Duluth Area Schools Receive Funding for Campus Safety Improvements

The MDE awarded schools in Minnesota $25 million to improve campus school security.

DULUTH, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is investing millions of dollars to make schools safer.

Ninety Minnesota public and charter school districts were awarded safety grants to help improve campus security.

The funds will make safety improvements available at 123 building sites across the state, including 14 schools within the Duluth School District.

The MDE awarded schools in Minnesota $25 million to improve campus school security.

Denfeld High School in Duluth will receive about $60,000 and Rockridge Academy will receive almost ten thousand dollars for secure building entrances.

“We don’t have hundreds of millions of dollars sitting around that we can just appropriate toward that particular need,” said State Sen. Erik Simonson. “But we’ve got to find out a way to get those funds to these school districts, so that we can provide a safe learning environment.

School district leaders say they want to upgrade many of the now updated computer systems at Denfeld that were installed 10 years ago, like the system for background checking for visitors.

And in the future introduce a program called RAPTOR, which is a system that helps screen registered sex offenders.

“It’s a matter of upgrading locks throughout the building and controlling the flow of traffic through the building before you even start talking about things like different types of glass that might help prevent something,” said Simonson.

Proctor High School is also on the list and was awarded more than $41,000.

The Duluth Police Department (DPD) applied for the two-year grant.

The DPD applied in July and just found out about the award on Tuesday.

Duluth Public Schools Superintendent Bill Gronseth and Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken went to school together for most of their lives and graduated from Denfeld.

So, with this grant they’ll continue their partnership with the ongoing mission of making school safer for all students and staff.

In total, Duluth Schools with the help of the police department, received about $450,000 in federal grant money to help the district with safety issues. About $70,000 would come from the state.

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