$3 million in federal grants awarded to 42 school districts in Mass. for school security upgrades – Boston 25 News | #schoolsaftey

BOSTON — Nearly $3 million in federal grant money has been awarded to 42 school districts in Massachusetts for school security upgrades, as some state officials say schools are facing “unprecedented challenges” in ensuring a safe learning environment.

Gov. Maura Healey, in announcing the grants on Tuesday, said the money will be used by districts “to facilitate physical security enhancements and help ensure the safety of students and educators.”

The administration awarded $2,910,000 in federal grant funds through the Safer Schools and Communities Initiative, Healey said in a statement. The federal funds are managed in Massachusetts by the Office of Grants and Research, a state agency that is part of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.

The funding will be used to make school safety infrastructure improvements, including security enhancements at building entrances, installation of new interior doors and the addition or upgrading of central communication systems to support staff communication in cases of emergency, Healey said.

“These grants will provide schools with the resources necessary to foster safe learning environments for students and educators. Our administration is committed to collaborating across federal, state and local governments and leveraging every possible tool to enhance safety across Massachusetts and within our schools,” Healey said.

In a statement, Lt. Gov. Kimberley Driscoll said this grant program “is designed to provide school officials with the resources needed to address strengthen security infrastructure and enhance school safety.”

“When students have confidence in the safety of their schools, they’re better able to learn, grow and thrive,” said Driscoll.

The 42 grant recipients were selected through a competitive application process, Healey said.

The grant program allowed districts to apply for funds to upgrade security infrastructure at up to three school buildings.

“Our schools face unprecedented challenges in ensuring a safe learning environment. These grants are one of the tools we have available to promote safer schools that will allow our young people to thrive,” said Office of Grants and Research Executive Director Kevin Stanton. “I’m grateful to my team at the Office of Grants and Research, who led this highly competitive grant program and other initiatives that improve the safety of Massachusetts communities.”

Secretary of Public Safety and Security Terrence Reidy said in a statement that his office “remains deeply committed to working with our partners across state and local agencies to ensure that our schools provide a safe and healthy learning environment for our children and educators. Together, we will continue to build on the many safety initiatives that have been put forward, including the continuation of significant investments in training, emergency preparedness and security infrastructure.”

“The safety and well-being of our students is of utmost importance,” Secretary of Education Patrick Tutwiler said in a statement. “The Executive Office of Education is proud to partner with the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security in delivering investments to improve safety and security measures in school buildings across the Commonwealth.”

The following school districts received Safer Schools and Communities Initiative grant funding:

Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public School: $108,292.56

Abington Public Schools: $50,980.00

Acushnet Public Schools: $14,950.00

Advanced Math and Science Academy: $123,894.28

Andover Public Schools: $38,429.00

Belchertown Public Schools: $100,000.00

Bourne Public Schools: $75,253.16

Bridgewater-Raynham Regional School District: $91,250.00

Bristol-Plymouth RTS: $50,000.00

Brooke Charter Schools: $30,190.19

Brookline Public Schools: $145,302.18

Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School District: $26,148.57

Four Rivers Charter Public School: $94,284.24

Global Learning Charter Public School: $17,500.00

Hanover Public Schools: $50,000.00

Hawlemont Regional School District: $29,958.59

Longmeadow Public Schools: $42,959.73

Ludlow Public Schools: $144,400.79

Lynnfield Public Schools: $135,600.00

Marblehead Public Schools: $59,750.54

Medfield Public Schools: $43,967.00

Milton Public Schools: $50,000.00

Northborough Public Schools: $50,000.00

Pentucket Regional School District: $71,406.79

Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School: $37,700.00

Pioneer Valley Regional School District: $141,850.00

Plainville Public Schools: $45,000.00

Provincetown Public Schools: $45,183.73

Rising Tide Charter Public School: $38,791.84

South Hadley Schools: $139,902.00

Northborough & Southborough Regional School District/Algonquin Regional School District: $49,768.46

Southborough Public Schools: $50,000.00

Southcoast Educational Collaborative: $16,969.20

Springfield International Charter School: $50,000.00

Sutton Public Schools: $133,201.00

Tri Town Schools: $50,000.00

Walpole Public Schools: $144,400.00

Warwick Public Schools: $32,900.00

West Bridgewater Public Schools: $92,947.40

Westborough Public Schools: $50,000.00

Westfield Public Schools: $118,000.00

William E. Norris School (Southampton): $28,868.75

In addition to the Safer Schools and Communities Initiative grant awards announced Tuesday, officials awarded more than $570,000 to 14 school districts earlier this year through the federal STOP School Violence grant program. Those funds allow school districts to develop and operate school threat assessment and crisis intervention teams.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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