The School District of Menomonee Falls has been awarded $131,808 from the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) School Safety Grant program, administered by the DOJ’s Office of School Safety. The SDMF was one of 147 schools and school districts approved in the most recent round of grants that will receive a combined total of $10,253,487 to be spent on building safety improvements, as well as safety training for faculty and staff. A list of all 735 schools and school districts that have requested grant funds is available on the DOJ website.
“Safety has always been our top priority. We are already ahead of pace with respect to the Department of Justice baseline and basic safety measures,” said Corey Golla, Superintendent of Schools for the School District of Menomonee Falls. “We are committed to optimizing the $131,808 in grant funds to enhance the safety of our facilities and provide additional staff crisis training to keep our learners safe.”
“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 of combined training in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and Trauma-Informed Care/Trauma Sensitive before the end of the 2018-2019 school year; or demonstrate that staff has already received such training.
Highlights from school safety grant applications received by DOJ include such improvements as:
- Securing school entry areas with shatter resistant film;
- Improving visitor screening through an 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.
Over the past two months, since 2017 Wisconsin Act 143 was signed into law, the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) has consulted with numerous stakeholders in the fields of education, security, law enforcement, and mental health. These specialists, worked with DOJ’s own security experts to develop how the School Safety Grant Initiative will create sustainable improvements in Wisconsin schools.
“Wisconsin schools need to be safe for everyone from students, to parents and teachers,” said Governor Walker. “Our $100 million School Safety Plan is helping bring together schools and law enforcement to ensure our kids have a safe learning environment because no one should feel unsafe in a school.”
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
- 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