Andrews Independent School District (ISD) is comprised of six K-12 schools serving 4,319 students across Andrews, Texas. The school district has a hardworking and passionate staff committed to seeing their students develop and grow, with a 1:1 program in place to provide every student with access to a laptop or iPad for e-learning.
The district’s commitment to technology also extends to its security framework. As the Executive Director of Technology, Dennis Haynie facilitates all technology integration, from the network and building infrastructure to instructional tools and support. “Recently, we really ramped up our safety and security. There were some grants available, so we began building our camera system with Verkada and integrating access control on top of that.”
- Bandwidth was limited.
- Finding incidents took hours.
- Events were often missing from footage due to trimming based on motion.
- The server had to analyze motion on all the cameras.
Prior to Verkada, the district had 300 analog cameras connected to local digital video recorders (DVRs) housed in the principals’ offices. Due to limited storage capacity, the cameras only recorded when motion was detected. With no search functionality, finding footage required hours of playback—sometimes only to discover the camera failed to record the event.
“We introduced encoders into our network closets at those campuses and started streaming video to centralized storage, but that consumed a lot of bandwidth. Coming from an instructional standpoint, we want to reserve our bandwidth for students to learn, which is our primary goal outside of keeping them safe.”
With Verkada, Haynie has a cloud-managed solution with a mobile app that provides the same intuitive search capabilities as the web browser. Using a hybrid cloud approach, footage is saved onboard the camera itself for a minimum of 30 days and can be archived indefinitely to unlimited cloud-based storage. With integrated access control and cameras, Haynie has strengthened physical security while simplifying management. In the event of an emergency, he is able to initiate a school lockdown and share live video with first responders in seconds.
“Not only is Verkada bandwidth-friendly, but we are able to share the footage with first responders really quickly and give them access to live camera feeds by simply sharing a link. From the mobile app, we have access to all these features, including vehicle and people search to save time in an emergency.”
Bandwidth-Friendly at 20 kbps
“Even while streaming in low-resolution, our analog cameras have an upload usage of 20-22 Mbps and download usage of 147-157 Mbps. Comparatively, Verkada cameras consume only a fraction of the bandwidth with an upload usage of 15-20 kbps and download usage of 93-148 kbps. It’s very minimal traffic on the network so we can devote more towards instruction and learning, which is a much better use of our bandwidth.”
Intuitive Mobile App
“The mobile app has the same capabilities as the web portal, there are so many features that help save time. I can search for vehicles and people, share live camera feeds with first responders, and send archived footage from any device.”
Custom Grids for Live Camera Monitoring
“I can create custom grids for staff to view a large number of live cameras at once. For access control, we have doors with intercom buttons that the students press when they’re locked out. Our front office has access to a grid displaying all doors with the intercom installed; if a student is locked out and presses the button, our office staff has a live view to immediately verify their identity.”
People, Vehicle, and Motion-Based Search
“It’s easy to search for events by motion, vehicles, or people. For example, I can very quickly find when an object was moved by simply drawing a square over the area it was taken from. I can also look for specific vehicles based on color or model, and people based on personal attributes like clothing color or the presence of a backpack. I can even upload a photo of myself to the system, and the system finds all instances where I appear on camera across different buildings.”
Unlimited Cloud Archiving
“I’m no longer limited to 30-day storage, I can archive any clip I want to keep and the system will store it in the cloud for as long as I need it. I can also set how long I want to save it and whether or not I want to share it with other people in my organization.”
Granular Sharing Permissions
“I can quickly share footage through a text message, email, or link. From there, I can designate whether the recipient has permission to download the video or view-only, and limit access to expire after a specific amount of time—whether it’s an hour, day, or week. It’s a quick way to get camera footage out to anybody, whether they’re in our system or not.”
Share Live Video and Entire Sites
“In the event of an emergency, I can quickly share an entire site of live footage to first responders. I can give police officers one-day video access by simply creating a link and sending it out as a text or email. They have real-time visibility into the building and eyes on the ground before they enter.”
Live Audio Capability
“We have live audio enabled for cameras in the DAEP rooms, so the principal will have the ability to hear what’s happening as opposed to just seeing. All these features are available in the mobile app, which makes it very convenient and easy to use.”
Integrated Video and Access Control
“I can click on any access-based event listed on the live feed, and immediately jump to the corresponding video. I can also pull up a list of doors and see what their schedule looks like as well as whether they’re open, closed, locked, or unlocked.”
Simplified User Management and Credentials
“I have access groups divided by campus and tiered access levels that determine which doors those groups have permissions for. The setup was really easy, we imported all our users and their credentials from our student information system. We use the same proximity badges for access control as we do for time clocks, so our staff can carry just one badge that works on everything."
Custom Door Schedules
“Door schedules are set around bell schedules. Doors are locked when class is in session, then unlocked during the passing period. If a student is running late, they buzz the intercom and our office staff can look at the camera to verify it’s a student trying to get into our building. We can also create exceptions for bad weather days, holidays, bingo nights, and basketball games.”
Cloud-Managed Controller with Battery Backup
“We use the same door hardware, but have a cloud-managed controller. If I lose internet access or power, it has a battery backup so doors still function as they did when they last had access to the internet. Once the internet is restored, any changes I made in the cloud will be downloaded to that controller.”
Lockdown Campus in Seconds
“In an emergency scenario, we can lockdown the campus directly from the mobile app. Any of the principals can initiate a lockdown from their phone, in which case the system will override all door schedules, lock down all buildings, and secure the entire campus in seconds.”
To learn how Verkada can improve campus safety in your district, request a free trial camera or attend our weekly webinar.