Virginia school districts share grants for security updates

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Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 5:25 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ/PCPS & MCPS Releases) - Many school districts throughout the Commonwealth will receive part of $12 million in grants for security updates, according to Pulaski County Public Schools.

Pulaski County and Roanoke County received the largest grants in the area, $250,000 each, which is the maximum allowed by the program. Other areas receiving grants include Bedford County ($175,100), Giles County ($127,162), Franklin County ($49,911), Montgomery County ($25,894), Botetourt County ($28,161), Floyd County ($23,538) and the City of Radford ($16,540).

Martinsville City Public Schools was awarded a $200,000 grant to enhance security measures at two of its schools. The funds will be utilized to outfit all classroom doors in Martinsville High School and Martinsville Middle School with key card access points, eliminating the need for keys to enter classrooms and increasing the level of security in each building, according to MCPS. Employees will be able to access classrooms with their school-issued security badges. Key card access is currently used at entry points to each school building.

“This is yet another layer of school security that operates almost invisibly, keeping our students and staff safe without detracting or distracting from the learning environment,” said MCPS Director of School Safety & Emergency Management T.J. Slaughter. Slaughter said he hopes to eventually implement key card classroom access division-wide.

“Each year, school divisions are eligible to apply for the Virginia School Security Equipment Grants program,” said Chris Stafford, PCPS Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Business Operations. “This is a competitive grant process and this year, Pulaski County Public Schools was one of the few school divisions to receive the maximum award of $250.000. There is also a local match of 25% required to receive the grant. The funds awarded for this year’s grant will be designated for Critzer Elementary, Dublin Elementary, Pulaski Elementary, and Pulaski County High School.”

“The safety of our students is the number one priority of Pulaski County Public Schools and our schools already have advanced systems in place to address the issue of safety,” Stafford said. “This grant will allow us to continue to upgrade our school security equipment to provide additional layers of protection to maintain the safest possible learning environment for our students.”