Securing an ADE grant under the School Safety Program was no easy task for any school district.
The total grant money available was only $911,000 and was limited to purchasing security hardware, which was defined as door and gate locks, intercom systems, public address systems, security alarms and lighting, perimeter fencing, and surveillance cameras and monitors.
The rules for applying for grant money was not announced until Dec. 13, 2013, and the request applications had to be filed by Jan. 31, 2014.
On applications, school districts had to provide detailed descriptions of what security projects they wanted to perform along with the estimated cost. They had to list the types of hardware needed, quantity of each, and the location each would be installed on all school campuses. Districts had to explain how the hardware supports their emergency response plans and the hazards that could trigger such an emergency.
As ADE wanted the grant-receiving schools to get the most protection for the cost, districts had to provide on the applications evidence of the effectiveness of the purchased systems, and the systems’ ties to local police and fire departments. Timelines for system installations had to be provided in advance.
Grant recipients were announced on April 1. ADE would provide the funds in four monthly installments from April through July. All security improvement work has to be completed by July 31 with the winning districts having to file reports on the installations and how the systems were working by Oct. 29, 2014.
The 10 winning school districts and the sums they received are:
Globe Unified School District – $61,560
Washington Elementary (Glendale) – $99,857
Yuma Elementary School District – $93,110
Oracle Elementary School District – $9,889
Fowler Elementary (Phoenix) – $87,327
Tombstone Unified School District – $99,634
Cottonwood-Oak Creek School – $99,992
Chinle Unified School District – $99,966
Superior Unified School District – $98,550
Friendly House – $100,000
ADE defines a safe school as one that is free from violent and criminal behaviors and allows staff, students and community members to feel connected to the school and able to participate in its major functions – teaching and learning. Violent or criminal behaviors at school compromise the learning environment and put health and safety in jeopardy.