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Oakridge Public Schools has been selected to receive $250,000 from the 2018 Michigan State Police – Competitive School Safety Grant Program (CSSGP)

Oakridge Public Schools has been selected to receive $250,000 from the 2018 Michigan State Police – Competitive School Safety Grant Program (CSSGP)*.  The District is one of only three school districts in the State of Michigan to receive the maximum $250,000 grant award amount in category one of the two grant categories.

“Having spent an entire career in law enforcement and security, it is very satisfying to see this investment in the safety of our kids and staff!” says School Board Member, Gerry Dibble.  Mike Smith, Jr., a School Board member retired from the military added, “School safety is a top priority at Oakridge. This effort took teamwork from the boardroom to the classroom and even community partners and parents to identify the most needed safety improvements for our district.”

School safety improvement efforts have been ongoing for several years, according to Superintendent Tom Livezey, due in part to the Muskegon County Regional Enhancement Millage for Technology & Security.  “This community investment has allowed us to expand video surveillance, install single secure entries in each building, and acquire technology to enable better preparedness for emergencies,” Superintendent Livezey explained, “but there is more we must do.”

Oakridge has received recognition for its focus on school safety and wellness.  Tom Livezey presented to Michigan’s State Board of Education on the topic who subsequently visited the district with other key State and community leaders to see the efforts firsthand.

In preparation for the CSSGP application, the district provided ALICE (active shooter) training to employees and, in that process, received rich feedback and suggestions to improve security.  They also utilized a US Department of Homeland Security assessment tool intended to help K-12 school personnel evaluate physical security practices and identify ways to prevent and protect against active-shooter threats.  They also partnered with Muskegon County Sheriff, Mike Poulin, and Muskegon County Emergency Services Director, Richard Warner, to conduct a detailed onsite facility security assessment to offer recommendations on the specific security upgrades Oakridge should seek in this safety grant.  Furthermore, a District Safety Grant Task Force was created to review and advise on the feedback and the facility security assessment. The task force included teachers, secretaries, parents, support staff, administrators, a local college director of security, and the Muskegon County Sheriff.

Some examples of projects submitted in Oakridge’s CSSGP application and AWARDED included the following:
1. Classroom door barricading devices.
2. Large reflective placards visually identifying classrooms and workspaces from distances to assist first responders to quickly locate incident locations during emergencies.
3. Bullet resistant security film for glass windows at/near external entrances.
4. Visitor management system.
5. Video ‘buzzer’ entry system in single secure entries.
6. Remove interior door pipe/bar components and replace with secure flat ADA compliant integral components.
7. Replace exterior double doors at entries with recessed ADA compliant handles.

Tom Livezey concluded, “School safety and wellness go hand in hand.  Kids and staff who genuinely feel safe and healthy perform better in school so this grant award is ultimately about improving student achievement.  I am thankful to everyone who engaged in this process.”
All projects are required to be completed by September 1, 2019.

 

*This project is supported by the Competitive School Safety Grant Program, awarded by the State of Michigan and administered by the Michigan State Police (MSP). Points of view or opinions contained within this document do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the State of Michigan or the MSP.

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