Governor Phil Scott Announces School Safety Planning and Training Contract As Part of State's School Safety Strategy
Montpelier, Vt. - Governor Phil Scott and Commissioner of Public Safety Thomas Anderson today announced that the Department of Public Safety (DPS) will partner with Williston company Margolis Healy, to provide school safety planning, training and exercise assistance to Vermont schools. This partnership marks the second phase of a school safety strategy announced by the Scott Administration in February 2018, following the first phase of a statewide school safety assessment overseen by DPS.
“Ensuring the safety of Vermonters—especially our kids—is one of government’s most important responsibilities,” said Governor Scott. “I’m pleased with the coordination between state, local and private partners to develop and implement school safety upgrades and training to ensure we continue to have safe schools and communities.”
Margolis Healy will provide training and exercise guidance directly to schools and work with school administrators and public safety personnel to develop a standardized Emergency Operation Plan, simplifying the planning process for school districts and create statewide uniformity.
“We are taking a multi-tiered approach to school safety,” Commissioner Anderson said. “The Vermont School Safety Center offers best practices and recommendations on how to keep schools safe, and state funding has allowed schools to better control access and enhance security. The planning effort with a trusted partner like Margolis Healy is a critical step toward ensuring Vermont schools are prepared and safe.”
Funding for the contract with Margolis Healy comes from the Homeland Security Grant Program, building on last year’s $4 million state allocation for school building upgrades. 239 schools have upgraded, or are in the process of upgrading facilities with new door locks, cameras, public address systems and other infrastructure to increase the security of students and staff.
Margolis Healy is a professional services firm specializing in campus safety, security and regulatory compliance for higher and K-12 education and has worked with DPS and the Agency of Education for several years on school planning and security.
For more information on school safety planning in Vermont, visit the Vermont School Safety Center website: https://schoolsafety.vermont.gov/.