APPLETON, Wis. – Attorney General Brad Schimel today announced a list of 14 schools and school districts that have been awarded the next round of grants through the Wisconsin Department of Justice School Safety Grant program, administered by DOJ’s Office of School Safety. Combined, the 14 schools and school districts will receive $1,788,609 which will be spent on building safety improvements, as well as training for faculty and staff. More grants will be awarded soon. A list of all 735 schools and school districts that have requested grant funds is available on the DOJ website.
“School officials and law enforcement share the responsibility in keeping our kids safe when they leave their homes every day,” said Attorney General Schimel. “These grant funds will establish a meaningful way to improve school safety through physical improvements to school buildings, and a focus on mental health training for school faculty.”
Following is a list of schools and school districts that have been awarded school safety grants.
Appleton Area School District, $767,207;
D.C. Everest Area School District, $239,975;
Unified School District of De Pere, $62,200;
Howards Grove School District, $66,757;
Lena School District, $61,720;
Menasha Joint School District, $164,600;
Mishicot School District, $63,090;
Muskego-Norway School District, $33,659;
Phelps School District, $23,107;
Saint Peter Catholic School, $20,000;
Sturgeon Bay School District, $103,930;
Waupun Area School District, $99,979;
Winter School District, $62,385;
Waupaca Christian Academy, $20,000.
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 combined training in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and Trauma Informed Care/Trauma Sensitive Schools (TIC/TSS) before the end of the 2018-2019 school year; or demonstrate that staff has already received such training. Highlights from the school safety grant applications include such improvements as:
Securing school entry areas with shatter resistant film;
Improving visitor screening through 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.
“We are so grateful to the Wisconsin Department of Justice for awarding our district this school safety grant,” said Dr. Judy Baseman, Superintendent of Schools for Appleton Area School District. “It will allow us to continue making improvements in the overall security of our district’s thirty-four schools, specifically in our ability to delay and/or detect threats through primary and advanced security measures, as well as to provide additional staff training and support. Our goal is to find a proper balance between creating schools that are safe and secure while also maintaining an open and caring environment where students, staff, parents and community members feel welcome at our schools. This grant will help to ensure that we are doing everything that we can to keep our learners safe every day.”
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, 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.
“We need to make sure that every student, teacher, and parent feels safe in our schools,” said Governor Walker. “Today we are announcing additional grants to be distributed as a part of our $100 million School Safety Plan—these awards represent another important step forward in making our schools more secure for everyone.”
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.
“I applaud Governor Scott Walker, the legislature, as well as Attorney General Brad Schimel and DOJ for taking such a strong stance and making our schools more secure through the grant opportunity that has been made available,” said Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt. “Making our schools less accessible to those who would do harm to our children while continuing to make our schools places where our youth are able to learn and feel safe is of paramount importance for all of us. As Sheriff, I appreciate all the collaborative efforts being taken by our partners to accomplish this goal.”
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.
 Specific building improvement details are not being released at this time. If released publicly, such information could negatively impact school safety measures, enable individuals to evade school security, and endanger the safety of students, teachers, and other school employees.