Local schools receive state grants to improve security

Shenandoah, Warren and Frederick county school divisions have been awarded grants from the state for school security equipment.

Shenandoah County received the maximum school security grant award of $100,000 to install security equipment at Central, Stonewall Jackson and Strasburg high schools.

Superintendent Jeremy Raley said, “It’s a step in the right direction.”

He noted this amount still doesn’t meet the requirements of the county, but “this helps us.”

The grants are part of the $6 million in school security grants awarded to 519 Virginia schools this month.

The grant money will go toward installing video monitoring systems, metal detectors, classroom locks, electronic-access controls, visitor identification systems, and other security features.

Shenandoah County will install new security cameras and equipment in the local high schools.  Raley said installation of the equipment will begin in the next several months and will be completed by the end of the school year.

The state gave priority to schools that are in most need of modern security equipment and are least able to afford these upgrades. A requirement of the grant is that the counties make a 25 percent match.

Warren County Public Schools were awarded $31,786 for security equipment for A.S Rhodes Elementary, E. Wilson Morrison Elementary, Leslie Fox Keyser Elementary and Ressie Jeffries Elementary.

Melody Sheppard, Warren County schools assistant superintendent for administration, said indoor and outdoor security cameras will be installed at all four elementary schools. Door access equipment will also be installed at E. Wilson Morrison and Leslie Fox Keyser.

“The safety of our students is our priority and we will continue to do our best to provide a safe environment for our students to learn,” Sheppard added.

Frederick County was awarded $6,520 for equipment for Apple Pie Ridge and Stonewall elementary schools, and James Wood and Sherando high schools.

According to Steve Edwards, coordinator of policy and communications for Frederick County Public Schools, the money will be used during the current fiscal year and will allow for the installation of additional security cameras at these schools.

“The school division is pleased to again receive grant funding to help us enhance our school safety and security efforts. Although it is not a great deal of money, it is welcomed as we continue to incrementally improve security within our schools,” Edwards said.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com