Back to School
Returning students don’t have to worry about security lapses
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Jul 01, 2015
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.