WEST CHESTER (May 1, 2019) – State Senator Andy Dinniman announced today that six school districts and one school in Chester County will receive more than $1 million in total state funding for safety and security upgrades.

“These grants are part of an ongoing, comprehensive effort to help ensure safety and prevent violence in our schools,” Dinniman, who serves as minority chair of the Senate Education Committee, said. “From shoring up our school infrastructure to allocating more counseling services and resources to embracing a trauma-informed approach to education, our goal is to ensure safe, stable, healthy environments for learning and growth.”

The funds, which were approved by the Pennsylvania School Safety and Security Committee, are follows:

  • $110,430 for the Chester County Intermediate Unit.
  • $138,000 for the Coatesville Area School District.
  • $113,538 for the Great Valley School District.
  • $194,480 for the Phoenixville Area School District.
  • $59,477 for Renaissance Academy Charter School.
  • $48,400 for the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District.
  • $400,050 for the West Chester Area School District.

The grant funds will be used for the following:

  • Counseling services for students and school-wide positive behavior support.
  • Certified guidance counselors, licensed professional counselors, licensed social workers, licensed clinical social workers and school psychologists.
  • Districtwide assessments of risk factors that increase the likelihood of problem behaviors among students.
  • Research-based violence prevention programs that address risk factors, including, but not limited to, bullying
  • Violence prevention curricula, including dating violence curricula and restorative justice strategies.
  • Security planning and security-related technology, such as metal detectors, protective lighting, specialty trained canines, surveillance equipment, special emergency communications equipment, automated external defibrillators, electronic locksets, deadbolts, trauma kits and theft control devices and training in the use of security-related technology.
  • Provision of specialized staff and student training programs.
  • Evidence-based screenings for adverse childhood experiences that are proven to be determinants of physical, social and behavioral health.
  • Trauma-informed approaches to education, including support services, behavioral health care, counseling, screening, treatment and referral, training and curriculum.

These funds come as part of $40 million in grants awarded to 234 applicants statewide through the competitive application process of the Pennsylvania School Safety and Security Grant Program.

The funding was made possible under Act 44 of 2018, of which Dinniman was a strong supporter.