$200K grant to make Pike County schools safer

Published 10:50 pm Thursday, February 14, 2019

A $200,000 grant will help school in the Pike County Schools system become a bit safer in the coming months.

The grant from the Safer Schools in America Initiative will support the adoption and usage of school safety EdTech products from leading education providers and the resulting impact research at no cost to the district.

“We’re excited about being awarded the grant,” said Dr. Mark Bazzell, superintendent. “I appreciate our folks in the system putting together the proposal. What the grant does is it allows us to look through a list of different type of school safety vendors that provide school safety ranging from technology applications to – you name it.”

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The grant is aimed at addressing the need for quality research about the expansive range of activities that comprise safe teaching and learning environments.

“These include emotional, physical and digital safety as well as emergency preparedness, school facilities and culture, and community engagement – areas that the Pike County Schools district and the broader research community believe are critical to great teaching and learning,” Bazzell said. “Our participation will allow us to be part of the larger evaluation community as we seek cost-effective EdTech solutions for our classrooms and educators.”

Bazzell said the school system is already looking at getting a system of cameras to provide extra surveillance on the campuses.

“We’re looking at technology that will allow us to add surveillance systems and increase our cameras in our schools and better manage those cameras,” Bazzell said. “This system will help us better interface with law enforcement should the need arise. We would be adding 50 cameras at different locations through that program.”

The school system also added a school resource officer in partner with the Pike County Commission and Pike County Sheriff’s Department earlier this year and are planning on adding more in the future.

“That was one of the things we were doing this year is focusing on school safety initiatives,” Bazzell said. “This grant is part of that.”