Video Systems Provide Security

Solutions provide security environment for educational institutions

In the past few years, tragic events have increased awareness for educational institutions across America. This recent spike has reminded educators and security officers alike that it is the responsibility of schools to ensure the safety of their students and employees and protect school property and equipment from theft or damage, encouraging them to invest in security systems.

Dealers have been using access control systems to help secure schools across the country. Paxton’s Net2 access control and Net2 Entry, video intercom systems provide a simple, userfriendly solution that offers benefits beyond only securing doors. Schools have the flexibility to manage changing schedules, automate door open and close times during specific hours and prevent unauthorized personnel from entering school campuses.

Net2 allows people to move freely around a building, while also ensuring specific areas benefit from higher security. It can also be used as an effective registration tool, providing easy, automated reporting of who is on the school campus. The reports can be custom-built for user events of individual or groups of doors. For example, if a door is forced open, an email notification is instantly sent with any associated CCTV footage if integrated with the system. Other features include the ability to personalize cards with employee and student photos for quick visual verification and anti-passback that prevents students or unauthorized users from sharing tokens used for entering a secured area.

Another key security element the system possesses is an emergency lockdown feature to secure the campus at the touch of a button. In the event of an emergency lockdown, only specific security personnel can be permitted to pass through secured doors. When integrated with Net2 Entry, the video intercom system, it provides a quick and convenient way for reception staff to visually verify visitors before granting them access into the school.

However, these systems are more than just a security solution. Schools benefit from automated security settings, such as auto expiration dates that indicate the time period that a user’s access is valid. Visitor cards, for example, can be configured so that they automatically expire after one day. Contractors or cleaning staff cards can be set to only allow access between certain dates and times. There’s also a roll call feature that can be set up to generate an automatic roll call report when the fire alarm goes off. This helps to identify exactly who is safe once the building has been evacuated.

Paxton systems seamlessly integrate with a range of other manufacturers including CCTV, biometrics, visitor management and intruder and fire alarms systems. System administrators can manage these systems all from one central platform, making administration simple and straightforward with Net2 software, which is also available through the Paxton Connect app or Net2 Online, the web browser interface version.

“Products and systems are stemmed from customer feedback, so everything that we design, and build is made to meet our customer needs,” said Jonathan Lach, vice president of sales at Paxton. “Schools are a major market for us, and we’ve received excellent feedback from schools like Lake Oconee Academy and Wesleyan School that we’re extremely proud of.”

Lake Oconee Academy

Lake Oconee Academy is a charter school located in Greensboro, Ga. It was established in 2007 as a Pre-K4 school and has since expanded to having their first senior grade class in 2018. The school is one of the highest performing charter schools in the state and has been listed as a Georgia Advanced Placement (AP) Honor School. It is also one of the best performing public schools in the country. The campus includes eight buildings, over 100 employees and nearly 1,000 students.

As the school grew, Lake Oconee Academy needed an access control system that was easily scalable and simple to use. Creating different access levels, time zones, movement tracking and event reporting were all requirements of the new system to manage access for staff, students and visitors on campus.

The school installed Paxton’s Net2 access control system, which moves beyond the basics of controlling the flow of people around a building. It is designed to make the management of any site straightforward with a range of features that ensure the system is easy to use.

Several on-site users now have administrative rights to manage the system. The teachers and students are assigned different access levels, and access to the site is set up with specific time zones that fit around the normal school day. The IT department created custom access permissions for the range of school days within the software to control access across the campus and ensure no one can gain entry to the site outside of school hours.

“Our previous access control system had a lot of missing features,” said Ryan Rogers, the former IT director at Lake Oconee Academy. “Paxton’s Net2 system is simple and straightforward, with all the features we required. It’s also cost effective, which is a big plus.”

Rogers also wanted to ensure that all employees and students were afforded an extra layer of security. The lockdown feature within Net2 allows a site to lock all or specific doors at once. This feature is a proactive approach to curbing danger in the case of an emergency. It also gives users the capability to access the system remotely and make changes without having to be physically on site. This is a useful feature for situations when the school must be closed unexpectedly due to inclement weather.

Easily manageable site access now provides heightened security at Lake Oconee Academy. The Net2 system allows the school to create custom access features, reporting, incident notifications and much more. Employees, students and parents can have peace of mind because the school has a system in place that can secure and restrict access to the campus. The school plans to continue to expand their site, and the Net2 system will grow with it.

Wesleyan School

Founded in 1963, Wesleyan School is located on 85 acres of land in Peachtree Corners, Ga. The school comprises nine main buildings including a chapel, two libraries and two dining halls. There are over 1,000 students and about 200 faculty members on site. Wesleyan School wanted a complete solution that could be implemented to secure the school’s buildings and access through the main gates. “Our school is set across 85 acres, so it is a big job ensuring all of the buildings are secure,” said Brian Morgan, the director of technology at Wesleyan. “Previously, someone had to drive around to lock and unlock all the buildings every day. After Sandy Hook, we decided improvements should be made to increase student and staff safety and protect school property.”

Wesleyan was looking for a system that could instantly switch into lockdown and be flexible enough to manage the movement of students and changing schedules of a busy school.

Wesleyan School decided to install Paxton’s Net2 access control system. The technology electronically controls the main gate and the nine buildings on one network, meaning the system is administered from one central PC. They opted to use a key feature, which allowed them to instantly lockdown the school in an emergency using a cell phone as a key by communicating to the network with a call.

Wesleyan also installed Net2 Entry onto the school gates and at the entrance of each of the six buildings. This enables the school office to see students and visitors who do not have a valid token before they access the site.

Net2 has provided a secure system whilst also being flexible to the school’s changing timetables. Two staff administer the system at the school, meeting once a week to review the timetables and make any necessary changes to the door schedules using the custom days feature.

The school’s Avigilon CCTV system is now integrated to work seamlessly with Net2, and an additional 10 doors are being considered. This would include adding the faculty rooms, the server and the baseball batting cages to the network.

The potential for Net2 to have a major impact on school safety is clear through these examples of successful implementation at two respected educational institutions. This software is more than just a security solution—it’s a tool that can help schools be more effective by making their staff and students more efficient and safer at the same time.

This article originally appeared in the September 2019 issue of Security Today.

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