Quick Guide to Federal Funding for Student Safety Initiatives
Student safety and well-being will always be a top priority in education. Not only is it a benchmark for measuring how well your school community is thriving. It’s also paramount to supporting the academic success and improved education outcomes of students.
That being said, student safety and well-being are only getting harder to support. Namely because education (and student life) continues to digitize. As students head online for school, entertainment, and socialization, it becomes more challenging for schools to shelter them from harmful content, defend them from bullies, and watch for obvious warning signs that something is wrong.
Thankfully, federal and state governments are recognizing this. You see more and more in the news that officials realize the need to invest in solutions to protect students in an evolving education environment. Here are just a few examples:
- West Middlesex, Reynolds schools pursue funding towards safety, mental health
- Baker assembling $40 Million school safety plan
- Governor Dewine announces safety and security support to help over 1,00 Ohio schools
- Governor Wolf Announces $190 Million Available for Schools to Promote Healthier, Safer Environments
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for pursuing student safety. However, there is an increasing amount of available aid to help support a variety of safety initiatives. These funds can cover a wide range of activities from hiring additional security and counseling staff to implementing digital filtering, monitoring, and safety alert tools.
Whatever student safety measures you’re planning, here is a quick reference guide to help you understand some different types of grants and aid that you can use to make school a safer place for your students.
Student and School Safety Resources
Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER)
This set of funds and acts address how COVID-19 has had an effect on the nation’s educational institutions and students. They help support schools in safely reopening, recovering and sustaining healthy operations as a result of the pandemic.
Office of Safe and Supportive Schools (OSSS) Programs
These programs are organized in two groups, supporting grantees throughout the nation: The Safe and Supportive Schools group and the Student Support and Academic Enrichment group. Their main goal is to focus on the health and well-being of students as well as school safety, security and emergency management, and preparedness. The two groups administer a number of programs including:
This grant program is used to help schools and school districts that are exposed to pervasive violence.
Project Prevent funds can be used to expand the capacity of local educational agencies (LEAs). With that, they can identify, assess and apply strategies in communities and schools that help prevent and reduce the impacts of exposure to community violence. According to the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, the projects must address and include:
- Severity and magnitude of the problem and identification of schools to be served by the proposed project;
- Collaboration and coordination with community-based organizations;
- Project Activities designed to promote a safer and improved school environment;
- Evidence-based, culturally and linguistically competent, and developmentally appropriate programs and practices; and a
- Framework for planning, implementation, and sustainability
School Climate Transformation Grant Program
A grant program helping schools and school districts with their systems of support related to climate programs by developing, enhancing and expanding them. They work on implementing an evidence-based and multi-tiered behavioral framework that assists in improving learning conditions and behavioral outcomes for students.
Student Support and Academic Enrichment Program
This program addresses supporting safe and healthy student programming. The main focus is on well-rounded educational opportunities for in-person and virtual classroom settings. The goal of this program is to assist in 3 categories:
- Providing students with access to a well-rounded education
- Improving the conditions in a school necessary for student learning
- Using technology and improving its use in schools to better the academic achievements and digital literacy of students.
Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance (TA) Center
The REMS TA Center provides things like guidance, training, tools, resources, and more in support of the nation’s higher education and k-12 school safety, security and emergency management and preparedness.
National Center on Safe and Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE)
The NCSSLE addresses a variety of subjects to create safe and supportive learning environments in schools including bullying and violence prevention tools. The center is devoted to providing training and technical assistance to schools, school districts, and educational agencies.
Youth Violence Prevention Program
A grant that provides funding to enhance strategies that prevent youth violence. To apply, applicants need to create a youth violence prevention strategy that targets ages in middle school and high school and/or youth having multiple risk factors for violence.
School Emergency Response to Violence (Project SERV)
Project SERV funds education-related services for a short-term period in support of local educational agencies and institutions of higher education. This project helps schools that are recovering from a violent or traumatic event that has caused learning environments and students’ well-being to be disrupted. This fund can also cover the damage from a major natural disaster.
STOP School Violence Program
The funds for this program are used to prevent violence in K-12 schools by assisting county, local, territorial and tribal jurisdictions in improving efforts to reduce violent acts/crimes in and around educational institutions.
Promote Student Safety At Your School
There are many other grants that support schools in assisting with student well-being and educational safety. To find even more specific grants available to your school, visit the Grants Finder tool.
If you have any questions about technology solutions that can help you promote student safety at your school, contact a Trafera rep to help find a solution for your students.
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With Trafera on your team, we’ll work together to navigate the complexities of today’s learning environment in a supportive and empowering way. Contact us today to learn more about providing your students with a more engaged and a more connected experience this school year and beyond.