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Conroe ISD adds safety, security upgrades with $1M grant from TEA
February 2, 2021
New blue light emergency call boxes, radios, and an upgrade to the district’s visitor intake software are just a few of the items Conroe ISD purchased with a $1 million state grant over the past year.
Authorized by Senate Bill 500 from the 86th state Legislature, the 2019—21 School Safety and Security Grant set aside $100,000,000 to be distributed to school districts across the state for safety and security-related needs.
The bill outlines nine areas that districts could spend the money in: exterior doors with push bars; metal detectors; vehicle barriers; security systems that monitor and record hallways and exterior school doors; active-shooter alarm systems; two-way radio systems; perimeter fencing; impact-resistant glass; and door locking systems.
Ethan Barton, school safety coordinator for CISD, said that the district used the $1 million that was allocated to them to upgrade existing systems.
“The fortunate part for us is that we used it to extend existing programs, just to bolster them,” Barton said. “We’re already ahead of the game and just used the money to make what we have already in place better. And of course to provide a safer environment not only for our kids but for anybody that comes through our buildings.”
With the money, the district has been able to invest in multiple areas. Every campus in the district now has a hand-held metal detector; Raptor, the district’s visitor management system, got a complete software and hardware upgrade; new perimeter fencing where needed; refreshed outdoor signage; and 18 new emergency call boxes. Impact-resistant glass is already built into the plans for future district facilities.