Dumont High School made the front page of the Bergen Record today. Our school was featured for its innovative and well designed security system.
As the geek-tech administrator in the building, I have been asked to oversee the security system’s operation. It is quite extensive; Smartcards, visitor management, and 57+ cameras in and around the building now take up some time in my day. While many people may think these measures are a bit too much or a waste of funds, I have found the system to be greatly beneficial in providing two of the three main goals as a building administrator: providing safety and providing order.
Since the security system’s inception, we have recovered over $1000 in stolen property that would have otherwise been lost forever. We have also been able to track the actions of questionable persons on school premises without having to rely on faulty witnesses. In cases of crisis, we can now see the facts without having to guess or ponder how and what occurred.
On a side note, I serve as a member of the the New Jersey Principal’s and Supervisor’s Association Secondary Schools Committee. We gather a few times a year to discuss pertinent issues and concerns. One of the issues everyone on the committee wants to discuss this year is not blogging, or social networking, or differentiated instruction – they want to discuss school safety measures and accountability for administrators in times of crisis. I am proud to be able to offer my colleagues an intimate knowledge of how a system can work and how it can be useful. I will also be able to share with them (and any of you who wish to see it) the extensive SAFE Manual that Dumont administrators, police, fire, and parents created. I was responsible for formatting the crisis response actions and I also am in charge of updating the manual when directed.
While we all ponder ways to get the teachers and kids motivated to start using Web 2.0, I want to ask if anyone else has had the opportunity to provide technology to the entire population through security measures. I really believe that these issues must be at the top of every administrator’s priority list.