BY MATT MACKINDER
Clarkston News Staff Writer
Clarkston Community Schools was recently awarded nearly a quarter-million dollars in state grant money from the Competitive School Safety Grant Program to improve the safety in school buildings.
“Absolutely nothing is more important than the safety and protection of our kids,” State Rep. Andrea Schroeder said. “These grants are a great step in the right direction towards creating a safer learning environment for our students and teachers.”
CCS was awarded $243,852 as part of $25 million that was awarded throughout Michigan.
In the past 12 months, the district has invested heavily in school safety and security. A School Safety Task Force of school administrators and local law enforcement was created to guide the efforts, including the investment in the ALICE Training Institute’s school safety training protocols.
ALICE is a federally-endorsed safety protocol that stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. The Clarkston district is one of approximately 4,000 organizations nationwide that is ALICE-certified.
For an overview of the steps CCS has taken to prepare our staff and students in the event that an armed intruder enters one of the district’s buildings with the intent of doing harm, visit www.clarkston.k12.mi.us/ALICE.
The grant funds will be used for two school safety initiatives – to improve PA broadcast capabilities and to have reliable interior door security.
For the PA improvements, it is imperative that students and staff are able to hear real-time alerts in order to enact the most appropriate emergency response. The biggest improvements will be in high-traffic spaces like gymnasiums and cafeterias.
Through the recommendation of the Oakland County Sherriff’s Office SWAT team, the district will provide a Nightlock lockdown device for each classroom. This device ensures that interior doors can be locked in a consistent and reliable manner, making it more intuitive for students and staff to quickly utilize in a crisis situation wherever they may be.
“We are grateful for the generosity of the Michigan State Police in awarding our district this grant,” said CCS Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services John Lucido. “These funds will support our proactive efforts to keep our schools safe and secure.”