Clark County schools will improve security with more than $1M in grant funds

Several local Clark County schools will receive more than $1 million for measures to improve school safety, including security cameras, automatic door locks, visitor badging systems and more.

Tecumseh and Northeastern local school districts, the Clark County Educational Service Center (ESC) and several local Catholic and Christian schools all received funds totaling $1,026,704.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the awards for this round of grant funding, part of the Ohio K-12 School Safety Grant program. A total of 708 schools in 57 counties will get a total of $57.8 million.

“These safety grants are helping schools create environments that are secure and welcoming for teachers and their students,” DeWine said.

Jill DelGreco, a spokeswoman for DeWine’s office, said this round was funded through federal COVID-19 dollars allocated to the state. A $5 million previous round was funded with federal COVID-19 dollars through Senate Bill 310.

Tecumseh will receive a total of $497,204, which includes $99,803 for Donnelsville Elementary, $97,705 for New Carlisle Elementary, $99,762 for Park Layne Elementary, $100,000 for the high school and $99,934 for the middle school.

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The district will use the funds to upgrade the internal and external surveillance systems, which will allow remote access via a laptop or phone without needing to be on site or directly accessing the system, said Superintendent Paula Crew.

“Law enforcement, emergency personnel, and district staff members will be able to access the system in real time during any type of emergency. This remote access will help first responders and law enforcement execute plans prior to arriving to the buildings,” she said.

Northeastern will receive a total of $150,000 — $75,000 each for Northridge Elementary/Middle and Rolling Hills Elementary.

The district will use the funds to purchase Raptor scanning equipment, said Superintendent John Kronour. Raptor Technologies is a visitor management system that enhances school security by reading visitor drivers’ licenses or state-issued IDs.

“Anything that helps us keep our students safe is money well spend, and we look forward to implementing a system that provides another layer of safety in our buildings,” Kronour said.

Other schools to receive funds include $100,000 each to the Clark County Educational Service Center (ESC), Catholic Central Schools and Emmanuel Christian Academy, as well as $79,500 to Risen Christ Lutheran School.

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Catholic Central asked an outside company to help them do a schoolwide security analysis to assess where they believe their biggest vulnerability is at the school, said James Odell, Business Department Chair and Plant Manager.

The initial plan is to purchase updated doors and locking systems, additional electronic access points to be used in reverse evacuations, additional cameras, and upgrade the camera system software, but Odell said they are waiting to see if the assessment will “lead them in the same direction as planned.”

“After experiencing two active shooter hoaxes this fall, we saw things that we could improve on, and this will allow us to make these necessary upgrades and updates,” he said.

Emmanuel Christian will also use the funds to enhance surveillance, implement HALO Smart sensors and new exterior door lock systems.

“Without this grant, we would not be able to make these needed improvements,” said Superintendent John Essig, who noted he is glad to have been approved for the grant this year, because they were turned down last year.

These funds are the third round of grants awarded as part of the Ohio K-12 School Safety Grant program to public school districts and chartered non-public schools. In the first round, $5 million was awarded to 95 schools in 27 counties. The second round totaled $42.4 million for 1,065 schools.

In the second round of funding, the Springfield City School District received a total of $800,000, with each of the 16 schools in the district receiving $50,000.


School safety grants

Tecumseh Local Schools — $497,204 ($99,803 for Donnelsville Elementary, $97,705 for New Carlisle Elementary, $99,762 for Park Layne Elementary, $100,000 for the high school and $99,934 for the middle school)

Northeastern Local Schools — $150,000 ($75,000 each to Northridge Elementary/Middle and Rolling Hills Elementary)

Clark County Educational Service Center (ESC) — $100,000

Catholic Central School — $100,000

Emmanuel Christian Academy — $100,000

Risen Christ Lutheran School — $79,500

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