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JACKSON SPRINGS – The N.C. Department of Public Instruction’s Center for Safer Schools (CFSS) on Tuesday officially opened its temporary training facility at Samarcand.

The facility – housed at the Department of Public Safety’s Samarcand Training Academy in Moore County – features a newly renovated academic building, including two classrooms and two offices with seven adjacent cubicles. Plans call for the CFSS to offer classes monthly in support of its mission to promote safe learning environments for North Carolina K-12 schools.

During a grand opening ceremony Tuesday, CFSS Executive Director Karen W. Fairley praised State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt and the Legislature for their “wonderful” support for school safety initiatives.

“From appropriating $74 million in School Safety Grants to making school safety funding a priority for the Department of Public Instruction’s budget, they have always been in the Center for Safer Schools’ corner,” Fairley said.

Truitt said it’s important for everyone in schools – teachers, support staff, administrators and school resource officers – to be able to train in “as real of an environment as possible.”

“Supplying a space for on-site crisis prevention training gives educators and support staff the skills and confidence they need to thrive in their roles and in schools,” she said.

CFSS Director of Training Quintin Trent will be based at the temporary training facility at Samarcand. Training initiatives – including programs for school resource officers – will be a collaborative effort among the departments of Public Instruction, Public Safety and Justice.

The training programs will shift to a 113-acre facility in the Montgomery County town of Biscoe when that center is completed, expected in late 2024.

Matt Rebuck, Samarcand Training Academy director, touted the opening of the temporary training facility as a “new era in training” and that collaboration among departments helps “develop and implement strategies” for school safety.

State officials attending Tuesday’s grand opening included Gov. Roy Cooper, Department of Public Safety Secretary Eddie Buffaloe, Justice Academy Director Trevor Allen and Attorney General Joshua Stein.

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.

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