TJCA receives $250,000 school safety grant


AVONDALE — In keeping up with the school’s safety priority, Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy (TJCA) is happy to announce it has received a school safety grant of $250,000.

“At TJCA, we are honored that families trust their children are safe on our campuses and make the choice to be part of the Gryphon family,” said TJCA School Safety Director Tim Maki. “Every day the safety of the Gryphon family is our top priority! We are thankful for the state's support in making improvements and expanding our ability to protect our students, families, and employees.”

This grant will allow the school to provide security upgrades to both campuses. The updates included are related to door access control, video surveillance, traffic control, and communication systems. The grant also allows the school to have an SRO at the Grammar School.

TJCA was one of 200 schools to receive grant funding from the North Carolina Department of Instruction’s Center for Safer Schools. The $250,000 TJCA received is among the 70th percentile of all the schools and school districts across the state. 

“The School Safety Grant enhances schools’ efforts to keep our students safe,” said Karen W. Fairley, executive director of the Center for Safer Schools. “We’re thankful that we had the funding available to distribute, and we know it will go to good use.” 

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt said the funding is critical to ensuring that schools are safe for students and staff. “School safety is a top priority for the Department of Public Instruction as it is for students, families, educators – all of us,” Truitt said. “It goes without saying that safety is an essential condition for effective teaching and learning. The Center for Safer Schools did a great job ensuring that each applicant received as much funding as possible to meet that critical need.” 

About the School Safety Grant 

In 2018, the General Assembly worked with then-state Superintendent Mark Johnson to launch a new School Safety Grant Program to improve safety in public school units by providing grants for school resource officers, services for students in crisis, training to increase school safety, safety equipment in schools and additional school mental health support personnel. 

Since then, more than $120 million has been awarded to public school units across North Carolina.  

About the Center for Safer Schools 

The Center for Safer Schools serves to promote safe learning environments for North Carolina K-12 schools. The CFSS serves as a hub of information and technical assistance on school safety to school faculty and staff, law enforcement, youth-serving community agencies, juvenile justice officials, policymakers, parents/guardians, and students. CFSS staff focuses on school climate, school discipline, and emergency preparedness concerns for North Carolina’s public K-12 schools. CFSS staff is available to provide training, guidance, and technical assistance upon request for school faculty and staff and those working with children and adolescents. The CFSS is headed by Karen W. Fairley, executive director.