. of Justice: AG Schimel announces plans for remaining school safety funds; provides nearly $5 million in school safety grant funding to 67 school districts

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Attorney General Brad Schimel today 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. Attorney General Schimel also announced today a list of 67 schools and school districts that combined will receive $4,912,591 from the first round of the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) School Safety Grant program.

“In the first round of grant funding, schools and law enforcement worked fast to identify the greatest security needs in our schools,” said Attorney General Brad Schimel. “After the last grant is awarded, nearly one million children will be safer because they attend schools that received baseline security upgrades and mental health training. But because local partners did such a great job in the first round, we still have $45 million remaining, allowing us to create schools with advanced mental health training and intervention teams, to stop the violence before it happens.”

A list of schools and school districts that were awarded school safety grants on July 24, 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.

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.

“As ‘Back to School’ season is fast approaching, it’s incredibly timely to see Attorney General Schimel and the Department of Justice continuing to follow through on our legislative promises from this spring to keep our kids and school safe,” said Rep. Jim Steineke. “With these crucial resources, school districts in my district and throughout the state will be able to have even more certainty that they are providing safe learning environments for each and every one of our kids.”

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.

“Our children are one of our most precious resource. Attorney General Schimel and Governor Walker understand that. The ability to have some funding and support for our schools to work with us in law enforcement helps create a safer learning environment for our children and teachers,” said Menomonee Falls Police Chief Anna Ruzinksi.

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.

“Seton Catholic Schools is proud to be a recipient of the school safety grant from the Wisconsin Department of Justice Office of School Safety,” said Don Drees, president of Seton Catholic Schools. “Every student deserves to attend a safe school. These funds will enhance the safety of our buildings, providing a safe space for our students to learn and grow. These enhancements will further protect our teaching staff and provide peace of mind to parents. This effort would not have been possible without the partnership of local law enforcement. I extend my deepest thanks to the departments and officers who assisted in assessing our schools during the grant process.”

Highlights from the school safety grant applications[1] being awarded on July 24, 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;
  • Engage CESA 10 support for project and safety plan updating and implementation;
  • Install door position monitors, external and internal security cameras;
  • Enhance emergency communications among staff and 911 dispatchers; two-way radio and two-way hallway mirrors;
  • Allow for the remodeling of entrances and vestibule/visitor holding;
  • Purchase and utilize the STOPit anonymous reporting system.

“We would like to extend our sincere ‘thank you’ to all that were involved in this process,” stated Kaukauna School District Superintendent Mark Duerwaechter. “These upgrades will be welcome additions to the regular work already being done in all of our buildings to ensure the safety of our students.”

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 24, 2018:

  • Almond-Bancroft School District, $61,579;
  • Bay City Christian School (Green Bay), $20,000;
  • Belleville School District, $77,611;
  • Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran School (Menomonee Falls), $20,430;
  • Bethlehem Lutheran School (Sheboygan), $19,942;
  • Boscobel Area School District, $54,906;
  • Cambria-Friesland School District, $39,993;
  • Chequamegon School District, $99,738;
  • Clintonville Public Schools, $83,860;
  • Crandon School District, $60,000;
  • Cuba City School District, $60,000;
  • Divine Redeemer Lutheran School (Hartland), $23,650;
  • Divine Savior Catholic School (Kiel), $16,186;
  • Divine Savior Holy Angels High (Milwaukee), $21,714;
  • Dodgeland School District, $57,796;
  • Drummond Area School District, $63,378;
  • Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah School District, $40,000;
  • Elkhorn Area School District, $138,994;
  • Ellsworth Community School District, $54,751;
  • First Evangelical Lutheran School (Elkhorn), $19,526;
  • Gibraltar Area School District, $60,000;
  • Gillett School District, $61,200;
  • Grantsburg School District, $68,590;
  • Hamilton School District, $148,208;
  • Highland School District, $62,100;
  • Holyland Catholic School (Malone), $19,890;
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary Grade School (Monona), $20,000;
  • Jefferson School District, $88,219;
  • Kaukauna Area School District, $146,240;
  • La Casa de Esperanza Charter School (Waukesha), $23,153;
  • Linn J4 School District, $16,224;
  • Lodi School District, $105,140;
  • Manitowoc School District, $227,080;
  • Marathon City School District, $62,924;
  • Marion School District, $41,580;
  • Norris School District, $20,653;
  • North Cedar Academy (Ladysmith), $19,988;
  • North Lakeland School District, $20,000;
  • Northland Lutheran High School (Kronenwetter), $17,382;
  • Osceola School District, $98,491;
  • Osseo-Fairchild School District, $58,688;
  • Our Redeemer Lutheran School (Delavan), $20,423;
  • Our Savior Evangelical Lutheran School (Grafton), $20,685;
  • Pepin Area School District, $40,540;
  • Randolph School District, $49,015;
  • Random Lake School District, $59,820;
  • River Valley School District, $85,850;
  • Saint Henry Grade School (Watertown), $20,000;
  • Saint Joseph Grade School (Menomonie), $18,124;
  • Saint Luke Grade School (Plain), $19,970;
  • Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception (Greenville), $20,101;
  • Saint Mary Parish School (Hales Corners), $19,994;
  • Saint Mary Parish School (Menomonee Falls), $12,511;
  • Saint Paul Lutheran Grade School (Sheboygan), $19,971;
  • Saint Rose & St Mary Grade School (Clintonville), $10,885;
  • Sauk Prairie School District, $126,986;
  • Seton Catholic Schools, Inc. (Milwaukee), $295,771;
  • Sheboygan Area Lutheran High School, $19,825;
  • St. Joseph Grade School (Dodgeville), $20,068;
  • Sun Prairie Area School District, $300,000;
  • Trinity Lutheran Grade School (Mequon), $19,740;
  • Trinity Lutheran School (Athens), $18,033;
  • Watertown Unified School District, $188,632;
  • Waupaca School District, $119,489;
  • Webster School District, $62,488;
  • Weyauwega-Fremont School District, $86,672;
  • Whitewater Unified School District, $100,063.
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