Canton Area School District Receives Safety And Security And Mental Health Grant
Canton, Pennsylvania – Canton Area School District received School Safety and Security and Mental Health grant funding that allowed the district to explore contract proposals for a full time security guard and social worker. Schools had to apply for these funds to address mental health initiatives and physical security enhancements. Per Act 55 of 2022, $190 million is being announced to support this initiative: $95 million of which is dedicated to mental health initiatives and $95 million dedicated to physical safety and security enhancements. Awards will be made to 784 eligible school entities with budgets not to exceed the formula distribution included in the solicitation for 24-month project periods. The Canton Area School District was one of the schools selected for these grant monies.
“This funding is for two years,” said Mr. Mark Jannone, Business Manager of the Canton Area School District. “We received $113,000 for physical safety and security and $113,000 for mental health. The stipulations of both grants require that the District spend the money on specific things, in three lists of allowable costs. We must have all of the things in list one before we can look at items in list two or three. With respect to the physical safety and security grant, the options the District could use the funds for included installation of physical fencing and barriers around each of the playgrounds, or hiring or contracting a full time school security guard. Similarly, with the mental health grant, the District’s option is contracting for a full-time social worker for the District”.
September 8, 2022 the school directors authorized the administration to pursue a school resource officer and a social worker for the District under this grant. The Canton Area School District is working with Northern Tier Counseling, Inc for a contracted social worker for the district. Having a social worker to be able to be an integral link between school, home, and community will also help students grow and learn. A school social worker would work directly with school administrators as well as with students and their families. This position would allow for a social worker to be part of an interdisciplinary team to help students succeed.
The contracted position of a school resource officer or a school security guard was the next position that the District pursued. After reviewing the qualifications needed for school resource officer, including that the officer would be commissioned and employed by a local law enforcement agency, it was determined that the District should recommend a contract for a school security guard. A school security guard is an individual employed by an independent contractor who is assigned to the school for routine safety and security duties. The school security guard has not been granted powers by the court to issue citations, detain individuals or exercise the same powers as exercised by police of the municipality in which the school property is located, in accordance with law.
Standing Stone Consulting, Inc. has been in operation over the past 20+ years and involved in hundreds of security assessments and security / emergency response planning projects in a wide variety of environments. They have developed a security organization that allows their team to develop the best security and emergency response capabilities for their clients and they have worked to offer the Canton Area School District both one full time and part time school security guard candidates that would be able to be contracted with the School Safety and Security Grant funds.
The school security guard shall provide school safety support services, enhanced campus supervision, and assistance with monitoring visitors on campus. The school security guard will coordinate with the local law enforcement as well as security functions that will improve and maintain school safety. They will inspect our mission vulnerable areas to ensure security on campus on a daily basis. One of the most important aspects of this position will be building relationships with the school community and with the students themselves. Students need to know and confide in trusted adults and this position will allow for our students to have another trusted adult in their school community. “Mental health and physical safety are focal points in schools, ” explained superintendent of schools Dr. Amy Martell. “It is the responsibility of everyone to make safety a priority and it is important that we all work together to accomplish school safety. Schools should be safe places for learning. Together, we have an important goal of keeping our campus safe.”
The Pennsylvania Youth Survey or PAYS survey is conducted every other year. The survey is administered in school as a voluntary survey where youth can provide information about four domains (community, school, family and peer/individual). The data from the county-wide survey is available from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency website. In the domain of Community and School Climate and Safety in 2021, 77.2% of Bradford County students reported a feeling of safety, compared to 82% at the state level. Canton Area School District students reported a feeling of safety by 90.2% of students. Safety has become a culture in the Canton Area School District. This is a protective factor and this increased investment results in a greater bonding and adoption of the school’s standard of behavior. This feeling of safety at school reduces the likelihood that students will become involved in problem behaviors. Students have a bigger feeling of commitment to the school and see the school culture as a positive attribute. Safety is important to the school community.
Canton Area School District Safety Coordinator for the past four years, Command Sergeant Major Darryl Jannone, US Army Retired, explained, “Safety is a priority. Collectively, we have all worked very hard at CASD to ensure that School Safety is not an event…it is a culture. Parents across our district trust us with the most important thing in the District…their children. We take that seriously. We have and will continue to take the appropriate steps to ensure school safety. Beginning with our Policies, Practices and Protocols, Physical Security Measures, Teacher / Staff Training, Enhanced Lighting / Door Security and now Armed Security Guards. This is the next natural step in the evolution of our Safety Program”. These efforts will enhance and maintain our intent which is to ensure a calm, safe environment where our teachers can teach, and our students can grow and learn…the Warrior Way”.
Please welcome our School Security Guards to the Warrior Family!
Writing: Canton Area School District
Produced by Vogt Media
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