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School Safety

School Safety

Funds Distribution and Expenditures

View School Security and Mental Health Grants expenditures as of July 1, 2022.

History

July 1, 2022

Within the 24 hours that followed the tragic May 7, 2019, STEM School shooting, the Board of Douglas County Commissioners knew their response would be swift, deliberate, and aligned with the County’s shared responsibility for funding public safety in Douglas County.  Believing that strong communities unite to spur positive change during a crisis and knowing it is realistic for any single organization or individual to claim exclusive responsibility for keeping our children safe, the Board called for an even greater focus on partnership and community engagement dedicated to improving school safety and availability of mental health services for all students.

With this goal in mind, at their May 28, 2019, public hearing, the Board unanimously approved a resolution appropriating $13.3 million for school security and mental health services for students in Douglas County.  Of the $13.3 million, the Board appropriated $10 million of unassigned General Fund balance as one-time funding for school safety, including entry-way security technology in schools, and mental health services for children.

Additional resolutions adopted by the Board at the May 28 public hearing established two committees charged with making recommendations for the expenditure of the one-time $10 million – the Physical School Safety & Protection Funding Committee and the Supportive Mental Health for Students Funding Committee.  Through the establishment of these committees, the Board recognized the importance of receiving input from key partners, including the Douglas County School District (DCSD), charter and private schools, Douglas County law enforcement, and citizens with expertise in physical school safety and mental health.

The Committees worked through June 2019 with a goal to formulate its recommendations and supporting documentation to the Board of County Commissioners by July 3, 2019, with a possible extension to July 15, 2019. View Meeting Agendas / Minutes, click on meetings on the top toolbar, select Physical School Safety and Protection Funding Committee, and select 2019.

The Board of County Commissioners held a Special Work Session, on Tuesday, July 16 to hear funding recommendations and status reports regarding plans for the $13.3 million. Watch video.  View the Committee’s presentation to the Board of Douglas County Commissioners.

On August 7, 2019,  County launched the process for schools’ access to $10 million in mental health and school safety funds as well as top funding recommendations. Funding requests for eligible projects and services were due by 5 p.m. on Sept. 17, 2019.

On Sept. 18, 2019, the Commissioner announced Remarkable Response” to Douglas County’s $10 million commitment to schools“.  Requests represent majority of neighborhood, charter, and private schools in the County.

On Nov. 21, 2019, the Board of Douglas County Commissioners, via a live-streamed news conference, delivered their Report to the Community announcing Physical School Safety and Mental Health for Students Funding Decisions.  View the presentation.

On Jan. 14, 2020, the Commissioners awarded $6.8 million to Douglas County School District and additional funds of $7.7 million for physical school safety and $990,000 to support mental health for students. The remaining $1.3 million of the total $10 million was set aside by the Commissioners for innovation and emerging technology.  Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA)of $6,823,182 between Douglas County and the Douglas County School District.

The top funding recommendations from the Commissioners (not listed by priority):

  • Assessments (school building security; and school climate and culture);
  • School building security (limited and secured access; physical improvements to interior/exterior);
  • Training for law enforcement, security guards, school personnel, parents and students (active bystander training/threat reporting/community engagement; emergency response coordination training; internal school training; youth mental health first aid in middle and high schools);
  • Social-emotional learning, mental health supports and services, and suicide prevention and intervention (curriculum and programming);
  • Anonymous bystander reporting systems tied to mental health responses (expansion of the Text-a-Tip program and marketing campaign); and
  • Emergency and standard communication measures (commonality of emergency communication across all schools; alert system via an app on a cell phone).

Other funding requests were considered such as a pilot program for entryway security.

Read More

Supportive Mental Health for Students Funding Committee

The Committee was charged with determining what supportive school mental health and social-emotional initiatives, programs, services, and approaches really work and recommending those that could be supported, expanded or implemented with one-time funding from the County in partnership with the schools and the community.

Supportive Mental Health for Students Funding Committee

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