The district will use funds to improve security measures at all buildings in the district. The grant includes funds for additional lockdown lights and warnings at each building, an additional keycard entry door at the high school, exterior door signage to more efficiently direct emergency personnel to affected areas within each of the buildings, and a protective glass film for glass in the highest traffic entry areas of all the buildings.
Funds awarded will be disbursed throughout the district. The high school projects total nearly $50,000 as do the middle school projects. Page Elementary projects are about $28,000; Lee is about $3,600 and McFall is $5,400. The learning center, that houses preschool classes, will also get the exterior door signage at a cost of about $825.
"The safety of all our students and staff every day is a top priority," said Superintendent Rob Blitchok. "With these funds from the Michigan State Police Grant we will be able to add extra levels of safety for all of our buildings. This is not a matching grant, so these measures are not costing the district any funds."
The district has a detailed safety plan that is reviewed often. TK also has two full-time resource officers who help identify areas where improvements should be made and work to build relationships with students. Both resource officers, Tony Stein and Jeff Nieuwenhuis are retired from the Barry County Sheriff's Department and have close working relationships with local law enforcement.
The grant application was supported by the Barry County Sheriff's Department and the Barry County Emergency Services Department.
The Michigan State Police program awarded $25 million in grants to schools and intermediate districts across the state, including public schools, charter schools and private schools. Funds must be used to improve safety and security of students, staff and school buildings through the purchase of technology and equipment and cannot be used for personnel expenses.
“Safety for our children should always be a top priority,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Every parent should have the peace of mind that their children are receiving an education that allows them to achieve their dreams under the safest possible conditions.”
Officials from the MSP said they received 366 applications with requests for funding more than $46 million in safety measures. Of the 366 applications, 230 were selected for funding. The funding awards were made to 135 public school districts, 66 non-public schools, 20 public charter schools and nine intermediate school districts/regional educational service agencies.