CENTEGIX | Education

Maryland School Safety Standards

CENTEGIX | Education

Maryland School Safety Standards

In March 2024, the Maryland General Assembly will hold a hearing on whether to renew and restart funding for HB0738, the “School Safety Enhancement Act of 2023.” This legislation would increase the annual appropriation to the Maryland Safe Schools Fund from $10 million to $20 million beginning in fiscal year 2025. Safe Schools Fund grants are distributed by the Maryland Center for School Safety to assist districts in creating effective school safety plans. Grant funding will go to local school systems and law enforcement agencies to assist in meeting an annual reporting requirement on law enforcement coverage in public schools.

Maryland HB0472 mandates and funds critical incident mapping technology in schools. This legislation establishes a School Mapping Data Program in the State Department of Education to provide funds to county boards to produce school mapping data for public and charter schools within each county. The purpose of these maps is to assist first responders in responding to emergencies in schools.

Maryland School Safety Grant Program

The Maryland School Safety Grant Program funds long-term capital facility improvements that focus on improving school safety plans. Funded projects include:

Panic buttons

Proximity card readers

Door monitoring systems

New security systems

Metal detectors

Installation of card access systems

Access control systems, including safety/security stations

Door improvement and replacement and door intercoms

Other security and safety projects as identified by the local school system (LSS)

Wayfinding signage and campus fencing

According to North Carolina State Superintendent Catherine Truitt, “Nothing is more important than making our schools safer and more secure, and these grants will continue to play a vital role. This funding will help improve school security in many ways, including updating technology and training to prevent future emergencies.”

The CENTEGIX Safety Platform: Creating a Culture of Safety

The CENTEGIX Safety Platform is the foundation of a multilayered school safety plan. The Safety Platform helps districts meet the Maryland Center for School Safety’s reporting requirements and qualify for grant funding.

CENTEGIX Safety Platform solutions include:

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CrisisAlert

CrisisAlert™, a school alert system that features wearable mobile panic buttons for rapid emergency response during emergencies, from the everyday to the extreme.

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Safety Blueprint

CENTEGIX Safety Blueprint™ uses dynamic digital mapping technology to locate safety assets and accelerate school communication and response times. 

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Visitor Management

Enhanced Visitor Management technology that provides immediate location visibility on school campuses and allows staff to authenticate, manage, and locate visitors.

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Reunification

Cloud-based reunification software that enables staff and administrators to gain visibility into the status of all evacuated individuals and confidently reunite students with their approved guardians. 

These CENTEGIX solutions create the foundation for a culture of safety that prioritizes staff and students’ security and well-being. The following features of the CENTEGIX Safety Platform make it an effective Maryland school safety solution:

Reliable communication: no Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity is required.

Ease of adoption: staff is not required to download or learn to use an app.

Rapid access to first responders: staff can connect immediately to diverse emergency services.

Communication in emergencies: first responder agencies can coordinate in real time.

Instant alerts: integration with local public safety answering points facilitates 911 calls and mobile notifications.

Federal Funding for Maryland School Safety Solutions

Stronger Connections Grant

In late 2022, the U.S. Department of Education passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), through which nearly $1 billion in awards would be distributed to America’s schools. Under this legislation, the Stronger Connections Grant Program was created. These grants aim to ensure Maryland students’ academic success by creating safe and supportive learning opportunities and environments. Maryland was awarded $16,990,815 through this program.

The BCSA empowers state educational agencies (SEAs) to develop grant programs supporting safer and healthier learning environments. The BSCA specifies that SEAs must award these funds competitively to high-need LEAs, as determined by the state. 

This grant specifies that awardees must foster sustained engagement, attachment, and learning for Maryland students. The Stronger Connections Grant Program mandates schools to focus on becoming more resilient, supporting mental health, and improving school climate.

According to the Department of Education, schools should invest in Stronger Connections Grant Program funding in the following efforts:

  • implementing evidence-based strategies that support students’ social, emotional, and mental well-being needs 
  • creating inclusive, positive, and supportive school environments
  • improving accessibility of behavioral interventions and services
  • involving students, families, educators, staff, and community organizations in implementing strategies to create safe, inclusive, and supportive learning environments
  • developing policies and practices responsive to underserved students that demonstrate respect for student dignity and potential

Eligible spending includes hiring counselors and nurses, increasing staff training on behavioral interventions and inclusion, increasing access to mental health services, and other related efforts to create a positive and supportive climate in Maryland schools.

ESSER Funds

As part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds were made available to address the pandemic’s impact on student safety and mental well-being. Maryland was awarded $3,029,144,388 in ESSER funds.

For the first round of ESSER grants, Maryland was allocated $207,834,058.

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (ESSER II) was passed in 2020. Maryland’s ESSER II allocation was $868,771,243.

An additional round of funding was made available as part of the American Rescue Plan. Maryland’s portion of those ESSER funds is approximately $1,952,539,087, and the obligation deadline is Sept. 30, 2024.

COPS School Violence Prevention Program

The U.S. Department of Justice oversees the COPS School Violence Prevention Program, which distributes funding for evidence-based school safety programs and technologies. School safety solutions that help identify potential dangers are eligible for COPS funding. Districts can also use funds to improve emergency notification and response systems, including Maryland school alert systems. To learn more, visit the COPS website.

BJA’s STOP School Violence Program

The U.S. Department of Justice has also made funds available through the Bureau of Justice Assistance. BJA’s STOP School Violence Program funds the purchase of school safety software designed to help K-12 schools maintain a safe environment. This program’s priorities are recognizing, responding to, and preventing violence on campus. BJA will allocate $82 million to STOP School Violence Program competitive grants in fiscal year 2024.

Hear from Our Educators

We engage with teachers and staff every day to understand how CrisisAlert supports them, and here’s what they’ve shared:

The 1st time I used it for a student defiant behavior. The lead teacher was absent that day and our classroom phone was not working for us to call the front office. The 2nd time it was a fight during dismissal on the school bus. I feel everyone should have this device because it cutdown the time for help to come, it gives location and the name of the person who needs help. This device should be a safety measure for every company in the US.

Elementary school teacher, TX

A student passed out in my classroom. I was able to use the CrisisAlert badge to quickly summon the nurse, principal, and assistant principal to my classroom to provide assistance. The badge was on my lanyard so I did not have to leave the student’s side to access the phone for assistance. Help was immediately notified, and they were able to quickly get to my classroom to offer assistance.

Elementary school teacher, KY

I have used my badge to call for help multiple times, for a student having seizures, and violent behaviors from a student. I have raved and recommended this system to others that work in different school districts. this button makes me feel safe and ready to help in emergency situations. I also have a daughter here at Ike and I am thankful for all staff having their Centegix button ready in an emergency!

High school teacher, WA

Championing Safe Schools with Educators and Educator Associations

Douglas County Schools
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Yakima School District, WA, color logo
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CENTEGIX CrisisAlert vs. Mobile Apps

CrisisAlert eliminates vulnerabilities related to app-only solutions and enables rapid incident response to all emergencies.

In an Emergency, You Need CrisisAlert™

Adverse situations can happen at any moment—from everyday crises such as medical emergencies, severe weather, and physical altercations to extreme situations that threaten your entire campus. The faster you get help to the right location, the better the outcome.

See how our CrisisAlert wearable mobile panic button empowers staff to get help instantly in an emergency. 

Ready to Connect with a CENTEGIX Specialist to Learn More?

Ryan Baswell

Channel Manager

Phone: 330-814-0934

Email:

John Marchei

Regional Vice President

Phone: 401-269-9826

Email:

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