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‘Children will be safer:’ Plan announced for remaining school safety funds; focused on mental health

MILWAUKEE -- Back in March, the state legislature voted to give the Wisconsin Department of Justice $100 million for school safety grants. Even after awarding school safety grant money to more than 500 Wisconsin schools, there's $45 million left to spend. So what's the plan for round two?

AG Brad Schimel

"This school safety board program has already been a massive success," said Attorney General Brad Schimel.

Schimel said 97 percent of public schools and nearly 40 percent of private schools applied for the school safety grants the DOJ is handing out. More than 500 schools have been awarded about $36 million for baseline security upgrades. All remaining grant applications have been reviewed.

That still leaves about $45 million to be used in a second round of grant funding.

"That will focus on advanced mental health training for teachers and the creation of school safety intervention teams, as well as additional physical security upgrades," said Schimel.

Here's how the process will work:

"All grant applicants will send 10 percent of their full-time teachers and counselors to DOJ approved 12-hour advanced adolescent mental health training," said Schimel.

Schimel said if every school that applied for the first round applied for the second round, they expect about 7,000 teachers statewide will be trained.

His plan also includes the creation of school safety intervention teams made up of teachers, counselors and local law enforcement.

"These teams will work closely to identify to identify students who may pose a threat to safety and to get those students the help they need," said Schimel.

Schimel said schools that deploy the teams will be eligible for additional funding for training and physical improvements.

Schools are urged to apply for the second round of grants even if they didn't apply in the first round. Ironically, back on July 3, Schimel's opponent in the November election, Josh Kaul, was calling on him to use some of the school safety money on mental health programs. Now he has.

Highlights from the school safety grant applications 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.

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.