School security systems
The easy-to-manage SMARTair system is now available to professional security installers from ASSA ABLOY Access Control, a UK division of ASSA ABLOY, the global provider of door opening solutions. SMARTair is an effective, fully-scalable access control system that can be installed quickly and easily by security installers. Available in offline and wireless online versions, SMARTair is a flexible, end-to-end, battery-operated system. This makes it the perfect solution for a variety of installatio...
GSX 2018 is both a new event for the security industry and the continuation of a 63-year tradition. Global Security Exchange (GSX) is the new branding for ASIS International’s annual seminar and exhibits, which have been held since 1955. In recent years, the ASIS event has joined forces with other organisations to expand its scope and to appeal to a broader audience. Partners include ISSA (Information Systems Security Association) and Infragard, a public-private partnership between U.S. b...
The beginning of the school year and upcoming seasonal changes remind us that demand for security systems, like almost everything else, is seasonal to some extent. Making improvements to educational facilities during the summer months – including installation of security systems – is the most obvious example of seasonal demand, but there are others. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which vertical markets for security are impacted by seasonal changes in demand?
In real life people usually don’t want to get into the drama of being seen as someone other than themselves. The misrecognition problem is not only time consuming, dignity compromising but also, in lots of cases, life threatening, if certain dangerous people are not correctly identified in time. This mistake is no longer affordable in today’s context, whether for an individual, a group or society as a whole. Fortunately, the facial recognition technology has matured, and the securit...
School Dangers Organization (SDO) has named Jonathan Schweiger as their new Director of Strategic Partnerships. School Dangers is a 501(c)3 organisation which strives to improve school security nationwide through advocacy, education and application of technology. Schweiger will work closely with the board of directors. His key objective is to identify and sign companies who have an interest in school safety. Opportunities to partner with SDO include sponsoring the Certified School Security Profe...
Most technology companies have one goal in mind: to provide customers with high-quality, affordable products that can efficiently help streamline operations. Whether it's surveillance cameras, video management software, access control technology or any other type of security device, today's leading organisations invest in expertise in these product segments and strive to produce the highest quality solutions. To effectively fulfill this task, technology providers are always searching for emergi...
A half-day Secure Schools Roundtable was held on Capitol Hill as part of the Security Industry Association (SIA) GovSummit 2018. Legislators, academics, emergency services experts and more discussed the need for enhanced school security in the wake of tragedies in schools across the United States, including the February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Student Jake Glacer, a survivor of the Parkland shooting, and his father, Noel Glacer, discussed Jake’s experiences on the day of the shooting and the school’s lack of a standard operating procedure for dealing with an active shooter incident. “We used to live in the Parkland bubble, and now we live under the Parkland cloud,” said Noel. Jake and Noel emphasised the need for better school security solutions, training and drills School security solutions Jake and Noel emphasised the need for better school security solutions, training and drills and encouraged people interested in contributing to Parkland’s school security to visit sosparkland.org. “I’m trying to take a bad situation and do good out of it,” said Jake. “If I could save one life by talking about this, it’s worth it.” Reps. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) and Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) – co-chairs of the Congressional School Safety Caucus – also spoke at the roundtable, highlighting the importance of legislation like the STOP School Violence Act and efforts like research on the causes of gun violence to address this important issue. “Kids should be worried about learning, not whether their schools will be the next to fall victim to tragedy,” said Larsen. Secure Schools Roundtable: Opening Remarks Speakers: Tim Eckersley, Senior Vice President and President of the Americas, Allegion Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), Co-Chair, Congressional School Safety Caucus Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), Co-Chair, Congressional School Safety Caucus Quotes: “Kids not only need tools to learn – they need an environment that allows them to thrive. If kids are worried about the safety in their schools and surviving in school, there’s no way they can succeed.” – Tim Eckersley “It’s our moral obligation as an industry to address this issue.” – Tim Eckersley “While no one law can stop school violence, the STOP School Violence Act has steps Congress can take to save lives and make schools safer.” – Rick Larsen The session highlighted standards and best practices for school security, including research conducted by the Police FoundatBest practices for school security Secure Schools Roundtable: Development of Standards and Best Practices for School Security Speakers: Erroll Southers, Professor of the Practice of Governance, University of Southern California Ben Gorban, Policy Analyst, Police Foundation John Montes, Emergency Services Specialist, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Mark Williams, Steering Committee Director, Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) School facility security standards Summary: This session highlighted standards and best practices for school security, including research conducted by the Police Foundation on state school facility security standards, requirements and guidelines, the NFPA 3000 standard for active shooter incidents and PASS’ work to help schools implement effective school security technologies. Quotes: “I never thought we’d reach a time where I’d be called to respond to school shooting incidents because they exceed homegrown terrorism.” – Dr. Erroll Southers “It shouldn’t take an incident – but when it does, policies like tax reform go out the window and school safety becomes #1. We shouldn’t wait until an incident occurs.” – Ben Gorban “[The impact of a school shooting] doesn’t end when it stops being reported on CNN – it goes on forever.” – John Montes
In the physical security space, video analytics have historically over-promised and under-delivered, often leaving end users sceptical about their capabilities. However, increased integration with security solutions and other business systems, as well as developments in deep learning and artificial intelligence (AI), have given video analytics a significant boost in recent years. Here, we take a look at the key trends putting video analytics in the spotlight, and how this opens up new opportunities for increased security and business intelligence. Deep learning and AI will enhance video analytics capabilities At the start of 2018, our security industry experts commented on how deep learning technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) would extend to the video surveillance industry, allowing security professionals to gain very specific insights into human behaviour. Our experts predicted that this would permit organisations to reduce risk, enable efficiencies, reduce costs, ensure compliance and provide faster access to stored video. With AI-enables video systems, video analytics are set to perform more complex applications at a higher level of accuracy. Image processing developments allow intelligent analytics According to Ambarella’s Chris Day, advancing chip technology combined with the neural network approach to computer vision is game changing for video analytics. Since the problem of higher resolution has already been solved, the key differentior for video surveillance systems will be the ability to add computer vision in parallel with image processing and high-resolution encoding – ideally in a chip that is low-power. Integration with security systems increases video analytics value Video systems produce an immense amount of data that is often wasted, says Bosch Security Systems’ Sean Murphy. When video analytics alerts are integrated with other security systems, video events can trigger responses from other parts of the security solution. For example, cameras with video analytics can initiate intrusion detection system events initiate intrusion detection system events, prompting the panel to take action by alerting the central station or sending video to security personnel. Video analytics add value with actionable business intelligence Adding network video to the current generation of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions provides actional value beyond situational intelligence for security purposes. With increasingly intelligent sensors, interactions between business systems are becoming more sophisticated, providing a value greater than the sum of the parts. Organisations can use smart applications to reduce energy consumption, allocate workspace, and reduce operating costs. In a retail environment, analytics are now capable of assessing a scene for occupancy and crowd control, even generating reports of trends over time. Video analytics detect abnormalities to predict incidents Camera-based video analytics can go beyond assessing a current scene to predicting potential risks before they occur, explains Pelco’s Jonathan Lewitt. Based on predetermined factors or analysis of prior events, systems can collect all available information to determine the level of severity of a situation and whether an action needs to be taken. At the same time, systems can correlate data from video and other sources to help analyse similar occurrences in the future. Video analytics increasingly supplemented with audio analytics Audio analytics are often overlooked, notes Hanwha Techwin’s Paul Kong, perhaps due to differing privacy laws from video surveillance. However, audio analytics processed in a camera can help provide a secondary layer of verification for events, as well as identifying gunshots, screams, or other sounds indicating an incident is taking place. This makes audio analytics ideal for dealing with active shooter events at schools and campuses. As Louroe Electronics’ Richard Brent explains, audio analytics software can detect rising levels of human aggression, as well as recognising firearm discharge. This can trigger alerts to ensure incidents are dealt with swiftly.
The upgraded Rave Guardian app now integrates with Rave Alert and allows college communities to easily connect through a custom mobile app. Rave Mobile Safety (Rave), a trusted partner for safety software protecting millions of individuals, revealed updates to its Rave Guardian platform to better equip students and staff to communicate vital campus updates. Rave Guardian, a safety app available for students to stay connected with campus safety officials, faculty and other students, now integrates into Rave Alert, allowing higher education institutions access to both offerings in a single platform. Rave Guardian has been updated to better reach and engage students on mobile devices since they find email and phone calls to be outdated. Students aren't interested in Facebook and Twitter; rather they prefer closed messaging apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp. In fact, Generation Z students are three times more likely to open a chat message through a push notification. However, in a recent survey of higher education institutions, Rave found only 38% of respondents offer a mobile safety app for their campus communities. The lack of institution-backed app adoption on campus shows the opportunity for colleges to implement innovative technology, like Rave Guardian, to better connect with students. Integrated geo-targeting notifications The new Rave Guardian platform ensures that all tools, from two-way texting features to content directories with information such as specific safety procedures, are united in a single application. Unlike any other communications application available, Rave Guardian provides geo-targeting notifications so campus safety officials can target certain areas of campus with specific alerts. Those alerts are even available when students and faculty may not have cell signals. The app also allows for students to share a live stream of their location with campus safety if they feel they're in a dangerous situation. "Since adopting Rave technology, the ability to quickly and accurately share information has made all three of our campuses safer," said Charles S. DiSalvo, Emergency Manager at Monroe Community College in Rochester, N.Y. "We have seen a 22% increase in the use of Rave Guardian, so it's become integral to how we communicate public safety information." With a push of a button, students can either directly connect to 9-1-1 or campus safety in an emergency Rave Guardian campus communication app With one app to access campus communication tools, resources and key contacts, colleges don't have to rely on outdated communication methods to interact and engage with students. Additional benefits and features in the new version of Rave Guardian include: One platform: In two steps, anyone in your campus community is instantly authenticated and can register. Students can update their Rave Alert profiles and always keep their contact information up-to-date. Content portal: Emergency procedures, shuttle schedules and other key resources can be shared with the campus community in a configurable content library to help them stay safe and informed. Call directory: Enable students and staff to easily find assistance and resources through a call directory of important numbers that can be updated and added to in real time. Routable chats: Two-way communications can now be routed to different departments to ensure they're only seen by the appropriate officials. In addition, departments can enable custom auto-responses when their offices are closed. Push notifications: Alongside SMS text and email capabilities, push notifications allow schools to provide messages to students and staff even without cell service and capture more attention. App customisation: Schools can customise Rave Guardian's interface and features in real time to create a user experience that will drive more interaction with their community. Emergency call button: With a push of a button, students can either directly connect to 9-1-1 or campus safety in an emergency. Even when they dial 9-1-1 from the app, the school is notified through the incident management console. "The update to the Rave Guardian platform offers our university and college customers with essential tools to promote safety across their campuses," said Todd Piett, CEO of Rave Mobile Safety. "These latest features will drive greater adoption by students and will promote more participation with campus safety."
A third of architects say that schools have weak points in their perimeters and entrances Multiple entry points are the biggest access control challenge affecting schools (90%) Nearly all architects are familiar with Secured by Design standards (95%) 71% of refurbishment specifications are identical to the original ones Jacksons Fencing, the UK perimeter security manufacturer, releases insights into architects’ views on school safety from its report ‘Protecting the Future’. Taken alongside teachers’ perspectives, the report highlights significant differences between architects and school management as well as some reassuring common ground. On average, almost two thirds of architects know of schools being affected by fencing and gate issues (60%). While a similar amount of head teachers have commissioned new access solutions at least once (63%) and over three quarters have had their perimeter inspected within the past five years (80%), these problems are clearly not being resolved. Majority of architects (71%) find that school security refurbishments use the original specifications with some value engineering Restricted installation times The majority of architects (71%) find that school security refurbishments use the original specifications with some value engineering while a significant number know of schools down specifying to save cost (17%). This is despite head teachers’ greatest concerns being unauthorised exits and entrances (30% and 25%), both of which can be prevented with well-designed and specified fencing and gates. Architects identify budget as the greatest challenge when installing school fencing (84%), followed by restricted installation times (48%) and working where children are present (39%). The high number of schools keeping the same specifications or down specifying may be a reflection of this concern for cost and minimum disruption. Keeping school community safe A perimeter’s price tag is not the most significant concern for schools, however. Performance is the highest priority (73%) for teachers, followed closely by security ratings and accredited products (68%). These come ahead of both lifetime and initial costs (64% and 59% respectively). Recent bomb threats sent to schools across the UK reinforced the crucial role that school staff play in protecting pupils from harm. Head teachers’ identify that creating a positive learning environment (86%) and keeping the school community safe (82%) as the most important parts of their positions. Ensuring their security solutions meet industry standards is one way of fulfilling both these aims. Head teachers are concerned about the safety of their pupils, 39% don’t know where to go to find out more about school security and access control Secured by Design A third of architects are seeing Secured by Design (SBD) and LPS 1175 standards increasingly specified (31%). This is complemented with 95% being familiar with SBD. While change is on the horizon, there is work to be done. Currently under half of architects know about LPS 1175 (47%). While head teachers are concerned about the safety of their pupils, 39% don’t know where to go to find out more about school security and access control. They do, however, have some awareness of safety guidelines, with half being familiar with the recommended height for school fences. A similar number know of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) guidelines, which apply primarily to playgrounds. Acknowledge weak points Overall, architects’ views on school security are in line with teachers, with 32% and 29% respectively saying that they acknowledge weak points in the perimeter. There is also agreement between both parties about which safety issues are afflicting schools the most: multiple entrances, having difficult to see areas and more than one building. Architects, however, are more cognisant of these problems than teachers, with a 40% average difference between their responses. This disparity was especially marked where 72% of architects said that aging fencing is an issue, compared to 16% of teachers. Architects are up against stringent budgets that lead to maintaining outdated solutions or down specifying" Impact of perimeter issues Security Consultant at Jacksons Fencing Cris Francis comments: “While there is a healthy level of agreement between architects and teachers on what the key school security issues are, our research reveals some concerning differences. Despite schools prioritising the performance of their fencing and gates, architects are up against stringent budgets that lead to maintaining outdated solutions or down specifying. Schools need to find a way of balancing cost with adequately ensuring children’s safety. Part of the problem might be that without a professional understanding of design and security, school staff can’t appreciate the impact of perimeter issues to the same extent as architects. "Architects also have a greater awareness of safety standards and LPS 1175 certified products. By using their expertise to help schools choose the most appropriate solution for their specific risks and needs, they can help safeguard staff and students alike from future harm.” The ‘Protecting the Future’ report can be downloaded on Jacksons Fencing's website.
K-12 schools and higher education campuses face a number of challenges, not the least of which is the basic principle of safeguarding students, staff and faculty from emerging threats. They must strive to strike a balance between building a safe and secure environment and maintaining a welcoming one. A combination of policies and procedures for stakeholders to follow can be instrumental in achieving these goals, but it's not enough to simply lay down strategies. Manufacturers and integrators must work diligently to meet the needs of educational facilities by embracing convergence and unification. One way to do this is to build technology solutions that are easy to use and install, and those that efficiently integrate with the security solutions already in place to maximise capital investments that budget-conscious schools have made. When designing a system, the unique needs of the organisation must be identified. Are streamlined management and situational awareness the goal? If so, a close integration between various systems is critical to the success of the implementation. Reservations with Security Management System A single reservation system enables students to reserve a meeting space or classroom without having to be physically let in the room every time For example, in access control, when two systems are integrated, the simple act of swiping a card can communicate to the building management system to turn on lights in a specific area, ensuring savings on energy costs while also enhancing security by allowing personnel to control access to certain areas that require more protection. Today's access control systems are doing more than simply granting and restricting access: they're adding more value to capital investments by incorporating information from student and building management platforms in an effort to build more intelligent solutions. One example of this collaboration is the use of Vanderbilt's Security Management System (SMS) with a network-based reservation system. The event management software works with the access control software to communicate in real-time; a single reservation system enables students to reserve a meeting space or classroom without having to be physically let in the room every time. This also allows security officials to readily identify responsible parties in the event of a security incident and saves security teams the added expense of having an on-duty person manually granting and restricting access. Strengthening campus safety Lockdown capabilities are also critical for educational facilities, and SMS enables this with the push of a button or the swipe of a card SMS can also be used in a more holistic approach to strengthen campus safety by bringing multiple systems together in an easy-to-manage and web-based platform. This includes a facility's access control technologies, digital video and alarm monitoring systems. SMS is scalable and ideal for large, multi-site or global organisations, like educational campuses, and supports an unlimited number of cardholders and readers. From a single interface, security leaders are able to manage alarms, photo ID badging, visitor management, elevator control, offline and online locks, advanced reporting and more. Lockdown capabilities are also critical for educational facilities, and SMS enables this with the push of a button or the swipe of a card. Showcasing educational solutions Vanderbilt will highlight its solutions ideal for the education market at the upcoming Jenzabar Jam 2018 Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tenn., USA, May 30 to June 2. The meeting presents Jenzabar users with the opportunity to share ideas and learn more about Jenzabar systems and the solutions that seamlessly integrate with the company's offerings, including Vanderbilt SMS. Visit Vanderbilt at booth 13 or click here to schedule a one-on-one meeting with the team during the show.
Leaders in the electronic security and life safety industry will roll up their sleeves and contribute some creativity to an interactive art project on the ESX expo floor June 20-21 in Nashville, TN. #PassionateSecurity in Schools initiative As part of ESX’s ‘#PassionateSecurity in Schools’ initiative, which also includes a heartfelt presentation during the show’s Closing Keynote Luncheon on June 22, attendees will be painting a 3-part mural that ESX will then donate to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The planned artwork is intended to stimulate an environment of creativity, positive energy, and safety that encourages students to explore and express themselves. Enhancing school security The growing safety issues faced by the country’s school systems today are being confronted by activists, leaders and victims of the tragic incidents As a result of the numerous recent tragedies, school security and safety have taken center stage in public discourse. The growing safety issues faced by the country’s school systems today are being confronted by activists, leaders and victims of the tragic incidents. Everyone is looking for answers. “School districts around the country are looking for expertise in assessing security threats and to address the shortfalls in their current security infrastructure, planning and budgeting,” says Ryan Petty, activist and experienced telecom professional. “We’ve seen a groundswell of interest in enhancing school security in the wake of the Parkland tragedy. There is a flurry of activity in the public sector on school safety, and in particular over the use of security technology to protect students and teachers during class time. We need experienced security professionals to be a part of that conversation.” Electronic security and life safety ESX 2018 show will have a focus on #PassionateSecurity in Schools As a group of individuals and companies with unique qualifications to help improve and strengthen school security, the electronic security and life safety industry has an opportunity to make a difference. For this reason, ESX 2018 show will have a focus on #PassionateSecurity in Schools. Artwork on the mural will be designed before the show, and attendees will each put their own touch on the painting, adding color together throughout the two days that the ESX expo is open to public. This collective creation is representative of an industry coming together, as a whole, to do their part in making our nation’s schools and communities safer for children. ESX 2018 expo This panel will discuss practical ways integrators can strategise with schools and universities to take a multifaceted approach to ensure safety Off the expo floor, the Closing Keynote Luncheon will include perspectives from Petty – who lost his daughter in the MSD shooting in February – as well as an end-user and integrator of security solutions. This panel will discuss practical ways integrators can strategise with schools and universities to take a multifaceted approach to ensure safety and peace of mind for children, educators and parents. Through this initiative, the hope is that ESX attendees will leave better equipped and inspired to make a difference in communities across the nation, displaying #PassionateSecurity far beyond the event. The #PassionateSecurity in Schools initiative is sponsored by CSR Professional Services.
St. Mary Catholic School in Newton, KS has installed the SafeDefend Active Shooter Response System. Responding to recent school shooting tragedies, Principal Philip Stutey and his safety team had vetted numerous approaches to increase the security of their students and staff. After much review, the decision to adopt the SafeDefend system was an easy one. The SafeDefend Active Shooter Response System was developed by a former elementary principal. As a father of three and with 475 students under his watch, Jeff Green realized that schools were not addressing the four critical areas needed to protect students and staff. Those four priorities were: Reducing law enforcement response time Ensuring law enforcement and staff had real-time crisis information Providing the ability for staff to effectively manage the crisis until help arrives Realising the biggest threat to our schools is already inside the building Staff can utilise the tools to escape and evade, provide protection and respond to trauma SafeDefend utilises multiple ways of communication in a crisis. Police and staff are immediately notified of the location of the crisis through text and email, a 911 call is placed, sirens notify all staff and visitors and staff are provided with tools and training to survive the crisis until help arrives. Staff can utilise the tools to escape and evade, provide protection and respond to trauma. SafeDefend is protecting students and staff in school districts across the country. Security needed in today's world "Traditional methods for protecting our students and staff fail us. Current and former students are the most likely threats and will be in the building. Law enforcement and staff need critical, accurate information to perform effectively." said Jeff Green, Founder and President of SafeDefend. Mr. Philip Stutey concurs: "SafeDefend supports our mission statement of meeting the needs of our school community spiritually, academically, emotionally and physically by providing the security needed in today's world. Schools have safeguards against fire and weather issues but have been behind in protecting against an active intruder. No other company or product that we found offers the protection, law enforcement compatibility, empowerment of staff and peace of mind to our community like SafeDefend."
It began with a desire to help students fit in. Officials in Maine School Administrative District (MSAD) 58 introduced uniform bar-coded plastic ID cards to replace their existing colour-coded punch cards so that students eligible for free lunches would not easily be identified by their friends. “In the past, students used punch cards to buy their lunches,” said Angel Allen, Technology Director for both MSAD 58 and neighboring district, MSAD 9. “The different colors identified their economic status for other students to see. It was not a good thing.” Some students chose not to eat rather than be embarrassed by the color of their card. The issue is a significant one. Between 40 and 60 percent of students in MSAD 58 qualify for a reduced lunch program, according to Allen. The district, which sits in a rural area of Franklin County, Maine, covers 500 square miles and serves 1,000 students through five schools. Using ID cards was not new to the Maine school administrators. Sister district, MSAD 9, had been using ID cards as visual identity for its staff for a long time, according to Allen, but “the old system was a beast.” Direct-to-Card Printer/Encoder MSAD 58 began using ID cards printed on a new Fargo DTC300 Direct-to-Card Printer/Encoder for the hot lunch program in the fall of 2005, with the lunch director printing the cards. A second printer was purchased in 2006 and is operating out of the superintendent’s office to create staff ID and lunch cards. MSAD 58 continues to expand its use of ID cards: It created a debit system in which parents can apply money to the card so their children can charge against it rather than carrying money to school. ID cards without photos are used for substitute teachers, volunteers and parents who enter the schools. Students and faculty can check out library materials using their ID cards. Students without drivers’ licenses have even used their school ID cards for identification on school trips. In 2006, thanks to her experience in MSAD 58, Allen added a Fargo DTC400 printer to MSAD 9 Building access solutions “We also use the ID cards as medical emergency cards,” said Allen. “They are particularly useful on field trips to identify students with allergies, diabetes or asthma and to provide emergency contact numbers.” In 2006, thanks to her experience in MSAD 58, Allen added a Fargo DTC400 printer to MSAD 9. The district is printing RFID cards for staff ID and building access. There is also a DTC300 for the student lunch program. “My experience in MSAD 58 introduced me to Fargo,” said Allen. MSAD 9 includes nine schools and serves 2,500 students. Here, the ability to print on two sides of a card was important, as administrators wanted a bar code on the back to work with the district’s time card system and door access program. In addition, the district is initiating a new lunch program, and a library program is in the works. Software integration “In MSAD 58, we began printing small, key chain ID cards from perforated card stock,” said Allen. “Each includes the student’s name and a bar code. Being able to carry their ID card on a key chain helps prevent students from losing their cards.” Nevertheless, a $1 replacement fee is charged each lost card, although the fee was never meant to build revenue. “It’s just enough to aggravate the students,” Allen said. TAll students carry the same plastic ID card. Information on their lunch status is contained in a bar code on the back of the card. “Now, everyone has the same card,” said Allen. “The bar code number is scanned into the cafeteria software, and only the computer can distinguish who is eligible for a reduced lunch from those who are not.” Fargo printers are well known for their ability to print bar codes with the level of clarity to be read by scanners Student ID cards “The big thing with schools is technology,” said Jennifer Clancy, ID Wholesaler Marketing Manager (www.idwholesaler.com), who sold Allen the printers. “In Angel’s case, she is creating a system where the student ID is a stored-value card for the lunch program using a bar code. Fargo printers are well known for their ability to print bar codes with the level of clarity to be read by scanners. Schools nationwide are instituting policies where a visible ID is required of students, faculty and staff at all times. With a visible ID, there is no excuse for a person to be somewhere he or she is not supposed to be. Individuals can be better identified and dealt with by the existing school protocols.” Requirements for the ID cards differ between high school and elementary school students. High school students are required to carry their ID cards at all times. In the elementary schools, students grab their ID cards from a rack on the wall outside the lunch room each day before lunch. Cards are scanned by the cashier and put back in a basket, so someone can replace them in the rack after lunch. “Younger kids can’t be responsible for remembering to bring their card every day,” Allen said. School security system Employees, especially those with multi-school assignments, such as administrators, supervisors, plant operations, maintenance, food service and transportation personnel are required to display their identification card at all times when performing duties for the school system. “Schools that have a student photo ID program in place are starting to expand the use of the cards to applications such as library checkout, lunch program management, equipment checkout, access to computers, student activity passes and bus access,” said Clancy. “More advanced schools are moving to cashless vending, lunchroom use or activity attendance.” Allen, who is responsible for the technology in both MSAD 58 and MSAD 9, envisions expansion of the ID card program, especially the RFID technology component for access control. “We try things in one place and then take them beyond,” she said. “That’s the cooperative nature of our districts.” But for now, simply using ID cards to help students fit in during lunch is a huge step forward.
Fazakerley High School, a co-educational secondary school in Liverpool, moved into new buildings in 2003 and embarked on a successful transformation programme to raise standards. The school, which is in a challenging catchment area, established a new reputation as a nurturing, well run learning environment. But fifteen years later senior staff found themselves struggling with an outdated video surveillance system that was no longer fit for purpose. Analogue video surveillance The introduction of video surveillance at the time of the move to new buildings was a key step in setting high standards of personal behaviour and protecting students and staff. However, the old analogue video system had become almost impossible to use, with blurred and grainy images, no easy search facility and failing cameras. A recent attempt to upgrade the system also proved disappointing, explains Matt Fleming of Apex Network Solutions: the replacement technology turned out to be difficult to maintain and use, and the user interface was too complex. Apex was asked to re-design the system from scratch and challenged to recommend a solution that was affordable and easy for staff to use as well as delivering high quality images. Internal dome and IR fisheye dome cameras Apex recommended IDIS technology to deliver significantly upgraded video coverage of corridors and key internal areas Apex recommended IDIS technology to deliver significantly upgraded video coverage of corridors and key internal areas. Forty-three full HD vandal-resistant DC-D3233RX-N internal domes were installed to record activity across the site. Easy to install they capture high quality images in all lighting conditions. Four 12MP IR Fisheye domes (model DC-Y3C14WRX) were installed in the dining hall to provide a complete view of the area. With various viewing composition options, and six de-warping view modes, these fisheye units ensure image quality that allow individuals to be easily identified. Video is recorded on two IDIS DR-6332PS-S NVRs and all the cameras can now be viewed in real time by staff using PC monitors and/or tablets, with the system simple to use thanks to the free IDIS Center VMS video management system. IDIS video security solution The IDIS video solution is a significant step up from both the original analogue system, and the more recent upgrade, says the schools network manager Derek Harmston. Image quality is outstanding and by allowing staff to view real-time video on convenient devices, such as tablets, incidents involving groups of pupils are now quickly dealt with before they escalate. Recordings are now easily searchable with time/date stamped footage and the high definition images provide evidence that can be shown to pupils, parents and, if necessary, the police.
With increased security a priority for school districts across the country, administrators are taking a close look at their technology to ensure it can deliver in an emergency. Concerns over active shooters and other violent scenarios have districts paying attention and putting heightened security measures in place. Christopher Lordi, Director of Administrative Services at Delaware Valley School District in rural, northeast Pennsylvania, knew it was time to upgrade his district’s surveillance technology, so he turned to the integration expertise of Guyette Communications to get the job done. Analogue DVR system The outdoor PTZ cameras that panned back and forth were causing them to miss a lot of activity The DVR system that covered Delaware Valley’s seven schools and nine buildings was state-of-the-art when it was installed a decade ago, but it was no longer meeting the district’s needs. Administrators complained that is was difficult to view and manage video from all of the cameras as a unified system. The analogue video made it hard to identify faces and see other important details. And the outdoor PTZ cameras that panned back and forth were causing them to miss a lot of activity. “We had a lot of blind spots,” says Chris. Guyette Communications, of Plymouth, PA, has worked with the district for over a decade supporting its technology needs, so Chris looked to them for guidance. Scott Surochak and Rick Scalzo, both of Guyette, recommended a new-to-market VMS, Vicon’s Valerus, that they felt would provide all the features and performance the district sought in a very cost-effective manner. They also recommended that the district abandon their analogue cameras and standardise district-wide on higher performance, megapixel IP models. Valerus VMS The significant expense of replacing not just the VMS system, but hundreds of cameras district-wide, required buy-in from the school board. Rick and Scott, along with Vicon’s regional sales manager, Doug Stadler, provided an in-depth demonstration of the capabilities of Vicon’s new Valerus VMS, along with its line of IQeye Alliance cameras, to the school board. The new system would allow them to clearly identify the faces of visitors, read license plates within the school parking lots, eliminate current blind spots throughout the campuses, and easily search video to quickly find evidence of crime or vandalism. Convinced of the long-term value of the investment, the school board gave a green light to proceed. Vicon Fixed and Cruiser cameras Approximately 400 cameras were installed throughout the district’s nine buildings, almost all of which are Vicon 3MP IQeye Alliance fixed domes Installation began in March 2017 and continued throughout the summer. Approximately 400 cameras were installed throughout the district’s nine buildings, almost all of which are Vicon 3MP IQeye Alliance fixed domes. These provide coverage of all entrances to buildings, busy hallways, and spaces like lunchrooms, auditoriums, playgrounds, parking lots and athletic fields. In addition, Vicon Cruiser domes with 30X optical zoom were installed in each parking lot to capture license plates. To support so many high-resolution cameras transmitting at full frame rates, Guyette installed a dedicated security network capable of handling the bandwidth. All cameras are hard wired with new CAT-6 cabling, which feeds back to CISCO switches and a fiber backbone that runs through each building. Installing security network To minimise bandwidth transmission between buildings, Guyette recommended that each school locally record video from its respective cameras. The five lower schools have each been equipped with a single Valerus server that both runs VMS application software and performs as an NVR. The middle school and high school, which share a building, have an application server plus four NVRs to support the higher number of cameras. Because the Valerus VMS software makes exclusive use of a thin-client, there was no need to install software on any workstations. Complete user and administrative functionality is available through a standard web browser interface. Rick says that “Installation went very smoothly. The system works well and it’s easy to navigate and program. I’m used to systems where we have to do everything manually, but with Valerus, it does a lot of things for you. For example, you can copy programming to multiple cameras. Setting up one camera and then copying it to 50 others is a huge time saver.” “The system is also really easy to update,” he says. “Two new Valerus versions were released during the months we were doing the installation, and we just had to download it once each time to an application server, and then it was automatically pushed out to all the other servers on the network.” Efficient crime detection Two new Valerus versions were released during the months we were doing the installation, and we just had to download it once each time to an application server" There isn’t a lot of criminal activity in the Delaware Valley School District, thanks to outreach programs that create a collaborative relationship between the school police force, administrators, students and parents. However, sometimes issues do occur, and Valerus has already helped the district solve a theft. Chris describes an incident that occurred while the system was still being installed in the spring of 2017. “There was a theft from one of the administrative offices. The employee thought the office had been locked, but our surveillance video was able to show that it was not and displayed the comings and goings of everyone who entered the office during the time in question. The video quality was so clear that the thief’s face could be identified. The footage was turned over to the local police who were able to apprehend the thief and recover the stolen property. With our old VMS system, the video wouldn’t have provided enough detail for us to identify the culprit.” High-end video surveillance Chris says he’d love to say that Valerus’ “museum search” made it possible to find the incriminating video in minutes. However, because the system was just getting installed, not all features were operational yet and his police force had to manually look through hours of video. “The officers are really looking forward to being able to use the search function in the future, now that we’re all up and running. They love how you can draw a box over an area of the video where you know something has happened, and Valerus will do all the work for you,” he says. In speaking about response to crimes and emergencies, Rick adds that because Valerus uses a thin client, the school district has the luxury of easily providing outside law enforcement with access to their system. If they ever needed help from local or state police, like in an active shooter situation, administrators can provide them with a link to the district’s network so that they can better coordinate a response. This would have been impossible with their old system. Ensuring Valerus system’s functionality The VMS thin-client interface allows the officers to view video from anywhere, including on their phones or tablets Unusual for a district of its size, Delaware Valley has its own, full-time, six-person police force. Among other responsibilities, this force is tasked with monitoring the new Valerus system. Each officer has been equipped with his or her own workstation from which they can monitor the cameras physically located at their assigned schools. Administrators at each building also have access to view local cameras. In addition, a centrally located, district-wide monitoring station has been set up to make it easy for officers and school officials to keep an eye on the district as a whole. Rick Scalzo explains that while the VMS thin-client interface allows the officers to view video from anywhere, including on their phones or tablets, his team recommended the purchase of high-performance, manufacturer-certified PC workstations for each officer’s monitoring station. This was to ensure that these computers would have the necessary processing power to display large numbers of high-resolution camera feeds simultaneously. These workstations are hard wired to the network to provide the fastest and most reliable connectivity to the application server. Chris Lordi says that the district has also provided all officers with iPhone 6s, which they use regularly to monitor what’s happening at their buildings. License plate recognition and PTZ cameras One of the capabilities that the district required of the new system is the ability to read license plates of vehicles entering or exiting school grounds. Officers are able to take control of the PTZ cameras in each parking lot and zoom in on the plates of any vehicles of interest. This can even be done via the iPhone interface. Chris explains that it has not been necessary to integrate Valerus with any special license plate recognition (LPR) software because his team of police officers has immediate access to databases where they can look up plates as needed. However, this integration is currently available for Valerus customers and can help automate the process for those who need it. Intruder detection They want top-notch safety, and Valerus delivers that" Chris says that “Our school board takes safety and security very seriously, so for them, this significant investment was justified as soon as we showed them what it can do. They want top-notch safety, and Valerus delivers that. Buy-in from teachers, and the union, who have expressed reservations over the placement of many new cameras that didn’t previously exist, has required additional communication and education. Both Chris and Rick have made it very clear that the upgraded system is not for the purpose of intimidating or keeping closer watch on employees as they perform their daily jobs. Our main concern is thwarting security threats and keeping everybody safe. The additional cameras and new software might help us break up a fight or address bullying issues, but it’s also important for much more serious situations, like dealing with an active shooter or act of terrorism. Now we can use cameras to follow an intruder throughout our buildings, and that can help us keep everyone safe while we apprehend him.” Chris says that “When we put it like that, everyone gets on board.” Counter Terror Chris is extremely appreciative of the support Guyette Communications has provided throughout this project, including individually training each school principal as their building was completed. “I can’t stress how well Guyette has delivered for us. They’re flexible, reliable and compassionate, and they’ve been a true partner at every step of the way. I’d recommend Guyette to anybody.” With school back in session, and the district’s police force busy implementing its many safety programs, Chris looks forward to another school year without any major security incidents. However, with a new Valerus system and high-resolution cameras in place, he knows he now has not only the right people but the right technology to handle any crisis.
“ID cards are used ubiquitously in today’s society, allowing users the convenience of remote identity verification,” said Noel Cordell, Card Bureau manager, Academy Photography. Yet, even before students in Australia learn to spell “ubiquitous,” they can enjoy the benefits of ID cards produced by Academy. Student and faculty ID cards Academy Photography, which was the first Australian school photo business to go completely digital, has been in business since 1988, providing educational institutions with student and faculty ID cards, in addition to school photos, for more than 15 years. Today, it provides ID cards for more than 200 schools, which use them for student and faculty visual identification and to interface with school systems, helping to reduce truancy by tracking student locations. “A student may use a card to pay for concession fares on public transport, to pay for photocopies, to borrow books and to verify arrival at school,” said Cordell. Identity management For some, simple security is the most important function and they use ID cards for visual identification of students, staff and visitors School administrators define a variety of needs when it comes to their ID card programs. For some, simple security is the most important function and they use ID cards for visual identification of students, staff and visitors. Others need more sophisticated support, including access to dorms, facilities and equipment. Still others use photo ID systems to automate and combine several school operations, giving students the ability to check out library books or equipment, gain access to student activities, use school computers or simplify registration. Schools that provide ID cards with debit functions also enable students to use their photo ID cards for vending machine, laundry and cafeteria payments. Tracking student movements in and out of school is the most important function requested by customers of Academy Photography. “ID cards enable schools to analyze usage and improve efficiency, as well as keep track of students for better education outcomes,” said Cordell. Because cards are produced in Academy’s printing laboratory, schools receive replacement cards quickly and economically. Fargo HDP600 HD Card Printer/Encoder Academy Photography provides a card bureau, a small office with three work stations and a dedicated staff who operate three Fargo Persona card printers and one Fargo HDP600 High Definition Card Printer/Encoder, with the HDP600 being the most advanced. It features reverse image technology in which the printer prints images directly onto special film that is then fused onto the surface of a blank card through heat and pressure. While most of Academy’s clients currently use either barcodes or magnetic stripe technology, the company chose the HDP600 to be ready for future requests. Fargo developed High Definition Printing to go hand in hand with the growth of technology-rich smart cards. Often, the embedded electronics in these high-security cards cause irregularities on the card’s surface, making them difficult to print. Because the printhead of the HDP600 does not print directly onto the card surface, image quality is unaffected by a card’s surface irregularities. Fargo printers and ID cards The HDP600 also offers us the ability to print and encode smart cards in the future.” Cordell was instrumental in selecting the current Fargo equipment, although Academy had been using Fargo printers for years, long before his arrival in 2005. “The features most important to us were high quality prints, low waste and fast printing,” he said. “The HDP600 also offers us the ability to print and encode smart cards in the future.” “The introduction of the HDP600 gave Academy the option of producing cards with superior quality over those of its competitors,” said Reuben Bou-Samra, Business Development Manager, Briell Marketing Pty Ltd., the company that sold the Fargo printers to Academy. “Times are changing, and schools are demanding only the best. The HDP600 certainly offers Academy a competitive edge.” ID card program Academy Photography provides a variety of options for its clients. “Sometimes the school buys the cards, sometimes the students do, and other times we provide them for free,” said Cordell. Free ID cards? “We provide ID cards free to many schools as a value addition to our primary product, school photos,” he added. Often, Academy’s student and faculty photos can be used for the cards, thus requiring only one photo session and saving the school resources. ID cards not only provide convenience and security for students and faculty, but they also save time for office staff who input attendance details and process roll calls. Academy provides images formatted on a CD ROM as well as in hard copy reports for school records. These reports provide information in instant real-time, and they are tailored to each school’s desired manner of capturing and reporting attendance. In today’s open educational environment, many schools struggle to keep track of their students. Those using Academy Photography’s ID card program, however, have a ubiquitous advantage.
ASSA ABLOY UK Specification, a UK division of ASSA ABLOY, a provider of door opening solutions, has assisted with the design and specification of doorsets and relevant hardware for the new Silverstone CE Primary School. Working alongside Northamptonshire County Council, local firm pHp Architects and contractor Lakehouse Construction, the UK Specification team helped deliver the full-scale build of the two-form entry primary school. Products specified included 92 ASSA ABLOY laminate-faced timber doorsets, complete with redwood frames and dark grey PVC edges, making them easy to clean and to help conceal scuffs from daily use. Timber doorsets The colour contrast between the edge of the door and the door surface also helped to achieve an inclusive environment, in line with the latest legislation and guidelines such as Approved Document M of The Building Regulations 2000 and BS8300:2009+A1:2010. The doorsets were complemented by a full ironmongery specification of ASSA 3228 ZP hinges, ASSA ABLOY DC200 Rack & Pinion Door Closers, Union Optimus 3 Locks, UNION J1000 door furniture and ASSA finger guards, which prevent pupils’ fingers from being trapped in closing doors. We have worked on a number of education projects and pride ourselves on tailoring the solutions we provide from our extensive experience in the sector" Masterkey access system The specification also included ASSA’s P600 cylinders for internal and external doors as well as external gates, providing the school with one masterkey system and permitting access to authorised personnel only. Chris Wayman, Associate at pHp Architects commented: “ASSA ABLOY UK Specification not only supplied high quality and fit-for-purpose products, but they also provided a full consultancy service, which took into account factors such as pupil comfort, flow of traffic around the school, as well as the need for staff to access certain areas of the building efficiently and securely. We are delighted with the finished result.” James Bloomfield, Headteacher at Silverstone CE Primary School said: “Working with the UK Specification team was straightforward from start to finish. The doors and ironmongery specified really enhance what is an exceptional building.” David Shields, National Specification Manager at ASSA ABLOY UK Specification, added: “We have worked on a number of education projects and pride ourselves on tailoring the solutions we provide from our extensive experience in the sector.” Risk management “The challenge in all schools is to prioritise safety and minimise the risk of injury, while providing a comfortable learning and teaching environment for both pupils and staff." "We believe we have not only achieved this, but also exceeded expectations with the solutions we helped design and specify via our BIM capabilities and personable one-to-one service.”