A select group of Katy ISD elementary schools will get an upgraded security system by the beginning of the 2023-24 school year, officials said.

In a nutshell: At a May 15 meeting, KISD board members awarded a $1.61 million contract to Accutek Technologies Inc. for the installation of light pole security cameras in the parking lots of 33 elementary schools throughout the district. Accutek Technology provides network, computer and data storage solutions for businesses.

In an emailed statement, KISD Chief of Police Henry Gaw said the district's utmost priority is providing a safe and secure learning environment for its students.

“Parking lot security cameras provide an extra set of eyes to protect students, staff and visitors at our schools," Gaw said. "These additional cameras will include state-of-the-art technology with a multi-layered approach for safety and security that Katy ISD applies to all of its campuses."
Select elementary schools across the district will get external security cameras to monitor for campus vulnerabilities. (Courtesy Katy ISD)
The details: This project is funded through the 2021 bond program. According to district documents, a 2019-20 safety and security audit highlighted the continued need to maintain and upgrade real-time security cameras internally and externally at KISD campuses.

The parking lot security camera placements are packaged with cameras in high school athletic areas as well as internal security upgrades, such as additional cameras placed in multiple campuses and upgraded technology in administrative buildings.
Katy ISD began installing security cameras in July 2022. This project is expected to conclude by the start of the 2023-24 school year. (Courtesy Katy ISD)
The application of parking lot security cameras is anticipated to help KISD campuses identify any external vulnerabilities, while the internal camera upgrades will improve "proactive situational awareness," minimize the existence of blind spots and address internal vulnerability in administrative buildings, according to general project information from the 2021 bond program.

The initiative requires coordination with the district’s technology and security officials to provide any adjustments and a final approval of the recording angle of each camera.

Diving in deeper: The large population of students and staff plus the expanse of the district's larger campuses further validate the need for these security upgrades, district documents say.

According to demographic firm Population and Survey Analysts data from November, the district has experienced the most significant numerical change in student population growth—gaining 12,940 students between fall 2016 and fall 2021.

KISD is projected to hit a total enrollment of 101,156 by the 2027-28 school year—a 7.6% increase from the 2022-23 school year.
Katy ISD's interactive public dashboard shows the district's enrollment is 93,985 students. (Courtesy Katy ISD)
The entire safety and security improvement proposition from the 2021 bond had a total cost of $7.1 million and is composed of three projects:
  • $350,000 clinic door modifications, completed in December
  • $3.57 million security camera upgrades, estimated for a Dec. 15 completion
  • $3.15 million life systems upgrades, estimated for completion for May 2023 and May 2024