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Red Rock Elementary School to receive safety improvements

Red Rock Elementary School will receive new safety improvements, thanks to a $136,025 grant from the State of Minnesota. The school was randomly selected from a group of more than 1,000 schools that applied for $25 million in funding set aside by the state legislature for school safety improvements.

South Washington County Schools submitted grant requests for safety improvements for each of the 24 schools in the district, as well as the Next Step Program. However, Red Rock Elementary was the only one that was randomly selected to receive the grant.

Over the next two years, Red Rock Elementary will get a new check-in system operated by Raptor Technologies, which will help manage students and visitors going into and out of the school. In addition, a new door alert system will be installed, additional two-way radios with digital repeaters to increase range will be added, and enhanced audio systems with call and emergency buttons will be added to all classrooms.

District 833 was already working on assessing schools’ safety and security needs and was looking at the possibility of implementing these improvement measures districtwide.

“When the additional school safety funding was made available by the State of Minnesota, we looked closely at every school to evaluate their needs now and into the future,” said Bob Berkowitz, District 833 Director of Technology.

In all, District 833 submitted requests for nearly $4 million dollars for safety improvements. Due to the amount of school districts applying for funding, the Minnesota Department of Education held a lottery to determine which projects would be funded. However, selected projects were only awarded the funds if they met submission criteria.

“We are incredibly grateful for the funding to make improvements at Red Rock Elementary School. While we are confident that our schools are safe for our students and staff, we will continue to look for additional funding sources that will allow us to stay on the leading edge of technological advances in security for our district,” said Superintendent Keith Jacobus.

More details about safety improvements across the district will be made available to parents and families as they are implemented.