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Network Analyst, Washington Unified School District
Washington Unified School District serves nearly 7,500 students across seven K-8 schools, and three high schools in West Sacramento, CA.
For Washington Unified School District, the number one concern is student safety. Like many school districts across the United States, Washington Unified struggled with increasing vandalism and pressure to keep students safe inside the classroom — both challenges that can be addressed with a modern security solution.
“Recently, we had a fence surrounding a school that someone cut through and rolled back to access the property. We’ve not been able to catch whoever did it. Not only that, but without cameras, we have no idea what they were doing besides walking across the campus,” says Benjamin Lane, Network Analyst, Washington Unified School District.
With very few existing cameras set up throughout district properties, the district needed a cost-effective solution that is easy to scale and would integrate with the small amount of equipment already in place. The solution also needed to be simple enough to use that it could be managed by non-IT staff at each individual school.
With the help of partner CDW, the school district began looking for a video surveillance solution to help improve safety in and around all district properties. They were considering solutions from three other vendors as well as Arcules, until they talked to nearby Laton Unified School District.
“Laton was experiencing the same challenges in keeping staff and students safe,” says Lane. “They talked very highly of their Arcules solution. With such high praise from Laton, it was a no-brainer for us to choose Arcules.”
With limited IT staff and a growing school district, the Arcules cloud solution was a great fit. “We have a very small IT group and will be adding five more schools to our district very soon. Our IT department isn’t growing fast enough to manage all those servers, so a cloud solution really makes the most sense for us,” explains Lane.
Foolproof operation, case numbers, and case notes enable the principals at each school to take charge of their own cameras and their own cases.
Quick setup and integration with any cameras allow the district to grow its deployment without technical issues.
With an open and flexible cloud-based architecture, Arcules enables the school district to use any existing cameras they have, reducing CapEx as well as management overhead.
The Arcules platform is continuously updated and maintained and works on any device with an internet connection – whether that’s a laptop, tablet, or phone.
Washington Unified started by deploying 20 cameras at middle and elementary school sites.
“Setting up Arcules was so easy. We just needed to get it on the network and then it automatically finds all the cameras. Gateways only took 15 minutes to set up. From setup to recording to downloading and exporting videos, Arcules is intuitive, familiar, and easy,” says Lane.
With the cameras in place, the district hopes to deter vandalism and fighting on campus, and to give parents peace of mind. “We make sure everyone knows that they are on video. We also let the kids know to tell their parents about the security cameras,” says Lane. “Our schools are in rough neighborhoods. There’s always a threat of someone walking onto campus for the wrong reasons. We hope that the cameras will help parents feel more secure sending their kids to school.”
Moving forward, the district plans to deploy 120 cameras across 15 sites. They will train staff at each site on how to monitor, record, and pull video. “Arcules makes it so easy. They can’t push any wrong buttons. In 30 minutes we can have staff trained and ready to monitor their own sites,” says Lane.
In the future, the school district hopes to implement Arcules halo sensors to set off fire alarms when vaping on premises is detected. They also hope to implement an Arcules access control solution to boost safety by restricting who can enter each building.
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