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Revolutionizing School Safety: States Take Action Following Tennessee Shooting to Ensure a Secure Learning Environment

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In June 2022, Gov. Reynolds announced $100 million in school safety funding to support Iowa’s 327 public school districts and 183 nonpublic and independent schools during a press conference with the Department of Public Safety, Department of Education, and the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

This dedicated new funding will provide vulnerability risk assessments free of charge for all 1,500 K-12 school buildings in the state and create a School Safety Improvement Fund, making up to $50,000 available per school building to implement recommended safety measures. School districts can combine these funds with their ESSER funding allocations to cover additional costs to implement safety improvements. 

The funding also builds upon the foundation of the Governor’s School Safety Bureau to support all schools and law enforcement partners with prevention, training, and response strategies. A portion of the funding will be utilized to implement technology and tools, including proactive social media scanning software, an anonymous reporting tool, digital critical incident mapping, and specialized training.


As a response to the increase in mass shootings exacerbated by the pandemic, the State of Iowa has designed this program as a proportional response to the harm experienced. This program addresses the overall pandemic trend of increased mass shootings, and more specifically school shootings.

This program allows schools to perform security assessments in concert with local authorities and assist the schools in creating and improving school security plans; as well as invest in minor capital improvements for security enhancements from one or more of the six categories identified as eligible minor capital improvements.

The six categories of eligible minor capital improvements are:

    1. entry control
    2. electronic security and communication systems
    3. barriers
    4. perimeter security
    5. illumination
    6. building envelope


Minor capital improvements include but are not limited to:

      • Locks
      • ID actuated systems
      • Duress alarms
      • Intrusion detection systems
      • Radios
      • Mass notification systems



What is the maximum award that each school district or nonpublic school is eligible to receive?

For the purposes of this grant, the maximum amount of funds that a school district or a nonpublic school is eligible to receive is based on total school building count multiplied by $50,000 (e.g., three buildings will generate $150,000 in grant funds). The budget for the school safety improvement grant was based on the 2021-2022 building count as reported by each district/system in the 2021-2022 BEDS (Basic Educational Data Survey).

Are the school safety improvement grant funds restricted to the school buildings included in the 2021-2022 building count?

Security improvements on any eligible school building, as defined by the program’s policy, could be eligible for reimbursement (up to the maximum possible award) if the use of funds addresses a security issue identified in the school’s vulnerability assessment.

How is a school building defined?

Per the definitions of school buildings and attendance centers found in Iowa Administrative Code 281-14.3 and 281-17.2, respectively: “Any public or non-public attendance center containing classrooms used for instructional purposes for pre-school, elementary, middle, or secondary school students.” This does NOT include community partner preschools.


1. To be eligible to apply for School Safety Improvement funding, a current vulnerability assessment is required. Upon completion of a vulnerability assessment(s), school districts (public and private) may apply for the School Safety Improvement grant funding.

2. The school district must be listed on the 2021-2022 BEDS report, which is used to determine the maximum school safety grant award amount per school district.

3. Proof of appropriate coordination and necessary approval from the State Fire Marshal or the School District’s local fire inspector prior to installation of minor capital improvements and/or other associated security enhancements or modifications will be required to be eligible for reimbursement under this subaward. [Documentation providing proof of this compliance is required as part of the reimbursement request.]


A copy of a valid vulnerability assessment and/or other documentation must be submitted as part of the completed application and meet the following requirements:

  • Must include defined vulnerabilities and options for consideration to mitigate vulnerabilities
  • Any vulnerability assessments completed prior to the application cannot be more than 3 years old

A vulnerability assessment must be completed by one of the three options listed below:

  • Assessment by the State of Iowa and/or the State of Iowa contracted 3rd party entity
  • Assessment by Law Enforcement
  • Assessment by Vulnerability Assessment Services Providers (Contracting with a VASP will not be a reimbursable expense; a vulnerability assessment completed utilizing a school self-assessment tool or VASP other than the State of Iowa and/or the State of Iowa contracted 3rd party entity will be required to have an official letter from local law enforcement validating the vulnerabilities and options for consideration identified from the self-assessment.)

Superintendents and head nonpublic school administrators can request an assessment through the School Safety Vulnerability Assessment Survey, located in the Other folder on the main Consolidated Accountability and Support Application (CASA) dashboard.

Each school district and nonpublic school that requests a vulnerability assessment through the CASA survey will be contacted via phone by the State of Iowa’s third-party contracted entity, Tetra Tech, to establish communications. Once initial contact has been made, Tetra Tech will work with the point of contact at each district and nonpublic school to schedule their vulnerability assessments. Learn more about the requirements here.


S E P T E M B E R  1 ,  2 0 2 4 : Notice of Interest Submission Due Date

O C T O B E R  1 ,  2 0 2 4 : School Safety Capital Improvement Grants Application Due Date

D E C E M B E R  3 1 ,  2 0 2 4 : End of School Safety Grant Period of Performance

  • The period of performance begins at the time of receipt of the approved subaward documentation and ends on December 31, 2024.
  • All costs incurred prior to the approved subaward and after December 31, 2024, are not eligible uses of these funds.
  • All costs associated with an approved application must be incurred (obligated to pay) on or before December 31, 2024.
  • All work must be completed, and reimbursement submitted to and paid no later than December 31, 2025, or 60 days after the completion of work, whichever comes first.



The first step is to obtain a Unique Entity Identification (UEI) number, if you do not already have one. Be sure that your UEI number is publicly viewable. Request your UEI number here.

After completing the School Safety Vulnerability Assessment Survey, via the CASA System, the school district Point of Contact listed in the survey will receive the School Safety Grants Application Package via email, which contains instructions on how to register for access for the School Safety Improvements Program and the School Safety Grant Application Excel file (only school districts that respond Yes to the School Safety Improvement Grant Program question will receive a grant application). Within the EMGrants Portal, you may submit an Access Request for School Safety Improvements funding.


1. School districts (public and private) must indicate and provide their Notice of Interest (NOI) in the School Safety Improvement grant funding opportunity through completion of the “School Safety Improvement Funding NOI” survey in the Consolidated Accountability and Support Application (CASA) system. The survey is located in the “Other” folder on the main CASA dashboard.

2. Once a school district (public and private) has indicated their notice of interest via the survey, the grant application and instructions will be provided, via email, to the school district’s point of contact designated within their survey response.

3. Verify that the current vulnerability assessment is completed for each school building for which funds are being sought. Vulnerability assessments must include defined vulnerabilities, options for consideration to mitigate vulnerabilities, and meet all other state vulnerability assessment requirements.

4. Submit the completed Excel application and signed documents via upload into the EMGrants portal.


Demonstrating Success in Education

CENTEGIX believes that school should be a place where students can learn and grow safely and with a sense of well-being. As the leader in discreet, wearable panic buttons, CENTEGIX contributes to school safety by providing instantaneous communication with first responders in the event of any threat to the health and safety of students and educators.

Learn how CrisisAlert has made a difference across the country in our ebook. Download your copy today →

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CENTEGIX and AEA Purchasing

AEA Purchasing is an initiative of the Iowa Association of Area Education Agencies (IAAEA). Their goal is to combine the purchasing power of Iowa schools to offer aggressive pricing on materials, goods and services through a competitive bid process.

AEA Purchasing is also a participating member of the Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies (AEPA). AEPA is a non-profit, multi-state purchasing organization that enables schools of all sizes to purchase at equal buying levels. Being a part of this unique group allows their eligible clients in Iowa to benefit from reduced pricing from national vendors. Contracts are “nationally bid…locally awarded.”

CENTEGIX is proud to be a vendor partner of AEA Purchasing. Learn more here.

CrisisAlert™ Provides Grant-Funded Safety Measures

CENTEGIX CrisisAlert is an emergency incident response system that features wearable panic buttons which generate accurate, usable data. The CrisisAlert school safety solution uses visual strobes, digital messages, and automated intercom announcements to inform everyone of a campus-wide incident and to instruct them on actions they should take. CrisisAlert meets the security infrastructure needs the Iowa school safety grants aim to address.

CrisisAlert features an analytics dashboard that assists administrators as they make safety and security decisions. A data set is generated when a staff member uses their wearable badge to call for assistance. Administrators can better understand where and why, and under what conditions. These administrative decisions, enabled by CrisisAlert data, contribute to the “positive and safe climate” that the safety grants aim to foster. 

The CrisisAlert school safety solution provides robust and uninterrupted communication between staff members, administrators, first responders, and students. Unlike other emergency incident response systems, CrisisAlert’s technology precludes adoption and connectivity challenges. CrisisAlert runs on a dedicated IoT network; it’s not susceptible to wi-fi or cellular connectivity interruptions. And because the CrisisAlert mobile panic button is worn along with an ID badge, 100% of staff members use it. This high adoption rate means that every staff member at every location on campus can call for help when they need it. CrisisAlert generates accurate location data for every alert, no matter where on campus. Therefore first responders know exactly where to go during an emergency. In many instances, this kind of rapid response can prevent tragedy. 

These critical features of the CrisisAlert badge from CENTEGIX ensure an immediate response: 

    • Desktop takeover notifications for staff mean campus-wide alerts are never missed.
    • Location accuracy enables rapid response.
    • The system immediately connects the parties best prepared to handle the situation.
    • Wifi and phone outages have no effect on the system.
    • Wearable security badges are easily accessible, lightweight, and wearable. 

CENTEGIX CrisisAlert can help school districts and LEAs enact these measures, making students and staff safer. The CrisisAlert school safety solution helps create a climate of safety by enabling staff members to call for help instantly, from anywhere on campus, in any type of emergency. Under these conditions, teachers can focus on student needs, and students can focus on learning. 

CENTEGIX is the leader in incident response solutions. Our CrisisAlert platform is the fastest and easiest way for staff to call for help in any emergency, from the everyday to the extreme. CENTEGIX creates safer spaces by innovating technology to empower and protect people, and leaders nationwide trust our safety solutions to provide peace of mind. To learn more about CENTEGIX, visit



Wearable badge with a single button enables confident human action. Users are not required to download an app.


With the simple push of a button, alerts instantly reach administrators and responders.


Our network secures every square foot of your property – there are no dead zones. Badges function everywhere.


Facility-wide alerts communicate emergency information using colored strobe lights, desktop alerts, and intercom integration.


Our innovative technology determines the location of the alert, down to an individual room.


Solutions installed with no alterations to physical structures or electrical wiring are required.

CENTEGIX CrisisAlert vs Mobile Apps

CrisisAlert eliminates vulnerabilities related to app-only solutions and enables rapid incident response to every scenario.


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