Thanks to generous grants from the Defiance Area Foundation (DAF) and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), Holy Cross Catholic School in Defiance has become a more secure campus.

According to Rose Reinhart, principal of Holy Cross, the grant money was used to create a vestibule and teller window at the front entrance of the school, to purchase security measures so that air conditioners can’t be popped out of their windows, and to purchase Nightlock security door barricades for doors in the school in case of an intruder.

In addition, a spray machine to sanitize classrooms will be purchased in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, once funds become available.

In all, the school received $1,500 from the ODE and $7,500 from the DAF.

“The whole goal is to have a school that is safe and secure, and to make it a place where families feel safe and welcome,” said Reinhart. “We have an atmosphere of family, and we want to make sure that when our families come in, they are in the most safe environment that we can make. It’s all about helping our families, students and staff so they can focus on learning and worshiping the way they need to.”

Reinhart shared that the Nightlock door barricades were installed in December, with work on the other safety measures taking place during the school shutdown. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Holy Cross principal stated the spray machine will be a big part of safety when school reopens.

“We’ve been monitoring what the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), state and governor say about COVID-19, so getting a machine that we can use to spray down the classrooms to kill germs on surfaces is something we will get when we have the money,” said Reinhart. “It’s like the teller window, it serves two purposes, it is an extra safety measure if someone gets in, but it also serves as a COVID shield to those of us who work in the office.

“When we reached out to the Defiance Area Foundation, we knew it would be helpful for us as a school, but also because this building is used by the two parishes in town for religious education,” added Reinhart. “We wanted to provide safety for them, as well as us. With these new safety measures in place, we can direct visitors to the building exactly where they need to go.”

Although the 2020-21 school year is ending, Reinhart and the Holy Cross staff will continue to keep up with safety measures put forth by the state and CDC.

“We continually monitor the necessary safety improvements as directed by the ODE, the governor and the CDC concerning COVID-19,” said Reinhart. “Again, we want to make sure our students, staff and everyone who comes to Holy Cross are safe. We’re very grateful to the Defiance Area Foundation for its generosity to us, to the others who use this building, and to the Catholic community as a whole.”

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