Secured School Safety Grant (SSSG) Program through IDHS fully funded for 2024!

Recent security upgrades at our school building will be expanded in the coming months thanks to an additional Secured School Safety grant (SSSG) through the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS). Like this past year, a $50,000 grant will be matched by another $25,000 provided by St. John’s, bringing our total, combined investment in upgrades to our equipment and technology to $150,000 in just two years.


The new keyless entry system will be expanded to areas of our facility that most impact our students and staff. Tech Centric Solutions will be expanding the system to include all nine classrooms, the school library, and five office doors (church, school, and counselor). Additionally, Chris with Schneider’s Lock and Security will be installing hardware at each classroom door that will make the doors both easier to hold open and more automatically close and latch when children are in class.

An automatic door closer will make sure each door closes completely and new electronic latches will keep the door secure. A keypad and card reader located in the hallway will provide easy access to teachers and students. A magnetic hold open will make sure classroom doors can be easily held opened and released as needed. New panic buttons will be installed in the office near each entryway making it easier to automatically release the doors in the event of an intruder or other emergency.


We have also set aside funds in this year’s budget to replace the pair of double-egress doors in the hallway that separates the preschool room from the rest of the school. The door does not close completely now and since it is a double-egress door it cannot be locked (a panic bar is on one door going into the space and the other door coming out). Since this is not required by fire codes, we hope we can finalize plans to replace this door with one that can be locked, securing the preschool classroom.


The big change this year will be the use of SHARED ACCESS CODES for school events such as parent-teacher conferences, basketball games, movie nights, and even science fairs/project nights.  A shared access code will be created and shared throughout the school community (students, parents, friends, etc.) so that everyone who should be in attendance can come and go easily, while others must at least ask for entry through the intercom located on the wall near Door #2.


PLEASE NO PIGGY-BACKING! Do your part to keep your children secure by not allowing an unknown person to “piggyback” on your entry into our building. A friend or family member is one thing … someone you do not know is yet another. For larger events, we will position someone strategically to watch the door, especially at the beginning of an event when many people are coming at the same time. However, after the event starts those without a code will have to push one of the two buttons to gain access.


We are planning ahead! Our “Fiscal Year 2025” SSSG Application will include upgrades to “large group” spaces that our school children use throughout the day, such as the gymnasium and cafeteria. Since we regularly use our church building for school purposes such as chapel and programs, we will also include keyless entry for at least one of the five (5) entry points in the church building. If the budget allows we will also work to eliminate the balance of the keyed locks in the building for storage and conference rooms.  Once we better secure these access points we can actually provide more customized access to pastors, faculty, staff, and even non-members who may need temporary access (e.g. delivery personnel, contractors, etc.)