How security technology helps ease concerns about K-12 staffing shortages


Integrated security solutions free up time for school staff to have more face-to-face time with students while addressing staffing issues.

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The expectations of keeping schools safe continue to rise, but the budgets of many K-12 school districts remain the same. Some are even working with smaller budgets as requirements increase. In addition to these responsibilities, schools are also facing staff shortages, just like most industries in the US.

Brandon Davito, vice president of products and operations at Verkada, a provider of cloud-based building security systems, regularly speaks with school IT facilities and other security buyers about how advances in security technology they have significantly helped “lighten the load” when asked to do more with less (11:35).

“These are [often] small teams that are responsible for a bunch of locations across the district and the expectation and requirements are only increasing so they are looking for tools that will allow them to scale and provide better service and a safer campus with fewer staff,” he said. “A single solution with a single vendor that allows them to scale and have better visibility and control over all of their locations has really been top of mind for the clients we are working with.”

When talking to school districts, Davito says his main concern is almost always maintaining and managing different systems. By standardizing on a common platform for all physical security systems, schools can help alleviate the burdens associated with ongoing staffing issues.

“One of the ways that that happens is that more and more staff within the district have access to these types of tools. We’re talking about SROs, district officials, teachers in some cases, and certainly principals and assistant principals. Many have a need to access information, from intercom tools to security, access control logs and whether or not the alarm system was armed during the night,” said Davito. “Real power is people on the ground taking action and giving them information about the type of threat, the degree of response required, and exactly where that person or where that threat may be is super powerful.”

The whole premise of embedded tools, Davito continued, is that it frees up staff to do what they do best, including SROs (13:50).

“An SRO really is meant to be both a friendly face and a reassuring presence, or if there is a situation that is escalating, to help de-escalate it and make sure he or she is in the right place at the right time. ,” he said. “In the past, that meant you had to be in front of a monitor or in an IDF closet reviewing footage, that’s a pretty horrible situation. [It’s about] giving SROS who need to be on the move and who need to take quick action the tools so they can receive an automated alert on their mobile device or can quickly get a source while walking across campus.”

During our discussion, Brandon also talked about:

  • The importance of flexibility in the willingness to integrate with existing solutions (2:19)
  • How recent technological advances are improving visitor monitoring (4:03) and video surveillance (9:22)
  • The current state of biometrics in the school security industry (6:43)
  • How schools are working to alleviate insider threats (10:29)
  • How visitor monitoring technology is helping front desk staff do their jobs better (15:35)
  • Predictions for the future of access control and video surveillance in schools (18:37)

Watch the full interview here or listen on the go on Apple or Spotify.

About the Author

amy rock, Chief editor

Amy is the Senior Editor for Campus Safety. Before joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy has many close relatives and friends who are teachers, which motivates her to learn and share as much as she can about campus safety. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in various capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

In her spare time, Amy enjoys exploring the outdoors with her family.

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