Prince Edward Schools apply for a safety grant

Published 2:59 pm Saturday, August 19, 2023

As students are back in class, safety is a top priority in Prince Edward County. Luckily, a new grant can help provide some extra safety when it comes to a crisis or bad weather. 

During their August meeting, the Prince Edward County Public School Board certified an application for the Stronger Connections Grant. This grant addresses student health and safety by providing funds for school hardening. This means that the school can use this money to buy equipment or other physical safety measures necessary to protect schools and students. 

The funding from this grant is expected to be between $300,000 to $350,000. There are a few items that are already planned for this grant funding. These items come from the standing list that Richard Goode, director of support services, makes annually with his different safety committees. 

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“We can apply for other funding but it doesn’t cover everything all the time,” said Dr. Michelle Wallace, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. “He’s got a running list of things we can always do to improve our schools.”

The first item is hurricane or ballistic security window film. This film goes on the windows to keep the window intact in case of impact with an object. This could be useful in the case of an intruder situation. However, based on recent weather patterns, it’s more likely that this could help in case of inclement weather. 

Other items include security door hardware throughout the building. This will also upgrade the handheld two-way radios that connect the schools across the district. Upgrading these radios will keep the communication between the schools open in case of any situation that may occur.  

The only item not on Goode’s list is the flashlights for all classrooms without windows. In case of a power outage, this will make sure students and staff have adequate lighting to stay safe until the power is back.

This grant comes from specific funds from Title IV that require equitable service to be provided to private schools. Fuqua School is also participating in this grant and the amount will be determined on a pupil basis. They plan to use their funding for a part-time security officer since they cannot have a School Resource Officer on campus. 

The deadline for this grant is Friday, Sept. 1 and the division is working to get everything together in time.