ASIS Foundation Awards Money for Security Enhancements to Chicago Spencer Technology Academy
Spencer Technology Academy, part of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), has been selected as the winner of ASIS Foundation’s School Security Funding Competition. ASIS International (ASIS), an organization for security management professionals worldwide, is the largest donor to this annual initiative to improve school security with a $20,000 donation.
Located on the Westside of Chicago, Spencer Technology Academy houses 930 students in grades PreK-8 in two separate buildings. Proposed improvements include the addition of both indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras to act as a deterrent for potential wrongdoers and to provide staff the means by which to monitor the safety of the children as they pass from one building to the second, as well as those entering and exiting the school.
“It is difficult to express into words what this award means to my school and the students and families that we serve in our community. Securing our campus is increasingly challenging,” stated Spencer Technology Academy Principal Dr. Shawn L. Jackson. “Unmonitored entrance points make our school vulnerable to unwanted access leading to equipment theft, violent activity and criminal behavior.”
At Spencer, the goal of the educators is to prepare students for college and career by providing access and exposure to necessary technological resources. “This award will provide for enhanced security that will allow us to continue to provide the latest technological equipment and to provide a safe learning environment for our students, and to meet our goal,” added Jackson.
Schools within CPS were asked to consider—through a series of short essays—their particular security concerns and how those concerns might impact their students, teachers and administrators. They were asked to describe security risks they would attempt to reduce and/or eliminate, and list specific security enhancements they would purchase with the funding. A committee comprised of security management professionals from the ASIS Chicago Chapter judged the submissions.
“This is the tenth year that ASIS has sponsored this competition as a way of giving back to the community where our Annual Seminar and Exhibits are held,” said ASIS Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Stack. “The aim of the competition is to encourage local schools to assess the security issues that confront their buildings, staff and students every day.”
Students’ behavior online presents just as many threats to their safety and security as physical threats. To complement the ASIS donation to Spencer, (ISC)², through its Foundation, is donating its Safe and Secure Online Program to help students become responsible, ethical digital citizens. Safe and Secure Online teaches HOW to stay safe online by educating children, parents and teachers, having taught responsible computing to more than 90,000 students worldwide. Trained volunteers visit schools for free teaching cyber-safety, cyber-security and cyber-ethics while fostering an interest in cyber careers. Safe and Secure Online was developed by former school teachers and is presented by certified information security experts. The Chicago school district, the 3rd largest in the country with 675 schools and over 500k students, is aiming to implement the SSO program in its schools beginning this fall.
“As incidents of cyber bullying, identity theft and other cybercrimes increase, so does the demand for education in schools and community organizations,” commented Julie Peeler, director of the (ISC)² Foundation. “We can be much more effective at protecting our children by taking a comprehensive approach to security from threats both tangible and virtual.”
The ASIS International 59th Annual Seminar and Exhibits (ASIS 2013) will be held Sept. 24-27 (Tuesday through Friday) at McCormick Place. With 700 exhibitors featuring everything from access control to X-ray scanners, along with more than 200 educational sessions, ASIS 2013 is one of the security industry’s leading event.
A special awards ceremony will be held at the school on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013. ASIS will also recognize Spencer Technology Academy and Principal Jackson at a special awards luncheon on Sept. 27 at McCormick Place.