How This High School Enhanced Security With Cloud-Based Access Control

CORNING, Ark. — In order to protect its students from intruders, Corning High School kept its doors locked at all times, requiring teachers to unlock and lock them whenever needed.

This caused the lock mechanisms to literally wear out, according to the school’s principal.

The school turned to Jonesboro, Ark.-based integrator Blue Sky Technologies to install a more high-tech solution. Blue Sky recommended Prodatakey‘s pdk io wireless access control system.

Pdk io is a wireless, Cloud-based solution that provides around-the-clock accessibility, remote management, backup and redundancy, automated updates, and strong cybersecurity.

“Pdk io has become our go-to access control solution for K-12 installations because the wireless aspect leads to such major cost savings for the schools, which are always budget-challenged. In addition, the installation process causes very little disruption for the students and teachers,” says Brian Duckworth, sales consultant with Blue Sky.

Corning High School comprises seven buildings connected by breezeways, designed in an open style. Blue Sky chose the wireless PDK solution because it was perfectly suited to the multi-building layout, with no need to run copper or fiber cable to all connected door locations, according to the company. This greatly reduced material and labor costs.

The installation includes exterior doors for each of the classroom buildings and a few other key locations. As budgets permit, additional doors will be added throughout the high school as well as in other district buildings.

The wireless connectivity makes the solution scalable, allowing for new doors to be immediately brought online through connection with the system’s wireless mesh network without additional infrastructure.

In addition to automating the unlocking and locking of exterior doors to align with the high school’s bell schedule, the system is also proving to be a useful tool for monitoring student traffic patterns and identifying problem behaviors, according to the school.

Classrooms are each allocated with “student fobs” for use by students who need to travel between buildings during class periods when doors are otherwise locked. Their use of the fobs enables administrators to track where the students go, making sure they head to the intended destination (i.e. the library or nurse’s office) rather than elsewhere.

Faculty and support staff find the pdk io system to be more convenient than the traditional locks and keys that previously secured most doors. Permission groups, managed through the pdk software, control different access levels for teachers, administrators and custodians. Programming of special door schedules, as well initiating lockdown conditions, can all be handled by the IT staff using the mobile interface.

“We strive to make our campus a place where our students enjoy the freedom to focus fully on learning because they’re not worrying about safety and security. This solution is making our goal so much easier to meet. It’s also making the teachers’ daily routines less stressful and they really like it,” says School Superintendent Kellee Smith.

You can read a case study about the installation here.

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