North Star Academy receives school safety grant

Douglas County dispersing money among local facilities

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Another school received a lift in funding for school security and mental health programming on Feb. 11 as Douglas County commissioners continued approving contracts to execute grants they are awarding for school safety in the county.

Parker-based North Star Academy will receive $177,826 to boost the physical security of its building and further mental health support for students. The K-8 charter school enrolled 664 students in the 2018-19 school year, according to its website.

Founder and Principal Kendra Hossfeld told commissioners the school is working with two architects to improve its front entry and will fund mental health training for students, staff and parents with the grant. Hossfeld said she'd wanted to bolster the school's front entry since she helped found it in 2006.

“Again, I want to thank you for helping us with the resources. We couldn't do it without you,” Hossfeld said.

Board Chairman Roger Partridge told Hossfeld it was heartwarming for the board to hear directly from the school about the impact the grant would have on her community. Commissioner Abe Laydon said the grant would fund one of many solutions being employed in Douglas County to make schools safer.

“We all care about our kids and you can tell I get emotional about our kids,” Commissioner Lora Thomas said as she choked up. “They are our future.”

She thanked Hossfeld for founding a charter school in the county and asked that the school invite the board to view the projects once they are complete.

Commissioners in May launched a $10 million grant process to heighten safety at local private, charter and public schools following a fatal shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch. Senior Kendrick Castillo died, and eight more students were injured in the May 7 tragedy.

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