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Columbia Board of Education ratifies School Safety Grant application at Monday night meeting


The Columbia Board of Education reviewed and ratifies its application for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education School Safety Grant during its Monday night meeting.

CPS is requesting $300,000 from DESE to improve a number of security functions, according to the agenda.

This is DESE's Second round of grant funding, the Board applied for the previous round but was not selected. The winning recipients of the next round of funding are expected to be announced by the end of the month, according to DESE's website.

CPS application is requesting :

  • $122,000 - For building access management system to identify and track school visitors entering buildings allowing for more comprehensive school visitor management.
  • $50,000 - For audio/video buzz-in systems equipment upgrades, including audio/video buzz-in systems provide access to facilities.
  • $10,000 - Additional security cameras to upgrade image quality and provide additional coverage for blind spot areas.
  • $118,000 - For hardened ballistic doors for building entry points beyond established secure vestibule single entry points.

The application includes a questionnaire answered by CPS, with the most notable "yes" questions including Emergency plans, adequate active-shooter training and controlled access to buildings.

However, the District answered "no" on the following questions:

  • Is there a perimeter fence in place around all student play areas?
  • Are there bollards or other barriers protecting the school building entrances from vehicular intrusion?
  • Does the LEA utilize a visitor management system to identify and track all school visitors during the school day?
  • Does the LEA provide safety/security training for all staff, substitute teachers, and volunteers?
  • Do all school buildings have bleeding control kits readily available?

According to the agenda, the funding was granted by Gov. Mike Parson in June for the 2024 Fiscal year when he signed House Bill 2.

Noelle Gilzow, of the Columbia Missouri National Education Association, said the addition would, "take a little bit of effort and concern off of our plates so that we can focus on instructions instead of having it on the back of our minds."

Gilzow is also a teacher at Hickman High School and said she feels safe while at school. But she thinks it would put teachers' and students' minds at ease.

The bill allocated $50 million in funding for the grants to support "physical safety improvements in local education agencies and nonpublic schools across the state."

The awarded grants are funded on a reimbursement basis, meaning local education agencies and private schools must submit payment requests after expenditures have occurred, the agenda states.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia Public Schools

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Marina Diaz

Marina is a Multimedia Journalist for ABC 17 News, she is originally from Denver, Colorado. She went to Missouri Valley College where she played lacrosse and basketball, and anchored her school’s newscast.


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