Groveport Madison forms Educational Trust fund; also school safety update


By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor
The Groveport Madison Board of Education approved a resolution to create an educational foundation trust to help fulfill some needs in the district.

“The Educational Trust is a board-led trust that will allow us to raise funds to fill in the gap for areas such as lunches and other specialty programming that will assist our students not covered by our current funds,” said Board President LaToya Dowdell-Burger.

She said the trust will be funded through donations from alumni, community partners, and the general public. The amount in the fund will be dependent on how much is raised through donations.

“The trust is solely dedicated to assisting the school district,” said Dowdell-Burger. “The board of education will guide how funding is allocated and spent.

When asked why the educational trust created, Dowdell-Burger said, “This idea came about under former board president Chris Snyder’s leadership where I served as his vice president. He saw a barrier and heard from a few community partners who wanted to donate to the school district. Therefore, we worked with our legal counsel to find out the best option to obtain donations and the Educational Trust was mentioned.”

Dowdell-Burger proposed a gala event this fall as a kick-off fundraiser for the foundation, however details about this event are not yet available.

School safety update
Safety measures are being put in place for the 2023-24 school year to improve safety for students and staff due to incidents of violence and other issues that have taken place in the schools.

Five Evolv weapons screening detectors were installed at the high school and one will be placed at the Cruiser Accel building. According to district officials, administrators have been trained, with training of the school’s staff to occur when they return to work. The district is leasing the weapons detection system through Stone Security, a vendor that’s part of a national purchasing consortium at a total cost of $644,259 paid over the course of four years.

“The Evolv weapon detection systems are walk-through systems,” Groveport Madison Communications Director Jeff Warner said earlier this year. “Their software platform enables the system to spot threats while ignoring harmless personal items. It uses real-time image-aided alarms to indicate precisely where the potential threat is detected on the person as they pass through the sensors.”

Other safety measures being put in place include: visitor management systems where visitors scan their driver’s license or state ID card for a background check; safer entry ways that create a secure location to meet visitors; two additional social workers at the high school and one at each of the three middle schools; five additional security staff to assist with the weapons detectors and at the elementaries; and additional school resource officers from the Groveport Police and Madison Township Police.

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