Superintendent Janet Robinson says the school district's plan to apply for a grant through Project SERV (School Emergency Response to Violence) has almost come to fruition, although it's been delayed along the way as school officials decide what belongs in the request and what doesn't.
"We expected to have it done before, but things keep coming up that we think should be included," she said. She added that "nothing has been removed," although the district didn't include items it wasn't able to make a good rationale for.
At a Feb. 5 Board of Education meeting, Robinson had said the grant would go out within the week.
Robinson is in California today for the American Associate of School Administrators conference. While there, she says she will have a meeting with psychologist Melissa Brymer with the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress at the University of California-San Diego. Rymer previously worked on similar grant applications afte the Oklahoma City bombing, Robinson said.
She says the district expects to finalize and submit the application by Friday. Specific numbers won't be available for a few days. But there are a number of definites in the request.
"Anything related to recovery: What is it we need to recover?" she said. "We're looking at guidance counselors. We're looking at additional security people, so people can feel comfortable. We're also looking at a coordinator of mental health services."
The grant would also provide for a coordinator at the central level to handle the logistics of all the district's new intakes.
"It allows you to replenish some of those costs we're going through right this minute," like a replacement assistant principal, said Robinson.
SERV grants typically last for fifteen months, with a three-month extension.
"Because this is such a serious situation, we are going to ask that this deadline be extended to four years," said Robinson. "We can ask, right?"
Robinson says she isn't aware of the timespan for the grant ever being extended, especially by so long.
"This is unprecedented," said Superintendent Janet Robinson. "So we need to talk about unprecedented recovery."
Project SERV is a program of the United States Department of Education. It is designed "to help [schools] recover from a violent or traumatic event in which the learning environment has been disrupted," according to its web site.