File Photo – Lake County Regional Office of Education | Provided Photo

Lake County has received a grant that officials say will be used toward training school personnel and educating students on preventing school violence.

Lake County Regional Office of Education (LCOE) Superintendent Dr. Michael Karner announced earlier this week that LCOE was awarded a $1 million grant.

The grant is made available through the Department of Justice’s STOP School Violence Program.

The program is designed to improve K-12 school security by providing students and teachers with tools to recognize, respond quickly to and help prevent acts of violence.

Karner said the grant will be used toward training school personnel and educating students on preventing school violence, including strategies to improve the school climate.

The grant funds are intended to be utilized over the next three years by LCOE.

LCOE directly oversees 214 schools and 110,000 students in Lake County while also administering the Illinois Virtual School and Academy.

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The grant will provide students, through technology-enabled means, the ability to ask for and receive mental health, wellness, community and other types of support.

Karner said intensive support will be provided to marginalized youth, who have been referred to online learning or virtual school settings and who may be at a higher risk of harm to themselves or others.

Intensive support will also be given to students who attend SAFE schools or who have been part of the juvenile justice system.

The county also may use the grant funding to hire school support personnel such as school psychologists, school social workers and others to support the prevention of school violence.

Karner said the staff will provide services to students who are returning from online alternative learning to traditional brick-and-mortar school after discipline, school refusal and mental health issues.

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