Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is seeking a little more than $7 million in federal money aimed at making schools safer, and that launched some interesting discussion about risks and strategies.
The school board approved a $2.5 million request to the U.S. Department of Education to "expand the district’s capacity to assist schools in high violence communities in breaking the cycle of violence," the summary presented Tuesday says. "The 13 CMS Project Prevent schools serve a total of 11,035 students. A position will be developed that relieves school counselors and social workers from the non-specialized duties that frequently monopolize their time. In addition, student services staff will receive training and consultative support in the delivery of evidence-based counseling methods to support children who have experienced trauma."
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police reviewed crime in high school zones and found that the highest rates were in the West Charlotte, Garinger, Harding and Vance zones, in that order, according to the staffer making the report (I think, but am not certain, it was Karen Thomas, who is retiring as executive director of student support services.) West Charlotte High already gets support from the public-private Project LIFT, she said, so the grant focuses on the Garinger and Harding areas. Note that this refers to crime in the neighborhoods the schools serve, not to crime in the schools themselves.
Hidden Valley is in the Vance zone. The staffer said Vance and its feeder schools will be part of another request approved Tuesday, for almost $4.6 million from the Department of Justice to "develop knowledge about the specific programs, activities and interventions that improve school safety in a sustainable and cost-effective manner. The researcher will collect evidence and evaluate intervention approaches that enhance school safety," the summary says.