The U.S. Department of Education today announced it is awarding an additional $219,720 to Placerville Union School District in Placerville, Calif., to help with ongoing recovery efforts following the shooting death of the principal at Louisiana Schnell School in February 2011 by a school custodian. The extended services grant, which is being made through the Department's Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) program and administered by the Office of Safe and Healthy Students, will provide additional support to the school district, which is comprised of Louisiana Schnell School, where the principal served, and two other schools. The additional funding will allow the district to continue restoring a safe and healthy school environment that is critical to teaching and learning. Placerville received its first Project SERV grant for $45,222 in June 2011.
"We want to do whatever we can to support ongoing recovery efforts," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. "These grants will help ensure that the school district has the resources necessary to meet the continued needs of its students, school staff and the community that were impacted by this terrible tragedy."
Placerville's nearly $220,000 grant will help to continue restoring a sense of security and safety, enable students to learn without anxiety and fear, and teachers to teach without grief. In addition, the district hopes to lessen the effects of the incident that rocked this small rural town with a population of slightly more than 10,000. The grant will financially support additional services such as counseling, staff development aimed at helping staff understand the impact of trauma on students and the hiring of a school resource officer.
The Department's Project SERV grants provide funding for school districts, colleges and universities that have experienced a significant traumatic event and need resources to respond, recover, and re-establish safe environments for students. The Office of Safe and Healthy Students has awarded more than $33.7 million through 112 grants, including Placerville, since the program began in 2001.
For more information about the Project SERV program, visit: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/dvppserv/index.html.