Big Brother Takes School Security to New Levels Using Biometrics!... (But... But... 'It's For the Children...')

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 08/12/2009 - 12:59pm.

The Boyd School, a progressive Montessori school with seven locations in Northern Virginia, recently completed a biometric security installation designed to confirm the identity of adults entering the school as well as track students throughout the school day.

"Because we take children as young as eight weeks, we knew that security was going to be a big thing for parents," said Faith Smith, logistics coordinator with the Boyd School. "That's such a young age for parents to leave their children in a new place, so they need to know it's secure and safe."

The school installed BioSafe, a biometric security solution developed specifically for the Boyd School by systems integrator New Year Tech. The system requires that adults dropping off children enter a PIN code and scan the back of their hand using Identica's VP-II vascular scanner, said Soy Chu, president and CEO of New Year Tech. Using a touchscreen computer, adults select their children and enter any information pertaining to recent feedings, medication or other information for teachers. The system allows the adults to enter the building and notifies the teacher of the child's expected arrival. Once the student enters the classroom, the teacher electronically checks them in and will subsequently sign children in and out of classrooms throughout the school day, allowing administrators to know the location of all children at all times.

"Once a parent has checked in their child, during any type of emergency we know exactly who's in the building and whom to evacuate," said Smith. "The system prints out the child's picture and information and teachers take that out with them and makes sure all kids are accounted for."

However, finding this solution in the first place was challenging. Administrators at Boyd School had a vision for the security system they wanted, but couldn't find a solution available in the market, said Smith. The school contacted several security integrators and were told that the system they envisioned didn't exist and was over the top, she said. However, when administrators approached New Year Tech, "they immediately saw the potential," she said. 

It took more than a year to develop BioSafe, which New Year Tech plans to bring to market. The system was designed in a modular format so that other institutions can utilize as much or as little of the system as they want, said Chu. The school plans to integrate an IP-based camera system at its newest facility in Aldie, Va., a 46,000-square-foot former elementary school that the Boyd School recently purchased and remodeled and will open in September. 

In addition, New Year Tech is looking to add more features to the system including the ability to conduct background checks, Chu said. While the Boyd School is not currently utilizing this capability, Smith said they are considering it.

Leischen Stelter - August 11, 2009 - source SecurityDirectorNews

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 08/12/2009 - 12:59pm.