When the School Safety Grant became available to private schools, the staff and safety committee team at Saint Paul Catholic School worked to get all their safety measures, documentation, security assessments, and other resources in place to apply for the grant. Their effort was rewarded this year when the school was awarded the grant.
Cybersecurity engineer Robert Delinsky and pharmacist Jerry Fagen who serve on the Saint Paul safety committee team were proud to receive the grant not only because it was a testament to the safety measures already in place, but also because the grant will help them add to their layers of security.
The staff and safety committee team’s dedication to safety led them to the decision to not only get all their security resources together but also to hire a grant writer, who Delinsky said was instrumental in the process of securing the grant. With children who attend Saint Paul, Delinsky and Fagen can attest to how good it feels to send their kids to a school that is committed to safety.
“From a security standpoint, this grant will get us closer to completing our layers of security,” Delinsky said. “It will also add to the overall marketing of Saint Paul. One of the big things that parents look for when checking out the school is safety. People ask what the safety measures and protocols, so we can respond and say that those safety measures are in place.”
The school staff and safety committee team has set their sights on a few projects they would like to complete to improve the security at the school. Two of these require a large financial contribution, so they have hosted a variety of fundraisers that, while successful, were not enough to complete these projects. The School Safety Grant will allow them to add more layers of security. While the police will obviously be contacted in any unsafe situation, these layers keep the students and staff safe until they are able to assist the school.
“We work closely with Porter County Sheriffs, who helped us get to where we are,” Delinsky said. “There are probably five or six different projects we have already tackled and put in place. We have layers of security that keep any intruders out of the building. We have measures if they are on the premises, and we have measures in place if they breach that first layer and get into the school. We have those layers in place to protect students before law enforcement arrives.”
Fagen is grateful for the support of parents and staff through fundraisers and other activities that have helped Saint Paul improve security.
“The staff is great,” Fagen said. “They have been great to work with. Father Doug had a long meeting with us. He was the chaplain at the prison, so he was really understanding of security protocols, barriers, and just understood safety on a personal level. When he goes to visit inmates, he’s used to all that protocol that goes along with going into a jail or prison.”
Delinsky said it was a sigh of relief to know that the two projects they had planned to improve school security will now get done through the money they have earned through the grant and fundraising. He advises any school that wants to apply for the grant to get start early, get all their resources together and hire a grant writer. Having all those things in place can help school’s get the funding they need to keep kids safe.
Fagen said that the community is thrilled that Saint Paul received the School Safety Grant.
“People we’re happy,” Fagen said. “A few people
reached out to me after the school posted it to Facebook. The people who knew
how long we had been working on this we’re just happy to see it get better.”
For more information about Saint Paul Catholic School, visit https://www.stpaulvalpo.org/.