Back to School

Back to School

Returning students don’t have to worry about security lapses

When some children drop out of school, that is all of the formal education they may ever receive. Some of those same young people, however, May find their way back because they understand how important that high school diploma really can be.

There is a place in the Dallas/Ft. Worth (Metroplex) area that caters to returning students, ages 14 to 21. It’s the Dallas Can Academy, and it can also be found in Houston, Austin and San Antonio. Around the state it is simply known as the Texans Can Academy.

A Charter Education

This opportunity is for any student interested in this type of education, including those who are on grade level but need a smaller classroom size. The school is not only for drop-outs or returning students, but it can also be for those students who move around a lot and may be behind and need individualized attention to catch up. Dallas Can does receive some state and federal funds but nothing for capital improvements or real estate. The school’s governing board has to purchase and maintain their own buildings. A charter school has different responsibilities, but they are very much accountable to all Texas education requirements. Students have to pass the same tests as all other students to receive a Texas high school diploma. The state monitors and accredits charter schools the same as any other Texas school district.

Two half-day curriculums are offered because many students need to work to supplement the income of their parents; some students don’t have parents who are supporting them any longer, so they must support themselves.

Texans Can Academy is associated with Cars for Kids. Their money maker is the donations of cars, boats and just about anything that moves. Just one example, last year, someone donated a Bentley to the Dallas Campus, which was auctioned for $50,000. Every Saturday the school has an auction, and even though March was a slow month for the school—they only received 588 donated vehicles— they sell about 180 vehicles on any given Saturday.

Crisp, Clean Images

The auction house is a refurbished car dealership that moved locations a couple years ago. With remodeling, security systems of the highest caliber have been chosen. The south Dallas location has an auction area where cars are driven into the building for participants to see and bid on. Because they have installed high-quality cameras, people also can bid online and see exactly what they are trying to buy.

Hikvision USA was selected as the security company because they were able to provide not only security of the premises, but also images during the auctions. Hikvision was selected as the camera of choice at each of the Dallas/Ft. Worth campus locations.

The Cars for Kids Dallas site boasts 40 Hikvision cameras in two separate buildings that are linked through a wireless bridge and an 8-port PoE switch. Because of the high volume of cash transactions taking place at the facility, it was crucial that the images from the cameras be crisp enough to identify various monetary denominations. Again, the cameras selected had to be able to provide flawless images.

Jeffrey He, president of Hikvision USA, explained why Hikvision is making great strides in the education vertical: “Hikvision’s security products offer a particularly user-friendly and cost-effective solution to organizations who don’t necessarily have extensive resources, but whose students are invaluable assets that deserve the highest caliber of security. It is an honor to provide this security to Texans Can and to be elevated by integrators nationwide.”

Cutting-Edge Integrator

Texans Can sought the expertise of ASG Security for a cutting edge surveillance solution. After researching camera models across the market, ASG selected Hikvision equipment due to high value and high-image quality, installing the 2232 3MP EXIR Bullet Network camera and the vandal-proof 2132-I 3MP IR Fixed Focal Dome camera, along with 16- and 32-channel NVRs.

“As an integrator, we have the opportunity to sell any number of different brands, but we chose Hikvision because it’s easy to use, easy to install, very low maintenance, and very high quality,” said Fred Harris, core commercial sales representative for ASG.

The security system works because of the staff at all Metroplex locations. Security is extremely important because of the academic schedules. Students attend half-days–morning or afternoon. Then, they either go to work or back home to take care of family obligations. One of those obligations may be their own child, but Dallas Can is working to solve that situation by offering the Wee Can Academy, now at three Dallas campuses and the San Antonio campus. The facilities are modern and updated for child care.

Happy Anniversary

Rodney Milliner, principal at Dallas Can Academy and Grant East campus, always wanted to be a math instructor. He earned a college degree and teaching certificate, and life was good. But, he wanted to get more involved in the relationship between students and their schools. So, he teamed up with Malcolm Wentworth, COO of Texans Can Academies, and the partnership saw education and security jump to another level.

Wentworth, a Marine veteran, did a lot more than dabble in Texans Can. He brought meaning to the schools’ mission, Graduating Thinkers. He brought prosperity for growth and continued learning. If there is something that has to be complete, Wentworth is the go-to guy. His priorities at the school are the students, security and making ends meet. His goals fall in line with Milliner, who works closely with the students, making sure they meet their goals.

Celebrating 30 years, Texans Can has served students who have been unsuccessful in traditional high schools, providing alternative learning environments, encouraging them to attain their high school diplomas. The campuses are equipped with special resources that include programs for students with learning disabilities and childcare centers for students who have children. Teachers and counselors adopt a hands-on approach to helping their students succeed.

“The teachers really know the students, and the students really know the teachers,” Wentworth said. “We care. With 1,400 students graduating each year, it’s clear that we are using an approach that works.”

The campuses aren’t in the finest locations in the cities, but once classes get underway, the campus improves the surrounding homes’ and business’ values. Wentworth said that people who might cause trouble already know the campus has video surveillance, so there is little, if any, vandalism or trouble. Students, he said, “can come to school without fear of violence or disruption.”

In this case, education and security go hand in hand, and if something needs to be completed, Texans Can will make it happen.

This article originally appeared in the July 2015 issue of Security Today.

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