The U.S. Department of Education today announced it is awarding an additional $269,530 to Chardon Local School District in Chardon, Ohio, to help with ongoing recovery efforts following the 2012 shooting death of several students and injuries to others. 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 near Cleveland in rural Geauga County. The additional funding will allow the district to continue restoring a safe and healthy school environment that is critical to teaching and learning.
"We want to do whatever we can to support ongoing recovery efforts in Chardon," 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 tragedy."
Chardon Local School District received its first Project SERV Immediate Services grant in June 2012 in the amount of $56,031. The district used the grant to restore the learning environment through an immediate and short-term recovery program that included the hiring of a security guard, support activities to address those in trauma and more. However, there is a need for additional support as students and staff continue to experience anxiety and students' academic performance across all grade levels has dropped since the tragedy.
Chardon's nearly $270,000 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 class disruptions. In addition, the district hopes to lessen the effects of the incident that rocked this rural community. The grant will financially support a Healing Committee consisting of mental health agencies and providers, including the National Center for Bereavement and Trauma and other centers that work with trauma victims, to assist students and faculty. The committee has taken the lead in developing the recovery plan and the implementation phase of recovery.
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 million through 110 grants, including Chardon, since the program began in 2001.