Scottsdale Unified Works with GE Security on District Security Assessment
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Scottsdale Unified School District in Arizona has completed the first phase of a district-wide strategic security master planning process designed to boost safety and support student achievement. The district recently received results of the security assessment from GE Security, including recommendations on ways security might be further improved throughout the district's schools.
The study, which lasted four months, encompassed 32 school campuses serving 26,000 students. The security assessment report included recommendations to improve security by integrating all systems on a single technology platform, further upgrading current security technology, and creating a school district emergency operations control center. Other recommendations included hiring a security director for the school district to centralize security oversight under one person.
"This partnership with GE Security has resulted in the first-ever strategic security assessment for us. Ultimately, this should help us implement a comprehensive master security plan for the district," said David Peterson, the district's assistant superintendent for facilities and operations. "We believe providing a safe, secure learning environment is one of the first and most important steps in helping our students reach their full potential. This assessment and the follow-on phases of GE's master planning process are helping us do just that."
The assessment began in January 2008 with an evaluation of the current security program, including surveys and interviews with staff about perceived threats and vulnerabilities across campuses. In March 2008 a detailed security assessment related to people, technology, and process was conducted to help design and guide implementation of the district-wide security recommendations. Assessment activities included review of processes and procedures, observation of security practices, detailed review of security infrastructure, and interviews with key staff.
During the next phase, GE Security will work with district leadership to prioritize implementation of the master security plan. Activities are expected to include development of a technology roadmap, equipment specifications, and the creation of an emergency operations control center in the district's administrative offices.
Other GE Security clients include Victor Valley Union High School District in Victorville, CA, New Haven Unified School District in Union City, CA, and Lynn Public Schools in Lynn, MA.
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About the author: Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at [email protected].
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Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @schaffhauser.