Apollo-Ridge to improve school security
The Apollo-Ridge School District is beefing up security for next school year.
District officials on Monday said they'll use a $25,000 state grant they received last week to improve their school security systems.
That's on top of another $28,800 grant received last month for a school resource police officer, all while the board contemplates bugging district buses for sound.
“We just want to keep our kids as safe as possible,” Superintendent Matt Curci said. “That's our top priority.”
Curci applied for the grants three months ago through the state Education Department's Office for Safe Schools.
The state gave Apollo-Ridge priority for the school resources officer grant and awarded it in mid-January. The district was given priority because its police officer, who works for the Kiski Township Police Department, is trained in interacting with children in school settings.
The grant requires the district to maintain the officer's position for another two school years and qualifies Apollo-Ridge to receive half the award again next school year without reapplying.
The $25,000 the district received last week is a Safe Schools Targeted Grant. It's awarded to districts that demonstrate plans to further prevent violence and improve their emergency preparedness.
Curci said the district received the grant to improve communication between buildings, video surveillance and visitor management. The plans are still in their beginning stages, he said, and are lacking specifics.
“We want to have it done by the fall of next year, but it's too early to tell,” he said. “We'll be discussing it more in the coming weeks when the money is finalized.”
Including the $53,800 the district received from the Office for Safe Schools, the district has accrued about $109,000 this year worth of state grants and subsidies to help offset its costs, according to Board President Greg Primm.
“We're very happy to have brought in that money for the district to help balance the budget,” he said.
It's still unclear whether Apollo-Ridge's 2014-15 preliminary budget will raise taxes, Primm said.
The district has already agreed in December, however, not to raise taxes beyond the state's 3.1 percent limit. More information will be available in the coming weeks, Primm said, as the district nears its May due date for preliminary budget approval.
One line item that may be included in the 2014-15 budget is the installation of audio surveillance on each of the district's buses.
The move was made legal this month when Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law Act 9 of 2014, which provides exemptions to school districts on certain wiretapping laws in an effort to prevent bullying.
Curci said the board will further discuss the matter next month and could potentially have the audio systems in place by the start of next year.
“It's not something we would implement until next year, and it's up for further discussion,” he said. “I think it would be help us protect our kids.”
Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pittsburgh man taken for wild ride on Route 28
- New Ken raid nets 2 suspects, $4,000 in drugs
- Suspect admits to arson in Harrison
- Freeport High School students rise to the challenge
- Allegheny Valley board approves contracts for assistants
- Highlands extends superintendent’s contract for 3 years
- Alle-Kiski seniors attend Walk the Red Carpet event
- Retired New Kensington attorney Robert McVey spent life helping people
- Mia Z voices no regrets after failing to advance on NBC show
- Entertainment attractions going strong in Pittsburgh Mills mall
- New Kensington-Arnold School District addresses bullying concerns