Waterloo board discusses 2018 DOJ grant

October 10, 2018

WATERLOO -- Information regarding a 2018 state of Wisconsin Department of Justice school safety intervention team and mental health training grant that was recently awarded to the Waterloo School District was presented to the Waterloo School board by Waterloo School District business manager Sharon Peterson during Monday’s regular school board meeting.

The Waterloo School District was awarded the $44,389 DOJ school safety intervention team and mental health training grant, with $12,889 of the grant money going towards trauma and mental health training and team training. A total of $31,500 accompanied an $80,900 DOJ school safety initiative grant that was awarded to the District in July.

The requirements for the DOJ school safety intervention team and mental health training grant include having 10 percent of full-time teachers and counselors complete 12 hours of approved DOJ adolescent mental health training by August 2020.

The grant, which will advance baseline mental health and physical security improvements within school districts, utilized the remaining $45 million from the first round of grant funding and was opened to all eligible kindergarten through 12th grade public, private, charter and travel schools throughout the state of Wisconsin.

The grant funding can be used to pay expenses incurred from travel, lodging, meals, tuition and substitute pay associated with the DOJ adolescent mental health training.

In July, the Waterloo School District was awarded a DOJ school safety initiative grant totaling $80,900.

With a program description to “enhance or improve upon existing school or district efforts to prevent, mitigate, prepare for, respond to and/or recover from violence”, the safety initiative grant outlined two categories that included primary security and advanced security.

The DOJ school safety initiative grant included $900 under the primary security category for shatter resistance film in the District main entry and $80,000 for adverse childhood experiences and trauma informed care/trauma sensitive schools staff training and an updated intercom system that would allow communication between all classrooms throughout the building.

Peterson also updated the board on the time line for phase one of the general obligation school building bonds sale. The time line is:

-- From now until Oct. 23, the preparation of the official bond statement and rating presentation will take place.

-- On Oct. 23, the official statement will be sent to the Waterloo School District for review and on Oct. 26, the official statement will be submitted to the rating agency.

-- On Oct. 30, the notice of sale will be published in Bond Buyer followed by the Oct. 31 to Nov. 1 rating conference call.

-- The official statement will be distributed to the underwriter on Nov. 1 and the rating will be released and the credit report will be available on Nov. 7.

-- The Waterloo School Board will adopt the final award resolution with interest rates locked in during the Nov. 12 regular school board meeting.

-- Closing and delivery of funds to the Waterloo School District will take place on Dec. 10.

In other business, Waterloo prekindergarten through eighth-grade assistant principal Elizabeth Gould updated the board on the Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate safety training that has been taking place at the Waterloo School District.

Last week, teachers discussed each letter of ALICE with their students over the course of five days.

“We really wanted to give them a template of what they can do to work with their students,” Gould said in regards to a packet given to teachers that outlined ALICE and questions and resources related to ALICE.

“It’s really about having options and doing what’s best after you have acquired that real-time knowledge of what you can do to up the survival rate,” said Waterloo School District Administrator Brian Henning in regards to the ALICE training.

Prekindergarten through third-grade teachers read and discussed the ALICE training book “I’m Not Scared, I’m Prepared” with their students and additional copies of the book will be ordered and kept in their classrooms for future use.

“To my knowledge I think that ALICE is probably the most popular tool that people are using across the country. It is the only tool endorsed by all the major federal agencies and regardless of what tool that you use, I think it’s really about this change in concept that we’re just not going to do nothing anymore but sit around and wait for bad people to do bad things. We’re going to be proactive, we’re going to give people the tools to be prepared and respond in that event,” Henning said.

In other business, the board:

-- Approved the Sept. 10 regular meeting minutes and the Sept. 24 special meeting minutes.

-- Approved the hiring of Diane Preston-Breunig, district administrative assistant effective Oct. 18.

-- Approved the reassignment of Lynn Lovas from a 50 percent custodial and 50 percent kitchen position to a 100 percent custodial only position effective Sept. 24.

-- Approved the 2018-19 Waterloo Parent Teacher Organization fundraisers.

-- Approved the second readings of the following policies: policy 411.2 - the education of homeless children and youths, policy 411.3 - ensuring the educational stability of children in out of home care (foster care), policy 412.1 - full-time student, policy 420 - school admissions and admission to kindergarten and policy 421 - first grade (entrance age).

A second school board meeting for the month of October will be held on Oct. 22 at 6:30 p.m. in the high school library.

With the exception of area three treasurer Jeni Quimby, all school board members were present and the next regular meeting will be held Nov. 12.

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