WEST CHESTER (December 20) – State Senator Andy Dinniman announced today that two school districts in Chester County will receive $23,834 in total funding as part of the Safe Schools Grants awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.


The Downingtown Area School District will receive $13,460 and the Coatesville Area School District will receive $10,374 to establish and implement programs to prevent and reduce incidents of violence.


“Providing a safe learning environment is the top priority of our schools,” Dinniman said. “These funds will provide resources to increase school safety by giving teachers the tools they need to address risks, teaching students proven techniques for conflict resolution and addressing potential problems before they occur.”


The Downingtown Area School District, which is receiving a Safe School Grant for the second year in a row, will use the funds to implement a highly-successful bullying prevention program at the elementary school level.


“We’re extremely pleased that the state has created grant opportunities that help school district foster learning and growth in a safe and supportive environment. In the past two years the Downingtown Area School District has received over $26,000 in Safe School grants. These funds provide support materials for the Olweus anti-bullying program that is used in all 10 elementary schools,” Dr. Lawrence Mussoline, Downingtown Area School District Superintendent, said. “Thank you to Senator Dinniman for his part in helping our district and community fund this exceptional program.”


The grants are part of $479,513 in total funding awarded to 37 public school districts throughout the Commonwealth to promote student safety and productivity; provide staff training in research-based violence prevention and classroom management programs; and enhance antiviolence efforts between schools and parents, local governments, law enforcement and community organizations.


The school districts, which were eligible to receive up to $15,000, where selected out of 97 total applicants.


In addition, the following programs were also considered for funding:


  • Conflict resolution or dispute management.
  • School-wide positive behavior support.
  • School-based diversion programs.
  • Classroom management.
  • Research-based violence prevention programs that address risk factors to reduce incidents of problem behaviors among students.
  • Training for Student Assistance Program team members.
  • Staff training in the use of positive behavior supports, de-escalation techniques and appropriate responses to student behavior that may require immediate intervention.


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