January 7, 2021
Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) has been awarded three grants from the U.S. Department of Justice to support the District’s ongoing focus on safety and security measures Districtwide. The funding from these grants – with a combined total of more than $1.9 million – will assist with providing increased mental health services for students, violence prevention, enhanced emergency communications and threat assessments.
The BCPS Grants Administration Department worked with the Division of Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness and the Student Support Initiatives & Recovery Division to obtain the following grants:
- S. Department of Justice – STOP School Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Program: Awards the District approximately $700,000 to improve school security by providing students and teachers with the tools they need to recognize, respond to, and deter acts of violence. Through this grant, BCPS plans to expand the Sandy Hook Promise Start with Hello and Say Something programs to include every secondary school and the surrounding communities. The funds will help provide additional school violence prevention training sessions for teachers and school personnel, violence prevention and awareness education sessions for students, and additional training opportunities for parents, family and community members concerning violence prevention techniques.
The grant will also assist with establishing SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere) Promise Clubs at 25 additional schools and allow BCPS to partner with Lauren’s Kids Foundation to deliver the Safer, Smarter Schools safety and abuse prevention curriculum to third fourth, and fifth grade students in 27 elementary schools. SAVE Promise Clubs are established and led by students and are a powerful approach to preventing violence because they recognize the unique role young people play in making their schools and communities safer. These programs provide an opportunity for students to show their leadership, creativity and interest in protecting their friends, schools and communities from violence before it happens.
- S. Department of Justice – STOP School Violence Technology and Threat Assessment Solutions for Safer Schools Grant: Provides approximately $700,000 in funding to further enhance the District’s threat assessment and intervention teams. Threat assessment teams design processes to identify and evaluate threats before they materialize, increase collaboration with local law enforcement, and train students, school personnel and School Resource Officers on new threat assessment procedures. Additionally, BCPS will use the funds to develop informational materials in support of a Districtwide campaign to help students, staff and families recognize potential threats and understand the necessary steps to take when threats are identified.
These enhanced threat assessment procedures will help the District efficiently identify potential risks to students and coordinate with law enforcement agencies to make schools safer.
- S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) – School Violence Prevention Program: The COPS School Violence Prevention Program provides funding to improve security at schools and on school grounds through evidence-based safety programs. BCPS is receiving $500,000 for a three-year program to replace the District’s outdated visitor and volunteer management system, as well as to train staff on the use of the new system. The new visitor and volunteer management system will enhance the District’s capabilities to screen visitors in real time and will integrate with future safety and security systems and measures to provide a safer environment for students and staff.
As part of the District’s multi-layer approach to school safety and security – upon entering a school’s single point of entry, visitors will be asked to present official identification, such as a driver’s license, for screening through the system. The new system will improve the District’s access to public data when conducting visitor screening and will eventually include self-service kiosks that will facilitate an improved check-in process for visitors. This provides an additional layer of safety for our students and staff.
For more information on the District’s Division of Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness, visit browardschools.com/Page/51934.
ABOUT BROWARD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
“Committed to educating all students to reach their highest potential.”
Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth-largest school district in the nation and the second largest in the state of Florida. The District is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962 and has nearly 261,000 pre-K-12th grade students and approximately 110,000 adult students in 241 schools, centers, and technical colleges, and 92 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population, representing 170 different countries and 147 different languages. To connect with BCPS, visit browardschools.com, follow on Twitter @browardschools and Facebook at facebook.com/browardschools, and download the free BCPS mobile app.