Frisco ISD Tries New Camera Technology to Enhance School Safety

The newest steps is similar to the popular doorbell cameras many people have at their homes

Frisco ISD has started a pilot program at its elementary schools to add another layer of security for students and staff.

Smith Elementary School is one of the first schools to try the new technology.

The principal of the school, Catherine Young, said it works like the popular doorbell cameras many people have at their homes.

Young said a visitor would ring the doorbell and a receptionist could see who is standing on the other end of the camera.

The receptionist could then communicate with the person at the front door, check their ID and buzz them in.

Before the new system, Young said there wasn't a way to screen people before they entered the building.

"I feel more secure and safer knowing that the front office has that time to respond if we need to," Young said.

Jon Bodie, the emergency manager at Frisco ISD, said this was just another way the school district looked to enhance security and safety.

"We feel like this is the next level of evolution. It allows us to provide another level of safety that we haven't been able to provide in some places," he said.

So far, Young said parents have responded positively to the new technology.

Another addition to enhance school security is the emergency lockdown system, which was installed because of the 2018 bond program. The system can automatically lock doors, notify authorities of an emergency and initiate and communicate responses from staff and students based on the emergency.

The bond program also approved funding for bullet-resistant glass on interior classroom door windows. There is no set timeline for modifying the glass.

At the beginning of the school year, Frisco ISD implemented "STOPit," an anonymous way to report bullying and school safety concerns. There was an average of five reports per day from students and parents districtwide.

The 2018-19 Frisco ISD budget provided funding for new positions to allow school counselors to spend more time to support students' social, emotional and mental health needs.

In the event of an emergency, first responders have immediate access to school floor plans, photos, contact information and more to be prepared for an emergency.

The purpose of all these security measures is to further protect students and staff members.

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