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Central Kitsap schools to share $2.4 million federal grant

"After a school year marred by a series of shootings and other violent incidents in schools, the 1999-2000 school year will begin with a grant aimed at reducing crime in the classroom. The Central Kitsap School District is one of 15 school districts in Washington that will share a $2,452,237 grant intended to help combat destructive behavior in schools. The grant is only a portion of the $106 million in grants President Bill Clinton awarded to school districts in the United States. Clinton announced the disbursement of funds during his weekly radio address on Saturday.“It shouldn’t take another tragedy to make this a priority. It’s time for Congress to put politics aside and send me a bill that puts our children’s safety first. Let’s make this school year the safest yet,” Clinton said in his weekly address.The Central Kitsap School District, along with the Bremerton, Brinnon, Cape Flattery, Chimacum, Crescent, North Kitsap, North Mason, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Queets-Clearwater, Quilcene, Quillayute Valley, Sequim and South Kitsap school districts are all part of the Olympic Educational Services District 114. That organization, which serves neaerly 55,000 students, will receive the grant.Kristin Schutte, student-assistance program coordinator with OESD 114, wrote the grant application with a team of five other Olympic district officials. The grant was submitted June 1. Schutte said OESD 114 found out about the $2.4 million grant on Monday. She said the grant money will be “evenly distributed,” to each school district according to the number of schools in each district.Central Kitsap School District officials had not been notified of the grant at press time and declined to comment.Schutte said the 200-page grant proposal addressed a number of elements, including creating a safe school environment, alcohol and other drug and violence prevention and early intervention programs, school and community mental health preventive and treatment intervention services, early childhood social and emotional development programs, school reform and safe school policies.“(The grant) will go toward helping support a safe school environment,” Schutte said.Schutte said the money will specifically go toward an increase in on-site, school-based services. She said a major emphasis will be on assisting schools in crisis management, including the implementation of a crisis response team.The OESD represents a consortium of 15 school districts, five county mental health agencies, four county sheriff’s departments and five police departments. "

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