McKinney ISD leaders have approved security system refreshes for the district's high schools and stadium.

The district’s board of trustees approved a $6.55 million purchase of physical security upgrades through bond funds April 22. District leaders have explored various security system options for four to five months before deciding on the platform Verkada, said Rusty May, MISD’s senior director of safety and security.

What you need to know

Verkada is an integrated security platform system that will replace security cameras, door access control and other physical safety measures across campuses. Its video analytics will reduce the time it takes to investigate incidents, MISD Chief Information Officer Stephen McGilvray said.

The platform will allow district leaders to remotely manage as it is a cloud-based system. Officials will be able to lock or unlock doors as well as be notified if doors are propped open, and the video feed will create a proactive response to incidents, he said.

“We’ve got this one-stop shop, whether you’re on the web browser or through their mobile app, to manage all these different physical security components,” McGilvray said. “Being able to proactively receive alerts with video context to quickly assess the situation and respond accordingly is really beneficial.”

The district’s proposal with Verkada includes systems for:
  • Door access control
  • Environmental sensors
  • Security cameras
  • Video intercoms
Verkada also supplies an alarm team to monitor 24/7. The team will be able to review an event and respond accordingly, whether that be to district personnel or emergency responders, McGilvray said.

Verkada is used by neighboring school districts, colleges and cities, according to the meeting’s presentation. This includes, but is not limited to:
  • Coppell ISD
  • Lake Dallas ISD
  • Prosper ISD
  • Richardson ISD
  • The University of North Texas-North Dallas
“There’s many school districts throughout the U.S. moving to Verkada ... to help improve school safety and security,” McGilvray said.

Going forward

The integration of Verkada’s system onto MISD campuses will begin in phases.

Phase 1, which will be covered by 2021 bond funds, includes McKinney Boyd, McKinney and McKinney North high schools as well as the McKinney ISD Stadium and Community Event Center. System upgrades will begin in May and June, according to the meeting’s presentation.

Future campus security upgrades for other MISD schools and facilities will be decided in future bond planning.

“This is, in my opinion, something that is exactly what our community, parents and other people would want us to be spending these bonds on,” trustee Amy Dankel said.