Enhancing School Safety with Integrated Security Technologies

August 2022
Sagenet Blog School Security
By Kirby Okuda

Faced with rising incidents of violence in K-12 schools, more than half of U.S. teenagers surveyed recently say they no longer feel safe in school. What’s more, only 38 percent are confident that school officials can create an atmosphere of physical and emotional safety in the classroom.

As school districts nationwide re-evaluate existing security measures, most are looking for new ways to leverage technology to enhance school safety. Data from the Omdia market research firm suggests that U.S. public schools expect to spend more than $3 billion on school security measures this year. Key targets for that spending include:

Security Cameras

Video surveillance has become an essential tool for curbing school violence and preventing unauthorized visitors from entering schools and campuses. A properly deployed and managed video surveillance system can stop a potentially dangerous situation from turning into another tragedy. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that more than 90 percent of schools want to use security cameras to monitor the school.

In addition, more school districts are moving to implement video surveillance on school buses. With the ability to capture clear video and audio inside and outside the bus, these systems help schools identify incidents involving bullying, fighting, vandalism, harassment and even driver safety issues.

Emergency Notifications

Swift and clear communication is critical in emergency situations to increase response times and reduce confusion, panic, misinformation and possible injuries. Emergency notification systems integrated with IP phone systems typically have a mass notification feature that sends alerts and instructions in the event of a lockdown situation. In addition, many systems will simultaneously initiate calls to 911, local police and key school administrators.

Access Controls

Schools and many other organizations have used RFID badges for years to control building access and monitor who comes and goes. However, more schools are now exploring ways to link wireless door locks, security cameras, fire alarms and alerting systems via Wi-Fi, the broadband network or Internet of Things devices. These tools enable administrators, teachers and security personnel can remotely initiate a lockdown from any location on campus.

Tracking Systems

GPS tracking systems make it possible to track students from the bus to the classroom and back to the bus, ensuring that all are accounted for. Integrated messaging platforms automatically alert parents if a bus is late or if there is an accident or emergency. Tracking systems also automate attendance reporting, which enables real-time awareness and quick remedial actions if students are missing or truant.

Fleet Management

Ensuring safe, reliable transportation for the entire student population is one of the bigger challenges for school districts. School bus tracking solutions use embedded sensors, GPS and intuitive software to capture a real-time view of what’s going on with vehicles, drivers and passengers. Detailed diagnostics support preventive maintenance that reduces the risk of accidents and breakdowns. Bus route optimization and parent notification features can ensure that kids don’t have lengthy waits in bad weather at the bus stop.

How SageNet Can Help

School security is not inherently a technology issue. Crisis planning, staff training and intervention strategies are all essential elements of a safe school. However, there are areas where technology can be immensely beneficial.

SageNet is a leading provider of many of the technologies that can help schools respond to emergencies. In addition, we have decades of experience designing and implementing robust network solutions that can handle the increased connectivity and bandwidth demands of integrated school security platforms. Contact us to discuss how we can help you improve your school’s security.

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