Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq on Friday announced that $2.6 million in competitive grants have been awarded to 110 public schools through the Safe Schools Targeted Grant to establish and implement programs to prevent and reduce incidents of violence.
The only district in Mercer County to receive a grant, Greenville Area, will get $25,000.
“Pennsylvania’s schools should be a safe haven for students, where their focus is on academics and reaching their highest potential,” Dumaresq said. “The Safe Schools Targeted Grants will provide schools with the resources they need to ensure that our schools will continue to be the safe learning environments that students, parents and teachers expect.”
The focus of the grant program is to assist schools by:
• Reducing unnecessary student disciplinary actions and promoting an environment of greater productivity, safety and learning;
• Providing professional development to staff using research-based violence prevention and classroom management programs; and
• Enhancing antiviolence efforts between schools and parents, local governments, law enforcement and community organizations.
Schools were eligible to receive up to $25,000, with the following programs considered for funding:
• Conflict resolution or dispute management.
• School-wide positive behavior support.
• School-based diversion programs.
• Classroom management.
• Research-based violence prevention programs that address risk factors to reduce incidents of problem behaviors among students.
• Training for Student Assistance Program team members.
• Staff training in the use of positive behavior supports, de-escalation techniques and appropriate responses to student behavior that may require immediate intervention.