Based in Crystal, Minnesota, Beacon Academy is a unique school. A K-8 organization with a student body of over 600 (and growing), the school was chartered with a specific mission:
"The parents in the original area were looking for a more rigid curriculum, along with a focus on character development" says Principal Sean Koster.
The school makes this happen by using The Search Institute's 40 Assets for Youth Development as a guide to developing students' personal skills.
Koster and his staff engage the students for 20-30 minutes per day with work on developing social skills, along with monthly student-led projects that embody one of the 9 assets selected based on student feedback to focus on that school year.
From Koster: "Student projects in the past have ranged from organizing food drive donations, volunteering at homeless shelters, and a 'Birthday Giveaway' where students fund raise and donate gifts to provide to those in need of a present on their birthday"
A few years ago, Beacon had outgrown their original location and was planning the move to Crystal. Security cameras and door access systems were obvious requirements in the new building.
"Security Camera's are a must-have requirement for a school," says IT Director Darrin Enerson. "It gives parents peace of mind."
Along with the peace of mind that the school security system brings, Koster also pointed out that the system is often used as a teaching tool.
"Being that this is a school filled with young people, misbehavior is a given. The security cameras allow us to show students their behavior and hold accountability for their actions."
After a recent incident, Koster and his staff were able to use the cameras to aid in a creating a teachable moment.
"The students said that they were just playing around, but when we were able to zoom in on the facial expressions and discuss what we saw with those students (they had not been just playing around!), we were all able to see that this had not been the case.
From there, we were able to discuss with them the implications of their behavior, and most importantly how the situation could be handled differently next time."
When trying to figure out what to require of their security system provider, IT Administrator Darrin Enerson had multiple things in mind.
"Our old system had been on a base coaxial system. It was very expensive, hard to maintain, and also costly to scale. Not only that, but it was more difficult to use with only centralized access and a short video save time."
To fulfill their needs, Advanced Light and Sound brought to them a system that solved those problems.
A Power Over Ethernet system (PoE), was able to handle all of the requirements. The power base is through the ethernet, and thus runs on minimal electricity and is much more stable.
Because of the light electrical and cost requirements, the school was able to scale to many cameras in important locations through school grounds without breaking the budget.
The system also has desktop and mobile access. Thus, all staff with correct credentials are able to monitor and review up to a 3-4 week backlog of video with ease.
Lastly, the PoE system records in full color (including night vision!), and has active and backlog video zoom features to be able to pinpoint certain areas within a video frame.
Up to this point, the system has operated very well to the standards Beacon Academy was looking for in a security system for their school, giving them peace of mind and empowering staff to fulfill their mission.
If your school is in need of a school security system upgrade, we would be happy to provide a free consultation to you and your staff on how you could get your needs fulfilled.
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Full Image Gallery of Beacon Academy Security System