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Safety grant will fund radios at Cathedral School

Cathedral School will receive a $20,000 School Safety Grant from the Wisconsin Department of Justice, one of 60 first-round school grants announced last week.

The funds will be used to update school communication with a new radio system, according to Principal Jaime Samarziya. Radios will be purchased for the entire staff, improving communication throughout the building during drills and events as well as safety threats.

The game plan is to have the new radios up and working by the beginning of the school year, Sept. 4, or soon after, Samarziya said.

"We were really excited that we received the grant," she said, noting she is pleased the school can apply for a second round of funding and continue down its list of safety needs.

According to the Department of Justice, about $45 million of the original $100 million allotted for school safety grants will remain following the first round of awards. The second round of funding will focus on initiatives to bolster student mental health as well as additional physical security upgrades.

The Legislature provided the $100 million and established the Department of Justice Office of School Safety in March, on the heels of a mass school shooting in Florida that killed 17.

To date, 605 Wisconsin schools and districts have been awarded more than $44 million in the first round of school safety grant funding.

Schools interested in applying for the second round of grant funding must do so by Aug. 13.