|Little Chute Area School District in Wisconsin |
Little Chute Area School District focuses its strengths and resources on developing the individual talents and skills of its students. Based, as the name would suggest in Little Chute, Wisconsin the school consists of three buildings that serve the needs of elementary, middle and high school students.
The Little Chute Area School District is committed to providing an environment that provides a quality learning experience for all. With approximately 1525 students the District is a busy and thriving school community.
"Security is important," says Jim Fochs, Director of Buildings and Grounds of Little Chute District. "We had an access control system in place, but I found it frustrating to use. It enabled us to track people in the building, but was difficult to set up start and stop times for access to different groups of people. The mechanism used to communicate data from the server frequently locked up. If there were problems with any of the doors, say unlocking when they should not, I had no idea there was a problem unless someone called me. The system was also very time consuming," continues Mr Fochs, "If we needed to change the server PC running the software many settings needed to be reconfigured often resulting in loss of access or schedule problems."
Scott Wildenberg of Lappen Security has undertaken work for the Schools District on a number of occasions.
|The Little Chute Area School District is committed to providing a safe and secure environment to its students|
Scott was asked to recommend a system that would provide the required security, without all the problems. Lappen Security is based in Little Chute and offers the full raft of security services; CCTV, intruder, fire, locking/door hardware, and access control. Scott had recently been introduced to Net2
, a networked access control system from Paxton Access
. Scott explains, "When I saw the Paxton Access system it seemed like a breath of fresh air. The user interface is clear and well thought out and installation is also pretty straightforward. I decided this could be the answer for the District and showed the software to Mr Fochs."
"I looked at several different systems," says Mr Fochs. "Some appeared even more difficult than the one we already had! Scott had obviously done a lot of research. I give a lot of credibility to his opinion. When he suggested I have a look at the Net2 system, I was happy to do so."
Scott provided a demonstration version of the software. Mr Fochs had a look over it and then sat down with one of his staff that was not very computer savvy and asked what he thought. "He thought it looked much easier than the system we were currently using," explains Mr Fochs, "which was my view as well."
Net2 now controls access on 26 doors across the three buildings and a maintenance shop. It also controls access to the fitness centre which is open to the public during non-school hours. Installation was straightforward says Scott, "We were able to use the existing HID readers and cards which meant less disruption for the school. We are using three TCP/IP converters from Paxton Access to enable the buildings to communicate over the schools LAN. These are amazing. It was a real joy, just press a button in the software and the converters are detected. All I had to do then was enter the IP address to set them up."
| Paxton Net2 controls access on 26 doors across the three buildings and a maintenance shop|
The Net2 system is benefitting Little Chute schools. In the mornings, the interior and exterior doors at main entrances unlock to allow unrestricted flow of students into each facility. We use the electronic access system to direct students, staff , and visitors through administrative offices during all other times of the day. This helps provide one more layer of security by controlling who can enter our facilities. All points of electronic access are tied to an emergency lock down system. In the event of any crises, internal or external, we have the capacity to immediately lock all doors from several locations.
Mr Fochs explains, "The system has given me a great deal of flexibility. I have several access levels (permissions) set up, for example elementary teachers only have access to the elementary school, maintenance has wider access, and cleaning staff can access only the building they maintain. It has also helped with the fitness centre, which is open to members from the local community. I have set up a timezone in the Net2 software which grants members access with their fobs, only outside of normal school hours."
"The ‘Windows' style of the Net2 software makes it easy to use", says Mr Fochs. "I love the way that timezones are set up. The graphical click and drag operation means I can see exactly what I have programmed so I know at a glance that current or future commands are exactly what I want."
Mr Fochs monitors all events within the school district. He finds this much easier with Net2. He can simply select a door and instantly generate a report indicating transactions that have taken place at that door. With his last access control package, he had to navigate through several screens setting up parameters to accomplish the same task. If a fob is missing, it can easily be barred from allowing access. Should a door fail it is picked up easily as an alarm event in the software.
"It's great that the software can be loaded on several PCs without additional costs. This means that the High School Business Manager can issue and maintain fobs for teachers, coaches, and fitness centre members without added expense to the district," says Mr Fochs. He looks after all the scheduling including permissions on doors, group access, and off-hour scheduling for evening events. It also means that no matter where he is in the district, he can access the software and make changes as necessary.
|The electronic Paxton Access access control system directs students, staff and visitors through administrative offices|
In conclusion Mr Fochs states, "It is encouraging to install a system and have it operating as advertised on the first attempt. It went in quickly without any disruption to students or staff. It's also great that software upgrades for Net2 are free. We can take advantage of new features in future releases that will benefit us. This is a robust system that will not have a negative impact on our operating budget. We will continue to expand the system further, possibly adding computer labs, data storage rooms, and more exterior doors."
Scott from Lappen Security is also very happy. "It is important to us that our customers are happy with the work we do and the systems we recommend. I am pleased to be associated with Paxton Access, the product and their support is great. It's rewarding to be selling a product we can be proud of. I think Paxton Access are probably the best company I have dealt with in over 11 years in the industry."