Wisconsin District Invests School Safety Grant on Physical Updates and Training

A Wisconsin school district intends to use state funding to boost its safety measures, including implementing an online school safety and crisis prevention program. Sun Prairie Area School District received $463,308 through a Wisconsin Department of Justice grant program, which made $100 million available to K-12 schools to support projects designed to improve school safety. The district will use its allocation to put physical safety measures in place, do staff training and adopt safety tools.

For example, according to a board meeting on the topic, the school system expects to add "shatter resistant" film to 14 buildings, such as at main entrances. It will acquire "bleeding control kits" for each school and provide training on their use. Classroom door locksets will be converted to have the ability to be locked from inside the classroom with a pushbutton. Schools will also install video intercom systems to main entrances and upgrade an existing analog radio system for communication.

On the software front, the district plans to implement RAPTOR, a visitor management system to screen people; and MOSAIC, a threat assessment tool. It has also licensed EmployeeSafe Suite from PublicSchoolWORKS to provide training content and track learning progress and compliance.

The district's 1,300 employees will be assigned online courses to learn safety best practices, , including a mandated course that covers the state's Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Trauma-Sensitive Schools professional development. This 17-module program covers neuroscience, social and emotional learning, school-wide discipline, engagement of parents "as partners" and other topics related to support of students.

For the first time, the district also said it intends to deploy job-specific training courses to non-educational staff.

"The bottom line is we want students, staff and visitors to be secure," said Shelley Weiss, the district's Director of Summer School and the lead on the district's safety initiative, in a statement. "Our mantra is 'creating and sustaining a culture of safety and security.'"

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.