Access Control for School Safety

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School safety is always a top priority for administrators, parents, and students alike. With recent advances, keyless entry has become a more viable and popular option to increase security measures on school campuses. 

One of the newest additions for Tennessee school safety has been the installation at the Liberty Creek campus in Gallatin. This project covers Liberty Elementary, Middle School and High School.

In 2019, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center underwent their own security upgrades with an access control implementation valued at $30M.

From first year education all the way up to university level, Tennessee is fully adopting keyless entry for schools and they are taking it very seriously.

What is Keyless Entry and What is Access Control

Keyless entry is a security and safety improvement that has been widely adopted not just by schools but also businesses, and homeowners. With access control for schools via keyless entry comes improved convenience for staff and students, reduced security personnel duties and zero lost keys. Security and staff can provide quick access or lockdowns of sensitive areas. With easy to manage entry, schools can eliminate unauthorized access to school facilities and areas remotely or even automatically based on set parameters.

How Keyless Access Control for Schools Works

Keyless entry eliminates the need for keys and instead relies on smartphone apps and keycards to gain access to facilities. As with all good security protocols a layered approach is recommended. Keyless entry systems are usually integrated with existing surveillance technologies such as CCTV to monitor visitor activity. T

Keyless Access Control is Convenient for Staff

Another benefit of keyless entry systems is that they are very convenient for staff members. There is no bundle of keys to manage. Even better, the personnel granting access do not necessarily need to be physically present to do so. Administrators have access to  central monitoring platform to manage access and review logs. Now campus areas can be opened or restricted based on specific people or time periods or some combination of the two. With traditional keys, if one key or a bundle is lost, stolen or simply not returned by former staff members then it can be a difficult and expensive process to get locks replaced. With a software solution it is simply a matter of making changes in the console.

Keyless entry systems for educational facilities allow administrators the ability to restrict visitor access based on certain criteria such as age or location on campus. This way you can ensure that only authorized individuals have easy access to specific areas while preventing unauthorized individuals from gaining access to sensitive areas.

Keyless Entry for School Lockers

Smart locks can also be implemented with student lockers. With a web-based platform, access control can be easily applied to key cards issued from the school office. 

Using a layered approach of smart locks and CCTV, schools can monitor who has accessed each locker. This can help to reduce theft and vandalism.

Addressing Security Shortage in Nashville

Access control systems for schools are helping with a nationwide problem. With police shortages around the country, combined with incidents at several campuses last year, school administrators must do what they can to keep their students and faculty safe. MNPD School Resource Officers are being assigned where they are needed but with short staff other security measures are needed to fill the gap, which is what smart access control systems aim to do for schools.  

Last May, Dr. Adrienne Battle, Director of Metro Nashville Public Schools along with  Metro Police Chief John Drake announced changes to improve security across the Nashville school district. This would mainly involve rotating staff to place as many personnel as they can to vulnerable areas to prevent or resolve security threats. 

Here is a short list of additions made to the MNPS safety and security plan:

  • Emergency response planning held annually. This collaboration will take place between school administrators, MNPD and MNPS security. 
  • Classroom doors that open outward and lock from the inside to protect occupants in the event of a lockdown or active shooter incident. 
  • Networked security camera systems. 
  • Security vestibules in nearly all schools. These vestibules provide an extra level of barrier and protection against an irate parent, community member, or active shooter. Using funds made available by the Metro Council and Mayor John Cooper, MNPS will be completing these projects at the remainder of our schools this year. 
  • Campus Support (formerly Campus Supervisor) positions within our schools receive training from MNPS security and serve to monitor for safety and security compliance throughout the day while providing support related to behavioral incidents when needed. These positions currently exist at the middle and high school levels, and MNPS is exploring expanding this program to the elementary level.

While this is a step in the right direction schools can do a lot to manage their own security matters with automation and lockdown protocols through access control management.

Nashville School Shooting Data

A Nashville startup is doing its part to help with school security. As we arrive at the fifth anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, Juice Analytics has released school shooting data covering 1970 to 2023 for the K-12 School Shooting Database.The goal is to provide these statistics through easy to understand graphics while raising awareness about gun violence on school campuses.

Nashville Schools Need Access Control Now

Keyless entry systems offer many advantages for school safety. This comes at a time when Nashville needs better solutions to the current staffing issues of MNPD and to support MNPS security. As more schools adopt smart access control, security personnel can be deployed to areas with more security needs in order to keep everyone safe. Keyless entry systems are easy to install, cost-effective, and provide real-time monitoring capabilities that can help reduce risk and improve student safety.  With keyless entry, schools can protect their students and faculty while also providing them with convenient access to facilities when needed. This technology is not a cure-all but provides huge benefits when used with security cameras, security vestibules and other approved security measures.

Kevin H.
Kevin H.

Kevin has been fascinated with the internet and technology since a young age. He progressed to a profession in information systems and later digital marketing which exposed him to new avenues through the businesses that he helped to support through their growth. Kevin breaks down topics related to improving business operations through IT systems.