Danvers High receives grant for recovery efforts following teacher's murder

December 16, 2013 11:33 AM

By Marcia Dick

The following was submitted by the US Department of Education Office of Communications & Outreach:

The U.S. Department of Education Monday announced a nearly $50,000 grant to Danvers High School to help with ongoing recovery efforts following the alleged recent murder of a math teacher by a 14-year-old student.

The immediate services grant, which is being made through the Department’s Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) program and administered by the Office of Safe and Healthy Students, will provide support to the high school.

“In light of this senseless tragedy, we want to provide support to the students, school staff, and community of Danvers who were impacted by the loss of this young teacher,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “These grants will help provide the necessary services needed to restore the learning environment.”

On Oct. 22, Colleen Ritzer a 24-year-old female teacher, was murdered at Danvers High School. The event occurred immediately after school on the second floor of the school building, according to the police investigation.

For two days following the incident, the school was designated a crime scene and closed.

Danvers’ nearly $50,000 grant will help provide enhanced security for after-school hours; substitute teachers who are covering for teachers still in distress; opening after-school library hours so that teachers can provide extra help for students in a more public space near the office; and additional mental-health services to students, staff, and others who are still grieving.

The Department’s Project SERV grants provide funding for school districts, colleges, and universities that have experienced a significant traumatic event and need resources to respond, recover, and re-establish safe environments for students. The Office of Safe and Healthy Students has awarded more than $33.7 million through 111 grants, including Danvers, since the program began in 2001.

For more information about the Project SERV program, visit: www2.ed.gov.

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