School District Applies for $6 Million in State Grants for School Safety Upgrades
PHILADELPHIA – In an effort to enhance school safety and security at schools throughout the city, the School District of Philadelphia has submitted an application to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) for nearly $6 million in grants providing for equipment and professional development for staff.
“We are very appreciative that the state is giving us the opportunity to apply for funding to support safe and secure environments in every Philadelphia public school,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent. “We are hoping to be able to use these dollars to make important improvements to our school buildings’ security and, at the same time, to train personnel in our buildings on how to make sure every student feels welcome, safe and secure when they come to school each day.”
The funding would come from PCCD’s School Safety and Security Grant Program, which is providing for $52.5 million in funding statewide. Specifically, the District’s request includes:
Security equipment for schools, including security cameras ($2.5 million), key scan entry systems ($2.1 million), and digital scanner radios for school police ($1.1 million);
District-wide School Climate Summit focused on Anti-Bullying ($150,000); and
Additional professional development for school police and other key school staff on trauma-informed approaches, de-escalation techniques and conflict resolution ($65,000).
The funding would support the Philadelphia School Safety and Security Initiative, developed by the District to help combat persistent challenges facing the safety and security of students. The project supports upgrades to aging safety infrastructure and equipment, trainings on trauma informed practices, and an anti-bullying and harassment summit.
The District already does significant work to ensure student safety and improve school climate, including comprehensive security training for School Police officers, mobile metal detector operations, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports for students, restorative practices, and centralized reporting forms for incidents of bullying.
The state is expected to notify recipients of their awards after November 30, 2018.