School Safety

Minnesota Schools Secure Entrances with State Safety Grants

Minnesota awarded $25 million in safety grants to 123 school buildings last fall, reported the MinnPost. The funding came out of last year’s state legislative session in response to safety concerns after the Parkland, Florida school shooting.

Since the Minnesota Department of Education received a high volume of applications (more than 1,150), the state decided to prioritize applications that focused on entrance and emergency communications upgrades. The state made final selections through a lottery system. No school got more than $500,000.

Here’s a brief look at how Minnesota schools used the grants awarded last fall:

Delano High School: The high school created a new secure entrance, added traffic barriers outside of the front door to prevent a vehicle from crashing through and renovated the administrative wing of the building. Visitors are now expected to walk into a vestibule then through a side door that leads to the front desk, where their driver’s license is screened and vetted before being able to gain access to the building.

Columbia Heights Public Schools: Construction has not started at two school sites that received funding but once renovations are complete, they will have an upgraded front entrance system like Delano schools.

Goodhue Public Schools: Almost all of the funding the district received will go toward upgrading the main school building with a secure entrance.

Chisholm Public Schools: One school located in the Iron Range will get a complete front office redesign, a new intercom system and the addition of a few security cameras.  

About the Author

Yvonne Marquez is senior editor of Spaces4Learning K-12. She can be reached at ymarquez@1105media.com.