Goochland County Public Schools have been chosen to receive $24,000 in funding to support safety preparedness initiatives during the 2015-16 school year. Governor Terry McAuliffe announced last week that the Commonwealth has awarded $6 million in School Security Equipment Grants to help ensure the safety of Virginia’s schools.
The committee that developed the grant application included:
- Sonny Turner, Maintenance Supervisor
- Peter Martin, Network Administrator and Technical Services Coordinator
- Robin Powers, Accounting Technician
- Tom DeWeerd, Director of technology and Administration
- Bruce Watson, Director of Career & Technical Education
- Peter Gretz, Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations
The grant funds will support key initiatives, identified through the work of the GCPS Crisis & School Safety Task Force as well as continued partnership with the Goochland Sheriff’s Office and Fire and Rescue Department. Specifically, this year’s award will enable the division to:
- establish communication between Goochland High School and Goochland Tech,
- establish communication between Goochland High School and Goochland PREP,
- upgrade communication between Goochland Elementary and the ESCE Preschool (2nd floor of Goochland Tech),
- provide new two-way radios to all schools, including Goochland Tech, the ESCE Preschool, and Goochland PREP,
- install amplification of the intercom system in shop labs at Goochland Tech where noisy equipment and machinery can make communication challenging, and
- purchase and implement a “Panic Button” software solution that will enable access to a mobile panic alarm, emergency notification, real-time location tracking, and a mass update system to better facilitate communication and resolution of emergency situations in all school facilities.
“We intend for our schools to be places where students, staff and community members can pursue deeper learning,” superintendent James Lane said. “As we work together to maximize the potential of every learner, we must also commit to ensure that all of our schools are safe.”
The School Security Equipment Grant program was established by the 2013 General Assembly in the aftermath of the December 14, 2012, mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
“Virginia students, teachers, administrators, support staff — and the parents and others who visit our schools throughout the school year — are safer today because of this program,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said. “This program enhances school safety and gives our schools and first responders the tools they need to keep out intruders and respond quickly and effectively if a security threat does arise.”