CENTEGIX | Education

Utah School Safety Standards

CENTEGIX | Education

Utah School Safety Standards

CENTEGIX | Playbook

Utah’s Alyssa’s Law Playbook: The What, Why, and How for Utah Schools

In March 2024, Utah passed Alyssa’s Law, requiring Utah public and charter schools to “provide a staff person in each classroom with a wearable panic alert device that allows for immediate contact with emergency services or emergency services agencies, law enforcement agencies, health departments, and fire departments.” 

It went into effect May 1, 2024.

Learn about this important legislation, how it helps makes schools safer, and how Utah Schools can meet and exceed compliance in our Alyssa’s Law Playbook. Download your copy today.

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Alyssa’s Law Passes in Utah: Part of House Bill 84

Governor Spencer Cox recently signed Alyssa’s Law, authored by Sen. Don Ipson and Rep. Ryan Wilcox, into law. This legislation, included as part of the Utah’s largest school safety measure, H.B. 84, will require Utah public and charter schools to “provide a staff person in each classroom with a wearable panic alert device that allows for immediate contact with emergency services or emergency services agencies, law enforcement agencies, health departments, and fire departments.”

Alyssa’s Law is named for Alyssa Alhadeff, a victim of the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, and has been championed by Alyssa’s parents, Lori and Dr. Ilan Alhadeff. Alyssa’s Law has garnered support across the political spectrum as a common-sense solution for school safety.

The new law requires schools to adopt emergency communications systems such as CrisisAlert™part of the CENTEGIX Safety Platform™a rapid incident response solution that helps protect students and staff members by empowering teachers and staff to immediately get help with a discreet panic button on a wearable badge. CrisisAlert operates via a private network, the ideal solution for schools where gaps in Wi-Fi and poor cellular signals can often disrupt connectivity. With intelligent response mapping and campus-wide notification capabilities, CrisisAlert can simultaneously send a school into lockdown while immediately providing first responders with exact location information, enabling them to respond faster in an emergency situation. 

In addition to emergency communication systems, H.B. 84 also mandates:

School safety incident and data reporting requirements

School resource officer training

School safety needs assessment requirements

School guardian program

Designation of certain school safety personnel

Additional school safety requirements

 School Safety and Support Grant: House Bill 61

The Utah State Legislature recently passed a new school safety funding programThe School Safety and Support Grant. This grant program, also known as House Bill 61, allocates 72 million dollars for Utah schools to purchase safety and security enhancements for their campuses and creates new requirements for schools around safety and security.

“There are schools in our state that don’t have working intercoms,” Utah State Board of Education School Safety Specialist Rhett Larsen. “There are schools that don’t have locks on interior doors or locks that work on interior doors.”

In order to apply for the grant funding, schools must each have a designated school safety specialist on staff and complete a building safety assessment.

Allowable expenses include but are not limited to:

interoperable communication hardware and software systems

panic buttons

utilization of all-hazards response technology

The deadline to apply for this grant was September 15, 2023.

Additional Funding for Utah School Safety Solutions

Stronger Connections Grants

In late 2022, the U.S. Department of Education announced nearly $1 billion in awards through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA). In Utah, the Stronger Connections grants aim to provide students with safe and supportive learning opportunities and environments critical for academic success. Utah was awarded $5,100,063 through this program. 

Through the BSCA, Congress awarded $1 billion in funding to state educational agencies (SEAs) to develop state grant programs to give students 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 focuses on helping schools foster sustained learning, engagement, and attachment for students in Utah schools. The Stronger Connections Grant Program mandates that schools should accomplish this by becoming more resilient, supporting mental health, and improving school climate.

According to the Department of Education, schools should spend Stronger Connections Grant Program funds to: 

  • Implement evidence-based strategies that meet students’ social, emotional, and mental well-being needs. 
  • Create positive, inclusive, and supportive school environments.
  • Increase access to place-based interventions and services.
  • Engage students, families, educators, staff, and community organizations in selecting and implementing strategies to create safe, inclusive, and supportive learning environments. 
  • Design and implement policies and practices responsive to underserved students, protecting student rights, and demonstrating respect for student dignity and potential. 

Spending that qualifies for funding could include hiring counselors and nurses, providing teacher training on inclusion and behavioral interventions, expanding mental and behavioral services, and other related efforts to create a positive and supportive climate in Utah schools.

ESSER Funds for Utah

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. As of June 30, 2022, Utah has spent 25% of the funds awarded to the state.

For the first round of ESSER grants, Utah was allocated $67,821,787. The deadline to obligate those funds was Sept. 30, 2022. 

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act was passed in 2020. As part of the act, Utah’s ESSER II allocation was $274,071,684, and it must be obligated by Sept. 30, 2023. 

An additional round of funding was made available as part of the American Rescue Plan. Utah’s portion of those ESSER funds is $615,929,016, and the obligation deadline is Sept. 30, 2024. 

COPS School Violence Prevention Program

The COPS School Violence Prevention Program is oversaw by the U.S. Department of Justice. The money is earmarked for evidence-based school safety programs and technology.

Those funds can be used by schools to purchase school safety technology that helps identify potential dangers. The money can also be used to improve emergency notification and response systems. To learn more, visit the COPS website.

BJA’s STOP School Violence Program

The U.S. Department of Justice also has funds available through the Bureau of Justice Assistance. BJA’s STOP School Violence Program funds software that helps K-12 schools maintain a safe environment. It’s geared toward recognizing, responding to, and preventing violence on campus. Learn more here.

Federal Grants

The federal grants awarded to Utah for the 2022-23 school year include the following:

  • IDEA ARP: $25,634,595
  • IDEA: $164,244,575
  • Title I: $148,935,344
  • Title IV-A: $5,887,415

CENTEGIX Safety Report

2024 School Safety Trends: Saving Seconds Saves Lives

Discover our latest, comprehensive analysis of school safety incidents gathered from the CENTEGIX Safety Platform™ usage data for the 2023-2024 school year in our report 2024 School Safety Trends: Saving Seconds Saves Lives.

See what else our safety report reveals regarding safety in the classroom, state safety legislation, and critical components of school safety solutions. Download your copy today.

How Are Your Resources Being Spent?

CENTEGIX protects over 11,500 schools across the country. We can protect your school, too.

The CENTEGIX Safety Platform™, featuring CrisisAlert™, accelerates your response to emergencies. We’ve built the CENTEGIX Safety Platform to support you in the single most critical factor of incident response: time. Because in an emergency, every second matters.

Discover federal resources to fund new safety and security initiatives in your district by exploring federal funding resources for school safety.

CENTEGIX Webinars

Leveraging Safety to Improve Teacher Retention and Recruitment | March 2024

Harm Mitigation: Keeping Your Staff Safe | March 2024

School Emergency Response: A Police Chief’s Perspective | April 2024

School Safety: Keep It Easy | April 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:

A student was having trouble breathing and her vision was beginning to black out. We don’t have service in our building and it can be difficult to get ahold of the office staff, so having something to immediately alert them of emergency was incredibly helpful in a very scary situation.

Elementary school teacher

Clayton County Schools, GA

I had a student who was refusing to follow directions and became very defiant. This student was beginning to get aggressive. I used my badge to alert our campus security monitor to remove the student from the situation. It is a very useful tool when the response was as immediate as it was.

High school teacher

Clark County School District, NV

A student was having a severe panic attack, trouble speaking, crying, not able to answer my questions as to what was wrong with her. I used the device to call for administrative help and it worked like it was designed to. Help arrived in a matter of seconds. I saw firsthand how well it works.

Middle school teacher

Palm Beach County Schools, FL

Championing Safe Schools with Educators and Educator Associations

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?

Carly Smith

Regional Vice President

Phone: 828-582-6722

Email: csmith@centegix.com

Troy Bennett

Director, Regional Sales

Phone: 602-330-4281

Email: tbennett@centegix.com

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*By providing my phone number to CENTEGIX, I agree and acknowledge that CENTEGIX may send text messages to my wireless phone number for any purpose. Message and data rates may apply. CENTEGIX will only send one SMS as a reply, and I will be able to Opt-out by replying “STOP”. **No mobile information will be shared with third parties/affiliates for marketing/promotional purposes.*

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School Safety Standards by State

Schools in any state can meet school safety grant funding requirements by choosing CENTEGIX CrisisAlert™ solution.

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