Cameras on Campus Boost Safety at Oregon High School

The nearly 1,200 students of Silverton High School in Silver Falls, Oregon, were greeted with new classrooms, computer labs and a state-of-the-art technology center when they returned to school in September 2009. The school district also installed a 60-camera IP security system to help provide added protection for its students.

High-tech security is serious business for school districts. In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of schools with cameras in the classroom has increased by 31 percent since 2000. In 2009, more than 50 percent of public high schools with 1,000 or more students were reported to operate electronic security systems on campus¹.

The trend comes as schools face increasingly higher expectations from parents and local municipalities to provide a safer learning environment for children. Many school districts credit cameras with controlling costs associated with vandalism, bullying, trespassing, theft and other incidents that rack up expensive damages.

Next-Generation Technology Requires Classy Upgrade

The 2009/2010 school year at Silverton High School marks the first time in more than a decade that upper and lowerclassmen are attending school in the same location. Prior to 2009, the campus was split between two sites, with freshmen and sophomores in advanced classes being bused to the junior and senior campus.

Silverton High School needed to expand to accommodate the doubling of the student population, and it looked for a solution to help bring its IT infrastructure up to date while still meeting the budget allocated by taxpayers.

Scoring An A+ With Networking and Security Support

The school district enlisted audio-visual installer Technocom to develop an infrastructure that networked the new classrooms, computer labs and technology center.

To address the security system, Silver Falls School District and Technocom turned to Graybar for advice and solutions. As part of Graybar’s relationship with JVC, a developer and manufacturer of sophisticated audio and video products, Matt Barrett, JVC Western Regional district with a hands-on demonstration that helped the district locate the surveillance equipment that met their specific needs.

"One of the great things about working with Graybar is leveraging their broad relationships," said Scott Berkey, Executive Vice President, Commercial Services, for Technocom. "Our contacts in the school district felt confident they had made the right decision after experiencing the equipment first-hand."

Cameras were placed at the campus entrance and in parking lots to monitor everyone entering and leaving the grounds. Technocom also installed cameras in high-traffic hallways, commons areas and rooms with expensive resources, such as the technology center and computer and science labs.

The district favored an IP solution because of its fast broadband connection, clear picture and potential for integration with other automated building operations, such as the lighting and HVAC systems. The broadband connection would also allow the district to centralize monitoring in one spot while expanding the security network to other schools.

"The Silver Falls School District needed a solution that met their immediate security needs while also preparing them for successful future installments," said Graybar account manager Loren Stevison. "The IP solution they chose gives them plenty of room to grow."

Cameras on Campus Secure Results

With Graybar's help, Technocom provided Silver Falls School District with a security system that met its financial plan. Graybar’s staging services, for example, saved time and labor costs by delivering the products to the right spot just as the installers needed them.

"By working with Graybar, we were able to provide the school district with a solution that fit their technical requirements while remaining within budget," said Berkey, who oversaw the entire $750,000 project.

The Silver Falls School District estimates the security system has generated substantial cost savings from reduced or deterred crime and, now plans to expand the IP network to other schools in the district.

¹ "Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2009." National Center for Education Statistics. December 2009.


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