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Garnet Valley awarded over 450K for School Safety

Garnet Valley awarded over 450K for School Safety and Security Grant Program
Posted on 02/27/2020

Dear School Community,

In Garnet Valley, we believe that student achievement is inextricably connected to fostering a safe and caring environment. To realize this belief our district has collaborated at all levels of our school community to implement a multitude of safe and caring initiatives and projects. Well, last night we learned that our efforts are getting a “turbo boost” as Garnet Valley School District was awarded $459,450 as part of the School Safety and Security Grant Program, created by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 2018. We acknowledge and commend the efforts of our local state legislators Tom Killion, Steve Barrar, and Chris Quinn as well as the School Safety and Security Committee within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency for making school safety a priority. Additionally, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Leslee Hutchinson, Director of Safety and Security Tony Sivo, Director of Pupil Services Terri Bracken, Director of Business Chris Wilson, and Assistant Business Director Dan McCoy did a tremendous amount of work in completing the grant documents as well as assessing the most important areas of need.

Below is a brief overview of a few of the initiatives and projects that will be funded by the grant. Some of these projects, specifically the renovation of the main entrances, have already been completed or will begin this summer. The Garnet Valley Middle and Elementary Schools projects will begin in June.

  • Expansion of our program to bring mental health specialists on site. Currently the District contracts with a counselor from Crozer for 6 hours per week to provide support to students who are transitioning back into the schools following a hospitalization for mental health needs. The grant will allow us to expand the amount of time that Crozer staff comes on site to work with our students to 6 hours per day, every day.
  • Procurement of hand-held radios. Currently, the district staff has few options for communicating with one another and with first responders in the event of an emergency that disables or overloads cell service. Having a District-wide radio communication system to maintain direct contact between building personnel, administration, transportation and law-enforcement is of the utmost importance.
  • Renovation of building entrances to manage access. Our school and district buildings and grounds are in need of renovation in order to make the main/visitor entrances a controlled and secure point of entry. The design will incorporate a double locked entry system requiring a visitor to be manually “buzzed into a secure area”. Once in the secure area the visitor will be vetted via the Raptor System and entered into the visitor management database. The secure area allows for the administrative assistant to gather the required documents for entry from behind ballistic resistant glass and wall. The secured area does not allow for a student or other visitors exiting the property to have contact with one another. Once the purpose for the visit is legitimized the visitor will then be allowed to enter the office through a second secure door. The glass doors will have an applied film preventing an assailant from breaking the glass and entering the building.
Again, we are so thankful to receive this extremely competitive grant. Please know that the projects included in this application were identified by our district team utilizing a multitude of data points that included the Pennsylvania Youth Survey, YouthTruth School Climate Survey, security assessments, as well as student school based data focused on attendance, mental health referrals, school discipline, etc.

As always, we value the support of our school community and its commitment to our students. We are blessed to live, work, and learn in Garnet Valley!


Dr. Marc Bertrando, Superintendent

DAILYLOCAL.COM ARTICLE: Local school districts to get more than $1.3 million in school safety grants

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