School security remains a top priority for K-12 education. More than 91% of U.S. public K-12 schools reported using security cameras to monitor schools in the 2019-2020 school year according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This number is up from 61% in 2009-2010. However, while schools have invested in video surveillance, they often have disparate systems, outdated technology, and limited staff with training to operate, manage, and maintain the system.
While sizeable K-12 school districts with 10,000 students or more often have the staff and budget to deploy and maintain effective on-premise video surveillance systems, small-to-mid-sized school districts might require a different approach to deploy system-side video surveillance. Additionally, they may need more money to afford the workforce to operate and maintain the on-premise systems. With more than 70% of U.S. schools falling into the small category (under 2,500 students), and many of them in rural areas, this creates a security challenge.
Now, it’s essential for schools to have modern video surveillance technology that provides extensive interior and exterior coverage, captures high-quality video, and offers ease of use and accessibility. In addition, video analytics is quickly becoming a must-have tool. Finally, security staff needs quick and reliable access to video to investigate threats, prevent crime, and respond proactively to incidents.
Schools using video security solutions over many years might have a diverse mix of systems with various video surveillance tools across campuses. Furthermore, they could have cameras that don’t work with more than one platform or a solution that doesn’t have technologically-advanced features like analytics. As a result, these systems may not be interconnected or perform at their peak capabilities.
School districts should routinely evaluate their video surveillance systems to determine whether equipment is operational and keeping up to date with the ever-changing needs in school security. Unfortunately, yesterday’s security systems won’t always meet today’s expectations. The good news is that with innovations in the cloud, analytics, and technology, feature-rich options that provide comprehensive – and more affordable – video surveillance are emerging.
Milestone Systems has recently released Milestone Kite™ – a cloud-delivered Video Management Software (VMS) designed for small- to mid-sized businesses and organizations like schools. One factor that makes Milestone Kite a perfect fit for small or growing school districts is easy installation – anyone can configure and install the gateway and connect it to the cloud with minimal effort. In addition, the user interface is simple and easy to understand. Furthermore, Milestone Kite is suitable for single-site or multi-site surveillance deployments. The fact that it does not require an expensive or expansive infrastructure is a bonus. School IT professionals and those in charge of security no longer need to visit multiple sites or spend time on-site for maintenance. Instead, they can install a Milestone Kite gateway and connect the cameras with little effort.
Simple – No IT skills are needed to install or run the platform.
Secure – Access your video footage securely from any location.
Scalable – Cloud-native architecture grows along with any organization.
Cost-effective – Reduce your school district’s capital investment, and operational costs.
In addition to full cloud-delivered capabilities, Milestone Kite offers flexible hybrid video storage for sites with low bandwidth. As a result, video data can be stored in the cloud or on-premise, depending on available bandwidth. Furthermore, with a foundation in Milestone’s open platform model and powered by the Arcules cloud platform, Milestone Kite supports more than 6,000+ camera models from 100+ manufacturers to work seamlessly with an existing video security deployment. In addition, Kite includes maintenance and cybersecurity.
Kite leverages the Google Cloud Platform. As a result, the cloud platform delivers 6-layer deep security and extremely low latency. So, you can be sure Milestone Kite provides continuous security updates and global backup to guard against failure.
Video Analytics Provide Investigative Tools for Schools
Milestone’s sister company, Arcules, powers built-in analytics that small-to-mid-sized school districts might need. If you haven’t seen video analytics demonstrated, you may be interested to learn about people and vehicle detection, object counting, heat maps, forensic search, and more. Analytics give school administrators an array of tools that improve security and help manage campus operations more efficiently. For example, schools can use the system to monitor building capacity, parking lot activity, and more.
Because school districts operate under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law that protects student privacy, video surveillance users should be mindful that any video shared must protect the privacy of those individuals that have not given consent. Therefore, Milestone Kite includes a redaction feature for video recordings to hide children’s faces not subject to the investigation. As a result, Kite offers the tools to help school administrators stay in compliance with federal education laws.
Another essential component of school security is access control. While many schools have access control in place, integrating it with video is an enhanced option that opens more than just doors. Through integration with Axis Communications, Milestone Kite automatically combines access control data with incoming video data to enable access-based video verification, view camera feeds, and obtain immediate situational awareness. As a result, school administrators or security officers can configure door modes and unlock schedules, set up rule-based alarm/notification triggering for events, and manage access parameters for up to 50 doors. With these capabilities, school security moves to the next level, backed by the reliability of the cloud.
Kite also offers integration with Halo sensor analytics. The Halo sensor, by IP Video, helps you monitor air quality and other detectable conditions at your location. The sensor can watch for the following conditions:
- Panic Button
- Air Quality, including many contaminants
- Gunshot Detection
- Calls for Help (Spoken Key Word)
- THC (Marijuana)
- Vape Detection
- Particulate Matter
When the Halo senses one of these conditions, Kite can use a rules engine to create actions for a proactive response. For example, monitors could receive an audible alert to air quality changes. Then, monitors could review live or recorded video from cameras associated with the Halo sensor that detected the condition. This detection and instant alert could also trigger a proactive response to stop the activity before it becomes a significant problem.
As more small-to-mid-sized schools search for video surveillance solutions that are easy to deploy, simple to use, have low bandwidth requirements, and are scalable, Milestone Kite becomes the most logical choice. School officials used to dismiss analytics as an expensive luxury, but Milestone Kite makes analytics for advanced, cloud-delivered VMS a realistic, affordable, and feature-filled option.
We can demonstrate solutions that will work best for your school. Our team of experts can help you navigate the options that will help you succeed. Contact us today to book a demonstration with one of our security experts. You can also explore more about our education solutions on our website.