Getting Back to School Safely

August 11, 2020

A school’s level of security has become paramount in the discussion of protecting students against intruders and illness. As schools have grown or been consolidated, the number of students in a building at any given time during the school day has complicated how school security works. Standard locks and keys no longer suffice for environments where a multitude of people come and go every day. During this pandemic, it is very important to limit who are inside of the school and to monitor the activity inside. At ABCO Security, we provide a variety of security solutions specifically designed for schools, including temperature detection cameras, access control systems, burglary, and fire systems. Let’s explore some of the options to ensure your school is as safe as it can be as students head back to class. 

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Luckily for school officials, advanced tools, and educational technologies that improve security are available. The school can improve its building security with modern communication solutions that include video and voice technologies integrated within the security cameras. To ensure the safety of their students, school officials should learn about the different security solutions available to them. 

School Safety in the Era of COVID-19

Each school is unique, and therefore, should not settle for the standard one-size-fits-all security system. Schools face unique security risks. To reduce the exposure to these risks, schools should look for technologies that can help them manage the daily traffic of students, staff, contractors, parents, volunteers, and other visitors. It’s the responsibility of the school to monitor who has access to what areas in the school. Granting access to the wrong individual or group could have unintended consequences. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your school is appropriately secured.

1. Thermal Screening Technology

Schools and other types of learning institutions are often high traffic locations with people inside and outside on campus. During the pandemic, thermal screening technologies have been pushed to the forefront to protect schools and to maintain a healthy environment for all students and staff. Thermal screening technology can take multiple individuals’ temperatures at once. By identifying a possible fever, this technology can protect students and faculty from exposure to sicknesses by quickly alerting the administrator of a fever.

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2. Implement an Access Control System

Every school is responsible for keeping external threats out while protecting the students and staff. Access control offers an easy solution to designate which person has access to the building at any given time. With access control systems, the school can ensure they prevent unauthorized access while maintaining a variety of secure barriers within the premises.

Access control operates using either biometrics (retina-scanning, facial recognition, fingerprint scanning) or badges, tags, and passcodes. An administrator can go in and grant customized access to each authorized person. These access points can be installed by external and internal access points such as classrooms, class-level houses, or other areas such as teacher’s lounges, gyms, etc. The internal access points can be shut down at a moments’ notice to help secure classrooms and provide a final barrier to any dangerous person.

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3. Integrate Video Surveillance Solutions

Security cameras are often thought to be a basic security item. However, up until the last five years, many schools didn’t have video surveillance systems installed. Video surveillance systems can help the security staff monitor the internal movement of individuals and identify any suspicious behaviors. Modern security cameras integrate with other communication solutions. For example, ABCO Security offers mobile video surveillance, which allows the building to be monitored from anywhere, including an app on a phone or tablet.

High schools specifically benefit from security cameras. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, security cameras currently help 94.2% of high schools monitor their students and track their movement throughout the campus. 

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4. Network Protection

Network security might not be the first thing that one may think of when they hear “school security,” however, school networks house sensitive information about each student and staff member. Since this information is often stored on school computers and servers, school officials need to ensure they also improve their information security. Cybercriminals will try to use a variety of intrusion tactics to get into the network and exploit the personal information for financial gain. Using malware that helps them deploy ransomware, cybercriminals can take over the entire school network. Any breach of personal data can lead to reputational damage, civil liability, or financial exploitation.

 To prevent the likelihood of a data breach from succeeding, schools need to partner with a network protection company that monitors and deploys firewalls, conducts regular endpoint scanning, and regularly reviews security policies. Our sister company, Heron Managed Services, oversees all of ABCO Security’s clients to provide peak network protection. 

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ABCO Security's parent company, Bates Security, works with dozens of school districts in Kentucky and Florida to offer comprehensive security solutions to keep the students and staff safe and healthy. One of the most important things about having a robust security system is partnering with a reliable security company to assist you during the planning, implementing, and monitoring of your systems. ABCO Security offers 24/7 customer support.

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