Olathe Public Schools Receives $1.5 Million in Grant Funds for Safety, Mental Wellness and Early Childhood

In the last month, Olathe Public Schools received $1.5 million total from different organizations for safety resources, mental health positions and early childhood development.

The Safety and Security Department was awarded a Safe and Secure Schools grant from the Kansas Department of Education (KSDE) for $421,700 for two separate projects – the implementation of Centegix CrisisAlert and a secured entrance upgrade.

“The safety of our students and staff is our top priority and we believe these two projects will have a significant impact on our educators’ and students’ safety,” Director of Safety Services Brent Kiger said. “We are thankful for this grant money that will free up funds for more safety and security measures.”
The KSDE also fully funded the Olathe Public Schools’ Mental Health Intervention Team Grant that will fund five therapist positions in the Olathe Public Schools. The grant provides 75% reimbursement to the Olathe Public Schools of the therapists’ salaries and benefits and provides Johnson County Mental Health with 25% of those clinicians’ salaries and benefits to support their services.

In addition, the Olathe Public Schools will be partnering with Resolve Counseling and Wellness Center in Prairie Village to provide therapeutic services to two Olathe schools—Olathe South and Oregon Trail. Funding for these positions is from the Olathe Public Schools Foundation.

“These programs allow the Olathe Public Schools to provide high quality therapeutic services to all of its students by licensed mental health providers within the school day, minimizing classroom absences, parent time away from their jobs, and at an extremely low or no cost to families,” Angie Salava, director of social emotional learning and mental health services, said.

The KSDE and the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund (KCCTF) awarded the Olathe Public Schools with the Early Childhood Block Grant, which provides supplemental funding to provide high quality preschool programs for children. Olathe Public Schools received $630,406 for the 2022-2023 school year.
“We are fortunate to be part of a school community that values early childhood education,” early childhood director Kim Hawkins said. “Our school district invests a significant amount of financial and human resources to support our youngest learners. Funding from the Early Childhood Block Grant will supplement available district, state, and federal funds to increase access to high-quality preschool programming for our most at-risk students.”

Grant applications are completed by Olathe Public Schools staff members who seek additional funding for their programs that will expand the opportunities for their initiatives. These specific grant awards for safety and security, mental health and wellness, and early childhood development will provide more support and innovation for the nearly 5,000 staff members and 30,000 students in the Olathe Public Schools.

About the Olathe Public Schools: The Olathe School District is the largest school district in the Kansas City metropolitan area and is located southwest of Kansas City, in Johnson County, Kan. The district serves students from Olathe and parts of Lenexa and Overland Park. Home to nearly 30,000 students and nearly 5,000 staff members, the district’s vision is Preparing Students for Their Future. For more information about the Olathe Public Schools, visit the district’s website at www.olatheschools.org.