MISSOURI — The state is investing more than two and a half million dollars in new safety measures for Southwest Missouri students.

When Joplin students went back to school this fall, safety concerns changed the way some of them got into the building.

“We reconfigured Cecil Floyd. We reconfigured Joplin High School,” said Matt Harding, Joplin Schools Asst. Supt.

And Asst. Supt. Matt Harding says safety upgrades will continue with a state grant.

“It means that we have extra money that we are going to be able to utilize to keep our kids safe by controlling the access to our buildings a little better and improve some of the safety features in many of our buildings,” said Harding.

Joplin is getting $300,000 from the state.

And there are nearly two dozen more school districts in southwest Missouri with school safety grants.

“We applied for and were successful in receiving a $200,000 grant for safety improvements,” said Dr. David Pyle, CJ Asst. Supt.

Carl Junction school leaders say the funding is an opportunity to improve existing systems like the swipe cards they use to get in and out of schools.

“We do have an existing swipe card system for access control. And it’ll be an upgrade of that system. It will also bring some additional video surveillance and some integration of our access control and our surveillance systems,” said Pyle.

Neosho is also on the grant list.

Also McDonald County schools and Nevada and Monett.

But even small districts and private schools like McAuley Catholic High School will benefit.

“We’ll upgrade a lot of our security systems. Add some cameras to the outside of the building, the parking lots and some of the areas around the exterior of the building. Create some safety there,” said Dr. Stephen Gilbreth, McAuley Principal.

You can see the full list of schools below. Area Schools are highlighted in green.