Safeguarding Schools With Eyes Wide Open

Affordable D-Link IP surveillance - plus D-Link planning and expertise - offer a smart, practical and proactive approach to campus networking.

Affordable D-Link IP surveillance — plus on-site D-Link planning and expertise — offer a smart, practical and proactive approach.

Key D-Link Purchase Drivers
• High Price-to-Performance Value D-Link IP surveillance equipment met the high price-to-performance standards demanded by trusted VAR, Abacus Computers, Inc.

• Flexibility D-Link wired and wireless cameras and lenses provided the light sensitivity, high resolution and fields of view needed for full coverage. Plus, flexible storage, search and remote web viewing allowed principals and superintendent customized real-time viewing.

• Superior Local Support Prior to installation, D-Link and its certified local VAR conducted a comprehensive site survey throughout all six Colorado ISD buildings to ensure a seamless solution.
The Colorado Independent School District (ISD) serves some 1,100 students in North Central Texas. Like all schools across America, underpinning their mission of shaping college-bound lifelong learners is an absolute imperative to keep students safe—a goal made easier through D-Link IP surveillance solutions.

The Vision
Securing the now, foreseeing the future
From an IT perspective, Colorado ISD has made excellent progress in its quest to promote a 21st Century education through advanced technology. Spread over five square miles, its campuses are tied through a gigabit fiber network. While many students have no computers or Internet access at home, here they enjoy the benefits of rich Web-based scholastic content, Smart Boards for more exciting classroom instruction, and laptops for mobile learning.

But despite its classroom successes and small town status, the district has not had the luxury of avoiding complex issues. While hardly in a high crime area, they have recorded occasional break-ins and acts of vandalism. There’s a state prison nearby. And looming above it all is a more wary worldview based on local, regional and national concerns. “In our post-911 world, and in keeping with Unified School Safety Standards for Texas Schools, we’ve strived to create a ‘master plan’ to keep our campuses and kids safe,” said Pam Alvarez, Colorado ISD Technology Director.

A complete IP surveillance system became “the eyes” of that plan, based on a comprehensive D-Link site survey, and founded on a network of versatile D-Link network cameras and NVRs (network video recorders).

The advantages of an IP based solution over a traditional analog system were easy to envision:

• Automation of routines and alerts
• Higher resolution images for accurate identification
• Easy to search storage

“In our post-911 world, and considering Unified School Safety Standards for Texas Schools, we’ve strived to create a ‘master plan’ to keep our campuses and kids safe.”
—Pam Alvarez, Colorado ISD Technology Director

The Solution
Building a blueprint for better solutions
In establishing their network, Colorado ISD leveraged their relationship with D-Link VAR, Abacus Computers Inc. in Midland, Texas. With the help of Education Sales Consultant Patrick Watson, the district carefully weighed competing products and quickly selected D-Link. Superior price-to-performance value, flexibility of installation, plus dedication and local site survey support were all major factors in the decision. Watson and their local D-Link representative then performed a complete walk-through of each of five campuses, and ultimately provided a comprehensive network diagram and bill of materials as a project blueprint.

For the final solution, the team installed a series of wired and wireless D-Link IP cameras. These were linked to an array of DNS-726-4 SecureCenter™ Two-Bay NVRs supported by various D-Link switches and wireless access points. And while there was AC power for the middle school gym, running Ethernet cable was impractical there; so the team chose the DCS-3420 Wireless Day and Night Network Camera.

“After a noticeable calming in the hallways, and catching thieves stealing in the gym, the D-Link surveillance system has given everyone tremendous peace of mind.” 
—Pam Alvarez, Colorado ISD Technology Director

Employing DVC-20 2X 4-8mm Varifocal Lenses, D-Link was not only able to provide broad coverage of common areas, hallways and more, but tailor the focus and field of view for each location so images were clear no matter where the camera was located.

Both Colorado ISD and Abacus were pleased with the ease of installation, seamless integration into the existing network and an image quality far beyond anyone’s expectations. Initial reservations about surveillance from teachers were soon allayed after seeing a significant calming in the hallways.

Into the Future
Caught on camera: safer schools and students

With the D-Link IP surveillance network in place, Colorado ISD’s “outlook” has broadened considerably, putting their master plan in close alignment with Unified School Safety Standards for Texas Schools.

D-Link cameras capture images 24/7, day and night. Four logically pooled D-Link NVRs hold up to two weeks of video for each of as many as 16 cameras they can support with PoE. The units also support SmartSearch for easy retrieval of video streams based on a range of criteria. By way of a Web browser, this allows principals to view “footage”of past incidents, and the district superintendent to scan images from all schools.

The high resolution of the installed D-Link cameras has proven itself extremely effective - particularly as Colorado ISD reviewed footage of recent suspected acts of vandalism and theft in their gymnasium.
Based on that success, Colorado ISD principals have already discussed expanding coverage with even more cameras. Versatile, cost-effective and simple to integrate, D-Link IP solutions will clearly make it easy for them to ‘put eyes on’ an even safer learning environment.