In November, the district awarded a
The goal was to complete work by late-February, but because of bad weather, the goal is now the end of March, said
With school violence happening all too frequently across the nation, the changes are being made "to keep our students and staff as safe as possible," he said.
When completed, the indoor and outdoor cameras will be installed throughout the district's seven elementary schools, middle school, junior/senior high school, high school and five department buildings.
Howard said the new system enables him to access the cameras through his mobile devices and home computer. "I could be in
Eventually, local law enforcement will be given access to the live camera feeds so they can see what is going on before they arrive on scene, if a security matter should arise, Howard said. Dispatch personnel would have access, as would police through laptop computers in their patrol cars.
Dispatch would be able to monitor the situation and send officers to the appropriate entrance or location, Howard said. He anticipates police will have access by this summer.
Video could be used to investigate and resolve security or disciplinary matters.
The district has used its "rainy day" funds to purchase the surveillance system, something the school board approved, Howard said.
Asked about privacy issues, he said the cameras won't go in classrooms, locker rooms or restrooms. The cameras will be placed in hallways, common spaces, outside and at interior entrances. Exterior cameras will provide a 360-degree view of buildings' perimeters, Howard said.
Each principal will have access to surveillance cameras in his or her building only, not to other buildings. Access to the districtwide surveillance system will be limited to a few central office administrators and include Howard, technology director
Video from 36 cameras can be shown on a single screen at one time, he noted. If there is movement in front of a camera, the camera is recording.
The system has a minimum storage capacity of 30 days of video and the server has 105 terabytes of capacity, which is "astronomical," Howard said.
The HD cameras being installed have better quality video that can help with identification of people, when needed, Birchler said.
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